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stardustx
01-10-2014, 05:43 AM
Hello there! I need a job for one of my characters. She's in her late twenties and living in Boston. She grew up in the foster care system, and then grew out of it at eighteen, and lived on the streets for a while.

She got mixed in the wrong crowd, and therefore knows how to use a gun and how to defend herself. She graduated from high school but never went to college. She's independent and legally owns a gun.

I need a job for her that doesn't require a college degree. She ends up leaving it at a moment's notice to search for a missing girl. It could be a "bad girl" job where she deals with low-life's (maybe a bail bondsman?) or it could be an ordinary job. Any suggestions and ideas are appreciated! Thanks. :)

ZachJPayne
01-10-2014, 05:46 AM
I know that in California, you could get a "Guard Card" and work as a security guard. I imagine there's something similar to that for Boston.

Barring that, thinking along a shady note, I'd suggest working in a pawn shop, or even working as a desk clerk for a bail bondsman.

Or you can try to strike a contrast, and have her work for a fancy restaurant, or as a librarian.

BDSEmpire
01-10-2014, 06:23 AM
Have her work road crew.

Those orange-jacketed jerks are pure evil.

Lil
01-10-2014, 06:34 AM
Sigh.
Most jobs don't require a college degree.
Do you want an office job? Clerk, receptionist, retail, etc.
Domestic service?
Waitress? Short order cook?
Do you want her to make a lot of money or be living hand to mouth?
Do you want the job to be interesting or boring?
The college degree is irrelevant.

Little Anonymous Me
01-10-2014, 06:39 AM
Call center or customer support? It's easy to get up and leave a headset. :)

Siri Kirpal
01-10-2014, 06:46 AM
I know that in California, you could get a "Guard Card" and work as a security guard. I imagine there's something similar to that for Boston.

Barring that, thinking along a shady note, I'd suggest working in a pawn shop, or even working as a desk clerk for a bail bondsman.

Or you can try to strike a contrast, and have her work for a fancy restaurant, or as a librarian.

Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Nix on the librarian, although you can shelve books without a degree. Shelving is a part-time exempt (no benefits) job. (My husband is a retired library associate.) To be a real librarian requires an MLS degree. To work in most other jobs in a library requires a bachelors.

You can become a cop if you're over 21 and pass the security investigation (but your character probably wouldn't).

Security guard would work if gun handling is important.

Housekeeping in hotels/motels. Fast food burger flipping. Restaurant reception and waiting on tables. ETC.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Karen Junker
01-10-2014, 06:55 AM
She could be the night desk person at a seedy motel. There's a special name for it, but I forget it right now and am too lazy to look it up. ETA: I think they're called night auditor. Loads of potential for dealing with underworld types.

frimble3
01-10-2014, 07:30 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Nix on the librarian, although you can shelve books without a degree. Shelving is a part-time exempt (no benefits) job. (My husband is a retired library associate.) To be a real librarian requires an MLS degree. To work in most other jobs in a library requires a bachelors.
l
Depends on the library system, in the one I worked in, and the other one that I know well, you need a BLS or an MLS to be a librarian, but to be a library clerk (what the kids would call a 'library-lady': shelving and checking books in and out) it's more a high-school-and-equivalent type job. And classed as a city employee, so benefits for all.

Although, for the OP, if your character is in the habit of dropping jobs on the spur of the moment, waitressing would be good. Lots of openings, and it tends to be more about performance and availability than references. My sister (no carry permit) has left those jobs lots of times.

jclarkdawe
01-10-2014, 07:33 AM
Be aware that Massachusetts has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. With your brief description of your character, it is going to be problematic that she owns a gun legally.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Trebor1415
01-10-2014, 10:32 AM
Be aware that Massachusetts has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. With your brief description of your character, it is going to be problematic that she owns a gun legally.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

"In her late 20's."

As long as she could pass a criminal background check, she could own a gun. There is nothing specific about growing up on the foster care system, living on the streets for awhile, or not graduating from HS, that would prohibit her from owning a gun.

However, I do agree that that kind of background might have led her to be arrested at some point in the past and that might cause a problem. Simple solution: Just establish that she was never arrested, for anything, as a teen or adult. (And, even if she was, it wouldn't be an automatic disqualifier. It would depend on what she was arrested for, her age, and the ultimate disposition of the case. If she's a felon though, guns are a "NO GO."

Note that it would be virtually impossible for her to carry a gun in Boston or MA legally, unless she's licensed as a security guard or something, and then could only carry on the job.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Massachusetts

cornflake
01-10-2014, 11:08 AM
I read the OP and was going to post just was Jack did. If she lives in Boston and has a legal handgun, I as a reader would want to know the reason she got a permit for that, because it's a hard sell and carrying one is out of the question.

