Stick a fork in me, I’m done: Part II

If you read the previous post, thank you. You did miss quite a lot about the happenings and as to why I am switching stores. The last post was a tad harsh. I seemed very bitter and a little off putting. I am sorry if I came across as being that type of person.  I didn’t want to create a post where I gave my previous employer a savage beating. I just wrote and let the words flow. I sometimes have no idea what I am typing. I just let the words come to me and after I get finished with whatever it was that I did write, I question it. I think to myself, “did I really just say all that?” I do hope that the next parts do not sway back to be full of pessimistic views but try to be a little more positive. Make this and the next entry a little more upbeat. Believe me when I tell you that I am not that kind of person. He’s to a half full kind of post!

If you want to read the first entry in this trilogy, click this link right here. It’s lengthy. Almost as long as my entire work span at that location. I can give you a quick run down if you choose to not read it. Summing up that post, I basically give a pretty detailed vision as to why I decided to leave. I explained how I arrived there, how things went for a while, and finally gave you the current state of panic and hysteria I endured with countless others. I explained the job I applied for. I explained the call, the interview and the waiting process I went through before the call came in and gave me the news that sent me into my own, Sally Field style acceptance speech. Enough of me talking about the previous post. This is a new post about the final week I had.

The week started out fine. It was going to be an easy week. I at least hoped it would be. People half expect when someone is on their final hours of doing a job, they will give no effort and just milk the clock. They will just do as little as possible until the final minute hits. After that, they are done. They are finished and ready to move on to something bigger and better. I took the other approach and worked liked normal. I didn’t slack off. I jokingly told people that I will start my week giving a full 100%. If something bad happens or if something puts me in a crappy mood, I will knock of some percentage. As I said earlier, it was just a joke. It was me being funny. Why on Earth would I do something like that intentionally? If I did this, I will tell you that the final hour was low. When the final hour hit, I was at a 37%. I will get to explaining that later. I don’t want to jump ahead of myself.

It was a strange feeling knowing that this was going to be my final week. Work was normal. There really wasn’t any chaos. All was the same. Normal day to day routines. Nothing really out of the ordinary. Work is a little tight. It feels like we are short staffed but we always make it through. We gripe and worry about things. We wonder if we’ll get the tasks and job done on time. There is no need to worry about anything. We always manage to come through and never have problems. We think we won’t make it but we do. I know that after I leave, the place isn’t going to fall apart. People aren’t going to start falling my lead and act like lemmings. They will move on to the next day as if nothing ever happened. No beat will be skipped. I was a hard worker but everyone, even me and all my super awesomeness can and will be replaced with another body. They will just hire another body to fill the void. According to some, I didn’t do work so hiring a new body will at least get some work completed. God, I wish I was told that I was lazy. I wonder what the hell I did these 6 1/2 years? You mean to tell me they paid me for doing nothing? Suckers.

As the week went on, it was getting more apparent that I was leaving. I had all sorts of mixed emotions. I was happy I was leaving. I am nervous about starting the new store. I was sad with saying good-bye. It’s not like I am leaving town and never to return. No, that’s not the case. My name isn’t Charlie and I don’t ride the MTA. I will return. I am just a hop, skip and a jump away…if it takes you 15 minutes to do all that. The fact of the matter is that I will no longer work with them. I will never be able to partake in some of the hilarious sitcom situations we got ourselves into. Good lord, I am making my departure feel like some failed attempt at an obituary.

With this being the last week, everything I normally took care of was being taken away from me. I wasn’t handing the jobs to them but I was being taken out of the loop. Calls that normally came directly to me went to other people. Not upsetting. I was more bothered by the fact that since I was still there, I should still be fielding those calls. I will be gone in a week. After that, do what you wish. Until then, this is still my responsibility. I will still take it seriously and be sure the job is done correctly and efficiently. No need to treat me like I am already gone. If you want that, just ask. I will gladly pretend like I don’t give to sheets to the wind. This didn’t cause the percentage to drop. The real kicker happened on the last day. That is what dropped it all the way to a lowly, 37%.

