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The Working Man

Just a quick nod to Rush, you know…

A few days ago Kim posted about her worst job experiences ever.  Really, in that regard, I’ve been fairly lucky.  Most of my jobs have been pretty decent.  Hell, right now I’m vacillating back and forth between doing some work, cruising blogs, and sitting in the other room in the office where several of my coworkers (including my boss) are busily flipping back and forth between two or three of the conference tournaments.  (And if I had some work that I could reasonably be doing at the conference table, you’d best believe I’d be in there, too. )

My worst working conditions are easy, and I’ve already covered them:  the summer I spent working in the tobacco fields.  Bar none.  Slave work – and I mean that historically literally.  But I was doing it with good friends, and nobody was being particularly sadistic about it, it was just the shitty nature of the work.  (And the weather.)  So compared to many of the jobs that I had later in life, if I could have physically done it still, I might have had to think seriously about going back to the fields.

For instance, the job my first summer after the fields, when I was 15.  My dad sniffed around and found me a job at a farm supply store just outside town.  I had to go get my worker’s permit, and even cut my longish hair since this was a real deal kinda job.  Then I went to work…with the biggest raging bitch I’ve ever had the displeasure of working for in 20 years of employment.  She was okay to look at…actually, if she’d been 30 instead of 40 I probably would have spent a lot of time drooling because she had a really nice body.  But holy hell, that first day on the job she gave me so much shit that any thought of being sexually attracted to her went right out the door.  And for a 15-year-old guy, that takes something.  For 15-year-old ME it was downright miraculous.

There are many reasons to hate the woman and the job.  She didn’t trust me to run the cash register, but she strangely occasionally left me alone in the store.  She raved about how messy the warehouse was (full of 50-pound stacks of animal feed of various kinds) but never gave me time enough to clean it before sending me outside to mow the lawn or do some other junk task.  All things considered, I thought I was doing pretty well.  Especially considering most of my day was spent loading 50- and even very occasionally 100-pound bags of feed into peoples’ cars and trucks at a time when I weighed probably 120 or so.

But the real kicker was the “photographers.”  The Friday when I overheard her describing her height, weight, measurements, and the fact that she was “very proportional” over the phone.  And when my only other coworker, a 22-year-old guy just out of college,  had to go to her place on the following morning to get the keys to open the store, and she greeted him, bleary-eyed, in a nightgown…with the “photographer” and his “assistant” still at the house, in the background.  Uh, yeah.  Stuff like that.

Comparatively, the four years of hauling lumber, manually carrying drywall in July, stacking mortar until it mixed with the sweat on my arms and hardened, going through a semi-truckload of shingles a week after a hailstorm tore up rooves all over two counties?  Piece of cake.  The handicapped woman with the horrendously shitty attitude and even more horrendous personal hygiene?  Not so bad.  Even the psycho hose-beast who made everyone’s life in a whole department a living hell and surely must have dirt (or bodily fluids) on the boss to keep him protecting her after a half-dozen people complained to everyone up the chain of command except the governor?  (Yes, literally.)  Horrid, but still not that bad.  Since I wasn’t old enough to drive, my dad dropped me off every morning and my mom picked me up every evening.  My mom still talks about how nearly every day I’d get into the car saying “Do you know what that woman did today?!?”

Yep.  So here’s to you, hyper-bitch-slut from hell.  You win the booby prize.  And every time I go by that place and see it now…boarded up and grown over with weeds…I laugh and laugh.


4 Responses

  1. I did some writing (births, deaths, marriages) for the lcoal paper and worked as a fry-cook/assistant manager at an A&W…nothing to exciting. But we had younger girls to look a that weren’t so bitchy…

    Ah, yes. Nice scenery helps. My worst jobs had 1) a lovely view of the 4-lane highway outside, and 2) a cubicle with my back to the doorway.

  2. *Shudder* I’ve never understood how people can stink. I’m sorry – that’s so very easily remedied and even enjoyable; why is that so hard for some people? It makes nice people seem weird and mean people seem like they just stepped off the last train from the tenth level of hell.

    I could elaborate but I decided to spare you all. I can’t figure out how to give more info without it being totally disgusting. (Which it was in RL. After several “talks” with her from the supervisor. A few months after I left they ended up strongly suggesting she take early retirement, and she did.)

  3. Your description of her attractiveness going out the door (especially for 15-yr old you) was extremely clever!

    It’s the truth – a shapely female held absolutely no interest for me. This did not happen often from the ages of about 14 to … hmm, how old am I?

    Seriously, though, her ex-husband occasionally came into the store. He seemed like an affable, happy guy. It didn’t take long to figure out why he was so happy!

  4. OH MY GOSH….what a crazy sl*tty biatch, hahahaha…like that photog-thing did not happen…really???!?!! Wow….I think my worst job was my first one when where I worked at a laundromat and I knew nothing but they would leave me there all alone which was awkward ’cause they also had a cafe to manage, and we also provided a service of DOING PEOPLE’s laundry, aka, the grimy men who would stroll in with garbage bags full of laundry for me to do…ughh….

    Did the photog-thing happen? I can’t be utterly sure, as I was only there for the phone call, so I only have the word of the other employee as to what he saw at the house. I don’t know that he had a real reason to lie about it, though – and he wasn’t there when she was making the phone call so he wouldn’t have known to make his story match with mine.

    The laundry, uh, yeah. There are very few people whose paths I cross on a given day whose laundry I’d willingly do. Ugh!

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