As for jobs - retail?

Nymtoc
01-10-2014, 11:48 AM
I don't know if you want to go in this direction, but there are lots of jobs in bars and nightclubs that don't require a college degree. She could have a bartending certificate:

NEBS Licensed Bartending Schools Boston-Maine-Vermont (http://www.bartendingschool.com/)

Someone else mentioned waitressing.

Reasonably attractive young women often find modeling jobs--not necessarily high-fashion ones.

Pet store clerk?

Pole dancer? (Probably not)

Masseuse? (Also probably not)

In any case, that gun is going to be a problem. Does she absolutely have to have it?

NeuroGlide
01-10-2014, 01:51 PM
Delivery driver. My old firm had a huge turnover rate, but always accepted returning drivers (assuming they quit, not canned). If the route handled money, carrying a gun could be required.

jclarkdawe
01-10-2014, 06:12 PM
It's Massachusetts' license requirement that may cause problems. It's not unknown in Massachusetts for transient type residents of a town to be delayed in their license, hoping that they will move on before the license can be "processed." You also need a firearm safety course to own a gun.

She can be technically qualified to own a gun in Massachusetts, but never see a license. You need to be careful to make the character likely to get a license and meet the requirements.

Massachusetts used to have big, nasty signs warning of owning a handgun in Massachusetts. Mandatory one year in jail for illegal possession of a firearm.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

King Neptune
01-10-2014, 06:51 PM
armored car guard or driver
Even here in Massachusetts they are allowed to carry weapons.

cbenoi1
01-10-2014, 06:58 PM
Gun range owner / employee. It's a necessity of the job that she not only knows guns, but also rather good using them.

-cb

EMaree
01-10-2014, 07:21 PM
She could be the night desk person at a seedy motel. There's a special name for it, but I forget it right now and am too lazy to look it up. ETA: I think they're called night auditor. Loads of potential for dealing with underworld types.

"Night porter" is also a term used for this job.

Cyia
01-10-2014, 07:50 PM
Delivery is probably your best bet, especially someone who works with/transports gemstones for a jeweler. They're allowed to carry a concealed weapon, with permit, so long as they don't cross state lines. Your MC could be a bonded messenger for a specific store who makes deliveries to clients.

One of my high school teachers had a miserable time closing his dad's estate because of the gun he used for that purpose. The state wouldn't allow the gun to be moved until he showed up in person and had it shipped in a proper container; he couldn't carry it out of the state on his person.

asroc
01-10-2014, 08:22 PM
She's independent and legally owns a gun.


If she's supposed to have a concealed carry license, jclarkdawe's right, it'll be a problem.

Aside from the stringent other requirements and the very lengthy process, she also has to justify why she wants a gun. "For protection" often doesn't fly; even people where this would be reasonable regularly get denied. Class A licenses are may-issue and the issuing PD can deny you if they don't like the size of your nose. Unless your character is a blood relative of Ed Davis or has some other excellent reason, it's hard to believe she'd have a LTC A.

What she might get is a Class B license, although if you want the gun for fighting/defense it's essentially useless, because you it won't allow you to carry concealed and open carry is frowned upon in general in MA.

(If you're not set on a legal permit, it's not hard to get an illegal weapon in Boston if you know where to go.)

More on topic, during her wild years, one of my friends worked as a liquor store clerk in Somerville. She met plenty of shady people there. Another does night shifts sorting mail at the USPS facility.

Cathy C
01-10-2014, 08:25 PM
Street smarts and can handle herself? Sounds like a private investigator to me. :)

It takes training and an apprenticeship in many states, but a good PI would recognize raw talent and train her.

The Stephanie Plum novels, along with the Sophie Metropolis mystery novels both use this as a plot device. :)

shaldna
01-11-2014, 02:20 AM
Sigh.
Most jobs don't require a college degree.

Well, yes and no.

While many jobs don't 'require' a college degree, in this economy there are more graduates than there are graduate jobs. I've seen folks with good degrees working in crappy retail and service jobs.

Currently there are around 90 applicants for every graduate position.

In terms of non-graduate jobs I know that recently I've seen over 6000 people apply for 14 jobs in a local supermarket.

I've also seen 400 entry level (ie. no degree necessary) public sector jobs attract 15,000 applications - around 2/3 of which were from graduates.