The only real depressing moment this week was having to work a full five days. I still had a holiday left over to use up and was hoping to sneak it in and get a nice three days off before I was to tell them all in my friend Amber’s native language, “zai jian”. With the extra day tacked on, that lowered my 100% a little. I could have said no. I could have totally put them in a pickle but I am sucker for work. Like I have said a dozen times before, I always put work first. Even ever I finally did myself a favor to put myself before work, I went back to my old ways and made work my number one priority.

The week wasn’t a crappy one. It was actually a pretty good last week. What really through a wrench in the whole thing was the final day. The final day of work was probably the worst and longest of the week. I had just enjoyed the last two days off and was not looking forward to the last day. I would have loved to have just called in sick and be all, ‘sorry. I just ain’t feeling it today.” But I can’t. I am not leaving the company. I am just switching stores. My final departure and stunt would carry over and put a bad taste in the mouths of the bosses well before I start my new job in a week from today.

It was 4am. I picked up a co-worker and we on the way to work. I noticed my car was acting a tad funny that morning. I know the alignment is off centered. Today it seemed to really be eff’ed up. My car was taking a nose dive to disaster faster than Charlie Sheen ruined his career. It would be only a matter of time before my sweet car craves for  the taste of tiger blood. I was thinking to myself, “this cannot be happening today. This cannot be happening on my last day.” We were not too far from work when the car decided it was gonna give me the mfs. I stopped the car and put on my emergency lights. I stopped in the road to see what could be the reason for this sudden and pretty nerve racking dilemma. What do I see? The front passenger tire was kaput. It was flat. This wasn’t a run to the gas station type of fix. I couldn’t wing it and take a chance going to work. It was dead. Effin’ parrot.

We had a big catering going out that morning and we couldn’t be late. She called the store and got herself a ride there. She started the food while I sat at taco bell and waited for my knight in shining armor to save me. It didn’t take very long. I was having them drop the car off at my job. I thought about it after he dropped the car off and took my for 70 dollars. I should have had it taken to the tire store just down the road. But again, I put work first and felt like I needed to get there as soon as I could. My mother insisted that he would have gladly driven me up to the store if I had them take it to the shop. That would have been nice but the two truck isn’t a taxi service. With my car sitting outside and with me inside working, I only had the car on my mind. It was all I could think about. Even with having 3 pretty big catering going out at the same time, those sat on the back burner. I cared about my car. I worried about poor Nancy. Luckily this ordeal happened a week before I was to start my new job. It would look bad if I called in the first day with car trouble. That would be a major strike and just set in motion years of turmoil and the idea would be planted in the heads of the bosses that I was a poor decision. Am I thinking too much into this? Would they just brush it off and know that this is just a one time thing and I will be back the next day to start fresh.

I had a friend from work come out to help change my tire. I am not very car smart. Honestly, I know very little about cars. I can probably change a tire if I needed to but I pay people to fix my car. That is their job. Let them do it for me. Let them use that degree they got in whatever school they go to for mechanics and make my car run. We he grabbed a jack and started work on it. He lifted up the car and started to take off the tire. The tire wouldn’t budge. It would not come off. A light bulb went off and he scurried back inside with what he claimed to be a solution. I waited for me and was curious as to what idea was brewing in his head. What could he possibly use to rip this tire off? He strolled back to the car with a sledgehammer in hand. Yes, a sledgehammer. Peter Gabriel would be proud. A friend of his came over and also took part in trying to remove the stubborn tire. They whacked the tire a few times but still the tire was being a whoe and wouldn’t move. “Whack it again. Whack it harder.” I giggled. Sue me. I can be pretty juvenile sometimes. I was getting upset. This was sending me into a bit of rage. How can this be the end to what should have been a bittersweet day? God was telling me something. Is this his way of telling me that I shouldn’t leave? Sorry, God. I like you and all but I am still leaving. You will need to smite me before you smite my car.

I left my car there over night. It sucks not having a car. I can’t go anywhere. When you have a car, you’re not too inclined to start driving around just cause you want to. The moment you lose your mode of transportation, you realize how important they are and you crave the need to just get up and go somewhere. Even if you have no place to go, you want to get in the car and just drive. I arrived Monday morning at the store and waited on a second tow truck. I was having him tow my car and its’ flat tire to the shop. I handed him the keys and he turns it.

