03 Apr

Chart Your Course

The other day I was reading a story on WordPress.com written by Samantha McKenzie and in the story she challenged the readers to make a list of every job that you ever had. I found the story very interesting and it made me think of my own story and how it would look to other people who saw it.

As I was reading the story I thought to myself, “am I bold enough to publish my job history for the world to see”? And then I thought to myself “Yes, I am”.

Here’s my list:

  1. Can & Bottle Collector – I collected bottles and cans and sold them back to the store (yes, they had a real recycling plan back in the days).
  2. Farm laborer – as a young teen, my siblings and I would catch the local bean field truck early Saturday morning to go out the local farms and pick beans so we could have some spending money for the week.  It was hard work, but it built character at 4 Point.
  3. Car washer – I went to work with my dad (Roscoe Harris, SR) on the weekends and he taught me how to wash and clean a car the right way to get paid.
  4. Lawn & Leaf – I went around the neighborhood on weekends and knocked on doors to see if anyone needed their lawn cut or leaves raked.
  5. Front counter clerk – while still in elementary school I worked at the front counter taking orders at the local bakery (best glazed donuts ever). Harold’s Bakery!
  6. Bag Boy – working at the local grocery store I quickly learned that being on the bottom of the ladder was not a good spot for me.
  7. Produce Clerk – Ok, I left the bag boy job and told a little white lie that I was a produce clerk at my last job.  It worked!  Luckily, the manager had a few days off and before he came back to work, I knew how to do the job.
  8. Dish washer – my brother would bring me to his job where he was the dishwasher. He showed me how to wash the dishes and then he would leave and return a few hours later (Thanks Johnny, for my 1st illegal job at the age of 13, Boca Lago).
  9. Bell hop – me & 1 of my best friends (Byron. H) worked at a local hotel bringing the guests bags to their room when they checked into the hotel (HoJo).
  10. BETA Summer Job – in the 70’s, when you turned 15 the government hired kids to work during the summer.  If you got in early you got the best jobs (not me).  I worked as a custodian cleaning and scrubbing the desks and floors at the middle school (which I probably helped deface during the school year).  Lesson learned!
  11. Electronic Repair – I started repairing everything from old tube tv’s to washer machines for people in the neighborhood.
  12. Car radio installer – I started my 1st business as a car radio & accessory installer.  I printed my own business cards in my printing class, and I offered my installation services to the shop owners at the local swap shop and flea markets.
  13. Cabinet Maker – I learned to make custom wall units by hand from a master craftsman at Advance Wall Systems (thanks Walter Vance).
  14. Marble bath tub and sink installer – I learned to manufacture and install custom marble bath tubs and sinks.
  15. Print Press & Delivery – I ran the printing press and did the local deliveries for a local print shop (Sir Speedy).
  16. Telephone installer & technician – I worked as an installer / technician installing PBX telephone systems (Nation Business Communications).
  17. Two-way Radio technician – I learned to install two-way communications radio and towers and the 1st versions of cell phones (which weighed a ton, at Bob’s Two-Way Radio in Pompano).
  18. Bench technician – I worked as a bench technician testing and repairing measuring equipment for navy ships (Weschler Electric / a division of Westinghouse).
  19. Cable TV technician / installer – I learned all aspects of cable television systems from a retiring engineer / I was hired to learn what he knew so that I could be his replacement when he retired. (Thanks Nancy S. & Al Levine, UTA Cable)
  20. Satellite / Cable TV technician – cable company (UTA Cable) was purchased by Florida Power & Light so I learned both satellite and cable tv engineering while working Dade, Broward & Palm Beach counties every day running service calls for satellite head ends and cable tv customers. (TeleSat Cablevision, Nancy S.)
  21. Cable TV – General Manager – I oversaw the entire cable tv operation for Coconut Creek and then Pembroke Pines area building future cable systems. (Tele-Media Corp, Thanks Tony S., Nancy S.)
  22. Operations Area Supervisor – I was the manager / leader of 50 maintenance technicians in the Alpharetta, GA area overseeing service and maintenance of cable tv operations for AT&T Cable Operations, which later became known as Media One.
  23. Applications Engineer – I was the engineer responsible for developing and deploying powering equipment used by cable tv operators and telephone companies (Antec, later known as Arris)
  24. Senior Applications Engineer / Product Manager – I was responsible for managing and growing the powering division of Arris.
  25. Product Manager – I handled all aspects of the customer relationship to develop and sell network products to cable tv and telephone companies. (AFL Communications, Thanks Jim F.)
  26. President / CEO, Founder – Founder of AVS Technologies Inc, – I started my own technology company where we work to help other business owners with their technology needs.

If my list is not all that impressive to you, then Chart Your Own Course!

Vernon Harris, President / CEO

AVS Technologies Inc.