So while you don't 'need' a degree, at the moment if you go for a job you are going to be competing with those who do have degrees, which puts employers in a difficult position too.

In all honesty, with that sort of background and no qualifications, she's likely to be doing a menial job such as shifts in a factory, retail, service etc.

beckethm
01-11-2014, 02:55 AM
The OP doesn't say the character needs to carry a gun on the job, so I'm going to assume the gun and the job are unconnected.

Other things she could do without a degree that might pay enough to live on:

school bus driver
housecleaning
telemarketing / any kind of call center work
construction
landscaping
any kind of warehouse work
bank teller (would require a background check and she could be competing against college graduates for those jobs)
airport baggage handling
paraprofessional/special education assistant in a public school
personal care attendant

stardustx
01-11-2014, 02:56 AM
Wow I wasn't expecting so many replies...thank you to everyone for the feedback and information. I like the ideas of her being either a desk clerk for a bail bondsman, a gun range employee, or maybe a security guard.

No, I suppose she doesn't necessarily need a gun - at first it was going to be a knife, not a gun. There are a couple of points when she sort of needs a gun or some kind of weapon to defend herself and others against a powerful enemy. That's where I thought the gun would be more realistic/practical.

I do apperciate all the information that many of you provided. Thanks again. :)

Siri Kirpal
01-11-2014, 04:25 AM
Depends on the library system, in the one I worked in, and the other one that I know well, you need a BLS or an MLS to be a librarian, but to be a library clerk (what the kids would call a 'library-lady': shelving and checking books in and out) it's more a high-school-and-equivalent type job. And classed as a city employee, so benefits for all.



Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

My husband corrected my post. You're right. You don't need a degree to work all but the librarian positions in a library. However, nearly all workers there have them, for reasons that should be obvious...like an attraction to books.

Oh, I worked as a shelver, part-time. No benefits.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Koulentis
01-11-2014, 01:30 PM
1. Postal worker: A frighting number own guns. Also a bit entertaining thought for the local mailwoman to pick up one day and stop delivering people's mail to their homes.

2. Department of Motor Vehicles worker. Every DMV has 4+ service windows. Yet the DMV is never staffed by more than 2 workers at a time. She could probably leave work, not come back till the end of the story, and still have a job waiting for her. No one would notice.

stardustx
01-12-2014, 04:50 AM
Oh, DMV employee is a good one, so that she would still have a job at the end of the story. I'm thinking of that one or desk clerk for a bail bondsman. Thanks.

Orianna2000
01-12-2014, 07:07 AM
I agree that a college degree doesn't necessarily mean anything. My father has a college degree and my husband only has a GED, yet my husband makes twice the salary.

MDSchafer
01-12-2014, 07:15 AM
The restaurant industry. I worked as as server/bartender for a long time. There were a few times I quit with no notice, moved to a new city -- with no planning cause I was smart like that in my 20s -- and had a job and a place to sleep within eight days.

In big cities servers can make $50,000 a year while bartenders at the right places can make six figures.

WeaselFire
01-12-2014, 08:15 AM
Hello there! I need a job for one of my characters.
Ask any high schooler where they work. Your request has a billion possibilities. Food service, maintenance/janitorial, receptionist, cable installer, house painter, car rental agent...

Being from a foster home, knowing how to use a gun, none of this keeps her from working any job. What works for your story is something only you can know.

Jeff

CrastersBabies
01-12-2014, 10:11 AM
She could be the night desk person at a seedy motel. There's a special name for it, but I forget it right now and am too lazy to look it up. ETA: I think they're called night auditor. Loads of potential for dealing with underworld types.

I like this. My brother did this. He had a gun with him at work (concealed weapons permit). Had the craziest stories. The only thing is that someone else would have to be working or your character might not just leave their post.

Karen Junker
01-12-2014, 10:28 AM
I like this. My brother did this. He had a gun with him at work (concealed weapons permit). Had the craziest stories. The only thing is that someone else would have to be working or your character might not just leave their post.

In a small hotel I stayed in recently, they had a couple extra people come in around 4 AM to set up for the free breakfast they served in the lobby. Even seedy hotels sometimes have extra staff overnight. Just an idea.

Trebor1415
01-13-2014, 10:56 AM
Just a thought: We're talking about her owning a gun legally. Don't forget she could also own one illegally, if it fits your thoughts about the character. If she wanted one she could find an unregistered handgun somewhere. Of course, if she's caught with the gun or, worse yet, has to use it, she'll face legal problems.

stardustx
01-15-2014, 04:10 AM
Just a thought: We're talking about her owning a gun legally. Don't forget she could also own one illegally, if it fits your thoughts about the character. If she wanted one she could find an unregistered handgun somewhere. Of course, if she's caught with the gun or, worse yet, has to use it, she'll face legal problems.