Nothing. He tries again. The car wouldn’t start. ARE YOU EFFIN’ KIDDING ME!? I have a sneaky suspicion that they first tow company did this. Where would I get an idea like that? Went I got in my car today, I noticed some lights were on. The tow truck driver must have left them on. He knew that I would check them and when I go to retrieve my car the next day, the car wouldn’t start. He knows that I will need another tow. Since I already have their number on hand, I will call them for service. Those greedy, little bastards. Don’t screw with me. Your little ploy fell apart. I figured out your game. Still, the car wouldn’t start. Another slap in the face.  What else can go wrong? This is not what I need. The car doesn’t start, the tire is flat. Oh, did I mention that a second tire was a little low on air and a third had a nail in it? Now, the low tire is an easy fix. The nail had been in there for I don’t know how long. Whatever. I figured I might as well just replace them all and start fresh. If I am starting my job fresh, I should let my car start fresh too. I explained to them what I wanted. They said they would call me back with an estimate and see if I am okay with it. I hand them my keys and head back home. My mother drops me off and what do I notice as I am about to step out? I have no keys to get inside the apartment. I had given them the keys and didn’t think about removing the house keys. I love how life likes to totally eff with you all at one time. When it rains, it pours as they always say.

Without going on and on about the car, I had them fix it all. Even the crap he said could wait till a later date. Why wait? Why take the chance of having an issue down the road when I could have solved it that day? I just arrived home from the shop. I took a nice hit to the bank account. Actually, my sister did but I will be paying her back once the money arrives to me. What a glorious end to my life and employment at that store. If the car didn’t decide to crap out on me, I wouldn’t have been so angry. I would have just shrugged off the hellish week and driven myself home to nurse a beer. I would drink away the sorrows and drink in celebration. Three cheers for me!

Part III is next. It will be a memorable tribute to the fond memories I had while I was there. I will not be able to remember it all but I will do everything I can to talk about some of the stories that still linger deep in my memory. I will miss many of the people I work with. They are a great bunch of people.


Stick a fork in me, I’m done: Part I

Ever since I was 14, I have held the same job. I started this job for the same reason many kids that age do. I wanted money. I wanted to buy toys, gadgets and candy, candy, candy… I worked at the same store for 10 1/2 years. While I enjoyed what I did, I felt like it was time for a change. Not just a change in scenery but a change in job duties. I stopped doing the whole cooking things and switched it up to stocking hot dogs and cheese. A pretty lame and monotonous. I switched back over to doing what I started out with. It was fine. It was like I never skipped a beat. I was back to doing what I was familiar with and something that I can take pride in. 

Work can always throw a fast one your way. Sometimes things just don’t go right and while you try your hardest to play nice with people, things can get a little unruly and just go sour. It happened once before but since then, things went back to normal. Maybe it was the heavy burden we put on ourselves. Maybe we weren’t ready for such a feat. Things were better the next year. We grow comfortable in our new shoes and we did a damn good job to turn the turmoil around and became a team again. My job isn’t the hardest. We aren’t the only place that gets into this sticky situation. I am just basing this off  of experiences I encountered. Flash forward a few years and what was a thing of the past, started up again. Not cause of the job we took on but a more personal issue. I feel wrong for writing about this. I don’t want to come off as a bitter person about my job but with how things have switched gears to being like it is now, I feel like getting a few things off my chest. Besides, this is about my escape from what could have been possibly the end of me and the career I picked all cause I wanted to buy a crap load of candy.

I am not going to make this into some rage filled post but with all that has went on over the last few months, I felt like there was a bounty on my head. I am not dumb. I know the games people play. I know because I play those games too. I am well aware when I am not wanted. I will take my business elsewhere. Your loss. There is only so much a person can take before the passion fizzes out. I didn’t dread going to work. I like work. I like what I do. I like the people I work with (okay, some). I was finally tired of the constant barrage of being told that I am a lazy mofo who gives too sheets about work.  How does that motivate you to work? How and why would someone want to show up to work when this is the thanks you get for the work you do? How can you give any effort and do your best when all you get it negativity?  While I kept my head up high and struggled with the days of being watched like a would be thief. I watched what use to be a fun and enjoyable place to work as everything and I mean everything, began to crumble on one Wednesday afternoon. It was then when it was apparent that the camaraderie we had was about to take a serious 180. After that day, nothing was the same. It would be only a matter of time before those left standing were forced out or taken out. It’s our choice. Get out before they take you out. I decided with jumping ship. Took a while but finally a chance to start fresh once again fell in my lap. I hope that this is a wise choice. I rather not wind up in a line with others looking for a job when there isn’t any to spare. This is my story. This is what started as a glimmer of hope that turned into a crazy and unexpected week of fun, headaches and money that could have been used to feed and fuel my thirst for alcohol, that is now being spent on more less important things.

It was a few days before Labor Day when I took it upon myself to finally try and see if another store would welcome me in their arms. That isn’t a physical type ‘welcome in their arms’ thing. I don’t like germs and hugging people is not my repertoire of basic human interactions. I applied. The closing date for this position was Friday. It was my day off. I had just arrived home from eating a delicious breakfast at Bob Evans and that meal was so filling, I had to sleep it off. So I napped. The nap was amazing. I can not be for certain how amazing it was but naps usually make me happy. The only time I get enraged because of a nap is if I work the following day. Those naps send me over the edge.

During my nap, I received a phone call that set in motion what will be a change that I see being a great one but still could forecast some sort of impending doom my feeble mind cannot understand. They were calling back to request an interview. How happy I was. I danced. I leaped for joy. I was filled with what something strange. I think it is called hope. I was also getting an interview at another store. It is nice to feel wanted. It’s a nice feeling to have when people want you. I felt like I was the rope in a game of tug of war. These two fantastic stores, battling over who will prevail and who will suffer when my greatness doesn’t fill their store. Sure I am talking a big game right now. Sure my ego is bigger than the breasts on a wanna be porn star. I like feeling cocky. I like having this feeling of knowing that my work is appreciated somewhere else and I am not what others see as just a slacker with a ho hum attitude. Yeah, I am awesome. There is no doubting that. My awesomeness is well worth telling people about.

I went in to the interview with the idea that the job is mine. I was sure it was mine. I mean, I could have waltzed in there and done anything, be it obscure, obscene, or normal, the job is mine for the taking. They can just hand it to me on a silver platter and tell me when I need to start. I don’t do very well in interviews. I tend to get nervous and stumble over the answers. I mean we are being tested of our knowledge and how well we present ourselves. I answered every question to the best of my ability. I am sure that some answers were not what they were looking for but I had to be truthful. If I don’t know the answer, I shouldn’t pretend that I do. After it was over, I walked out and thought to myself on the drive home that I messed it up. I kicked myself and regretted saying some of the answers I gave. Still, I had some thought that maybe, just maybe, I might pull this off and be hired on. They were to call me and tell me their decision on Thursday.

I had already set up another interview with another store as a precaution. If I wasn’t to get one store, I had a fall back plan. I had a great opportunity to get hired on at either store. Biggest problem would be if they both said yes. Then what? How the hell would I make a choice like that? I was just about to head out for the other interview when the store I first interviewed at called me. I got the job! I spoke with the manager for a bit. I informed him about the second interview I was having. He understood and told me to go. I let him know that I was going to listen to both and make a decision by the next day. First thing in the morning I would call each of them and tell them my choice. One will be happy and the other will be upset. The second interview was pretty laid back. I was comfortable and didn’t sweat like I did before. I left with a job offer. I told them that I was offered the other job and had to really think about it. I really had to decide which one will make me happy and be in the best interest of me.  I left the other store and made my way home. I had this weight come off of me. I felt like what I’ve been wanting for many months was about to happen. I was about to get myself away from the constant hovering and ridicules. I was ready to finally put an end to putting work first and finally put me in front. It was about time to finally think about me for a change and not work.