I would like her to be able to own a gun legally. I just didn't realize how strict the guns laws where in MA, and I can't think of a legitimate excuse as to why she would be able to own one. The gun and her job were unconnected, but if the only way she can legally own a gun is by her employment, then I might choose a job for her that allows carrying a gun or perhaps requires it. I don't think the idea of her illegally owning a gun would fit her character; throughout the story she's trying hard to do the right thing. Thank you for all the information, I appreciate it.

King Neptune
01-15-2014, 04:47 AM
I would like her to be able to own a gun legally. I just didn't realize how strict the guns laws where in MA, and I can't think of a legitimate excuse as to why she would be able to own one. The gun and her job were unconnected, but if the only way she can legally own a gun is by her employment, then I might choose a job for her that allows carrying a gun or perhaps requires it. I don't think the idea of her illegally owning a gun would fit her character; throughout the story she's trying hard to do the right thing. Thank you for all the information, I appreciate it.

While the laws restricting the ownership of firearms in Massachusetts are excessive, nearly everyone who wants to get a permit does, at least in most towns. I forgot to see where you had your character living. If she is in Boston, then there would be trouble getting a permit, but there are ways that people have evaded the regulations.

stardustx
01-15-2014, 06:38 AM
Okay, I've been taking these things into consideration and doing some research online. I think, for what I want to work for my story, that my best bet might be to give my character the job of a bounty hunter, or "bail bonds agent." This way, she would be able to legally own a firearm, and she would have experience in tracking people down, which would be useful as she leaves to find a missing girl. I might put up a new post for more information on this, but I think this is what I'm leaning toward. Thank you again to everyone for all the information and suggestions. :)

Trebor1415
01-15-2014, 11:22 PM
I would like her to be able to own a gun legally. I just didn't realize how strict the guns laws where in MA, and I can't think of a legitimate excuse as to why she would be able to own one. The gun and her job were unconnected, but if the only way she can legally own a gun is by her employment, then I might choose a job for her that allows carrying a gun or perhaps requires it. I don't think the idea of her illegally owning a gun would fit her character; throughout the story she's trying hard to do the right thing. Thank you for all the information, I appreciate it.

Remember, it's *your* fictional world. While you should know the real world laws on gun ownership in MA and Boston, and how difficult it may be for her to own a gun legally, you can decide to essentially ignore the real world laws for the sake of the story. If you want her to own a gun, legally, you can have her own a gun, legally.

Most readers aren't going to know the laws in MA or Boston regarding handguns anyway. If you don't want to make it seem like you are "stretching the truth" too much just have her mention or otherwise establish that she has the appropriate license/registration to meet the laws and don't worry about how difficult it would have been to do that in real life.

In short, just because you research how something really works in the real world, doesn't mean you have to follow that slavishly. You need to know the reality first, but once known, you can distort it to your own ends. The more you push it though, the more you risk ruining the suspension of disbelief, so it's up to you how you want to maintain the balancing act.

Charging Boar
01-17-2014, 05:42 AM
Street smarts and can handle herself? Sounds like a private investigator to me. :)

It takes training and an apprenticeship in many states, but a good PI would recognize raw talent and train her.

The Stephanie Plum novels, along with the Sophie Metropolis mystery novels both use this as a plot device. :)

P.I.'s are usually retired law enforcement, not fresh out of high school. Few people would hire a P.I. like the OP posted about.

rtilryarms
01-25-2014, 04:14 AM
I'd go Escort or Stripper - I'm sorry, Gentlemen's Entertainment Engineer.

Attracts the element you are looking for and (sans drugs) any likely crime she would be caught committing would be a misdemeanor which would not prohibit a legal gun ownership.

stardustx
01-25-2014, 07:25 AM
I've decided to make her a bounty hunter. Not only would she legally carry a gun (though not necessarily use it on the job), she'd also be good at finding people - which could come in handy since she searches for a missing girl.

Thanks again.

StephanieFox
01-28-2014, 04:52 AM
"
2. Department of Motor Vehicles worker. Every DMV has 4+ service windows. Yet the DMV is never staffed by more than 2 workers at a time. She could probably leave work, not come back till the end of the story, and still have a job waiting for her. No one would notice."

This depends on the location. The DMV workers in my area (the Twin Cities) are polite and helpful and the centers are fulled with workers. It's a good job, hard work but pays well with benefits, and you don't need any college.