When I arrived home, I pulled out a paper and pen and went to work. I wrote out the pros and the cons of each place. I nursed a beer and contemplated which store to pick. They both had great pros. They both had cons. This was a very tough decision to make. But I promised them both they would receive a phone call the next morning. They did get their call. After the list was wrote and after I looked it over for a while, I had a pretty good idea which place I was going to pick but I still wasn’t 100% sure. I still had some doubts in my mind about whether or not, is this going to be the right move for me? Am I going to make a big mistake if I do this? Will this benefit me in the long wrong? Later that night friends came over and we talked over a few drinks. I dragged myself to bed and within minutes, I was asleep. What a fantastic sleep it was.

It was a peaceful sleep. I didn’t wake up. I didn’t toss and turn. I was out like a light. I am sure the booze played a very big part in that. I woke up the next morning. I stepped out of bed and at the exact moment my feet hit the floor, I knew instantly what store I was going to. I know why I picked the place I did. I’ve been asked why but rather not say. I want to keep that to myself. I weighed the options and one just out weighed the other. I called up both managers. I told one the good news and I told the other the news that I am sure ripped a hole right through his chest.

It was then that I called my work to tell my boss my decision. I had finally done it. I had finally put work second and finally, after so many years of playing second fiddle to my career, I put my life first. And you know what? It felt effin’ great! I am to start on the 26th of this month. That’s not too far away. The worst part of this whole thing is waiting. I had another full week of work to survive. After that, I was to be free. I was ready to start a week vacation to relax, to refresh, and to maybe booze it up a little a lot. I know I can survive. I know this week wasn’t going to be anything new. I was ready to give it my 100% and after that, finally do a ‘mfs’ and say good bye to some of the greatest memories I made in 6 1/2 years.

Keep watching for part II of this post. See how it all played out this week, from the first day to the final hour. 



a fiction of work

This is an old post I made on an old forum I frequently posted on. I felt like sharing it. I will admit, some of it is fiction. Still a good post!

It has been a while since I last posted something of this magnitude. Today is the day it returns. Recently, I have come to discover that I really dislike my job. Elle Oh Elle. I shouldn’t really say “recently”. I have known it for a long time. I just couldn’t come to terms with it. It’s been like this for a while. I usually just shrugged it off as a bad day and cooled at home with a cold one. But the cold ones don’t work anymore. The shots don’t work anymore. The deep breaths don’t work. I even tried saying, “Hoochie Mama!” but that too, was not a fix. It just happens. We all get tired of our jobs and we need to move on.

I am sure we all have been there. We all hate our jobs at one time or another. Some of us hate our jobs since day one. It comes in waves for me. I will like it for a while. I liked my job when I first got it. I was fourteen. I was unaware of what I was signing up for. I practically wrote my name in blood when I signed that application. I remember that day clearly. How? I don’t know. I cannot remember what I did last week but I can remember what I did thirteen years ago. I was cleaning room. It was the big day. I was so excited. I was going to go in for an interview. I was going to win them over with charm and anything else I possessed back then. So I was cleaning my room. I found my way to the closet and started to clean that out as well. At some point, I fell asleep. True story. If I owned a Bible (which is laughable), I would swear on it. I sleep in the strangest places. I can sleep on stairs, on hardwood floors, my computer chair… I’ve slept at school at my desk….I got to tell this side story. I would sleep with my eyes open. Teacher freaked out. He thought I was awake the entire time. It wasn’t until he tried to get to join in on group discussion, he noticed I was sleeping. Okay, back to my strange sleeping patterns. I have slept on the school floor, at the lunch table, I’ve even slept while I took an ASVAB test. They didn’t like that much. Oh…I am not done yet. I’ve slept on bleachers, I sometimes sleep on the bed, I sleep on the couch, I have slept on concrete floors, I’ve taken a nap in the lawn, I’ve slept in an igloo I made, I’ve slept on a coffee table, and oh…I have slept at least standing up once. So it isn’t anything odd for me to sleep in the closet. I haven’t done it since.

Where was I? Oh. That’s right. The closet. (not that kind. I like girls). So I woke up. I combed my hair. I used to part my hair at the side and do this swooshing thing. It was pretty cool I thought. Now, I just wake up, and put on a hat. Or, I save time all together and just shave my head. I shave my head in the winter. But it’s cold! People always say that. Why then? Why not the summer? I started it up in high school and it stuck. So every winter I shave my head. I put on some nice clothes. I walk out and meet my mom at the door. She sighed and shook her head at me. “You can’t go looking like that? You want to look like trash?” She wants me to iron them. I get mad and run to my room. I take them off. Okay. I toss the clothes out of my room and into the hallway. “Iron them please.” And she will. That’s my mom. That’s how she rolls. I wait in room. I eye my room. Nothing was really cleaned. I kept finding things I forgot about and decided to look at them. Don’t you hate that? You really need to clean but find something you lost and spend the next 15 or so minutes looking at it. My mom knocks on my door. I get my nicely ironed clothes and put them on. My mom yells out from the hallway, “Don’t forget a tie.” A tie? Is she serious? I guess a tie will make a better impression. So I grabbed a tie. Amazingly, I tied it myself without any prior knowledge of knowing how. Ask me now how to tie a tie, I couldn’t tell you. I normally keep them tied and just put them on. It saves time. I take a glance in the mirror. I look dashing. Who is that handsome, well dressed man in the mirror? Why it’s me. Nice hair. Never change it. Keep the swoosh. I had style. There is no way they can say no to me. I got a tie on! My pants are ironed! I crack my knuckles and crack my neck. It is time for me make some money. My mom takes me down to the store. This trip was a mistake. I’m taking a ferry ride on the Styx. But what a boat ride it will be.

We pull in the parking lot. My mom asked, “want me to come in with you?” Sure mom. Why not? Maybe I get this job, you can work along side to make sure I am okay. I walk in alone. It was amazing! Look at all the busy people working. They must be so happy having a job. They have to love it. They are all smiling. Joy and happiness was beaming from them. No company would ever tolerate fake smiles. I can smile. You don’t even have to pay me for it. That was then, this is now. You want a smile, hand me a check.

It wasn’t the job I wanted. It was the money. The money was all I wanted. I want money. Money will make me happy. I can buy things. I was 14. I could buy the world! Okay. Maybe I couldn’t really buy the world. Whatever $4.25 a hour will get me, I’ll buy it. Back then, that was a lot of money. It was going to be life changing. I take a seat where the interviews were being held. I glance around. Damn. Why is he wearing a tie too!? What if he gets the job? I check out his pants. He’s got a good chance. His pants were ironed too. But my pants looked nicer. There was another guy with a tie on. What the hell? Does everyone know about the tie trick? But upon further investigation, I noticed he was wearing shorts. No pants on this guy. He lacks the slacks. That’s a plus one for me. There were some ladies there, people older than me and people around my age or just a little older. I sit quietly. My foot is beginning to twitch. It shoots all the way up my leg. Now my whole leg is twitching. It has been a problem for years. My leg twitches. I put my hand on my thigh to get it to stop. But no. It keeps going.

The manager calls some people over. He shakes their hands and looks over their applications. I catch some kid staring at me. Please stop staring at me. It’s really annoying, not to mentioned, really creepy. He must have read my thoughts cause he stopped. Or, I have the power to control minds. Either way, he stopped looking. The room is dwindling down. No one is jumping for joy. Did he tell them no or were they just keeping their cool? I heard my name get called. It shocked me. Okay. It’s time. Here I go. It is time for me to impress this guy and get myself some of that money. I took a seat across from him. He shook my hand. I wasn’t the freak I am now with people touching me. Had I been then, I probably wouldn’t have got the job and probably wouldn’t be writing this for you. He asks about my family. What does your mom do? What does your dad do? School? Why I want a job? I figured those are normal questions in interviews. I was 14. I was a virgin to the working world. The interview was over. It was quick. We parted way and shook hands one last time. The guy who hired me still works there. I am like his greatest achievement. When we had store holiday parties or if the grip and grin tour would come through, he would bring me up. “I hired him. He was only 4 foot and weighed about 75 pounds. Now he is 6 feet and weighs 75 pounds.” He still says that today. He still hold a grudge with me leaving that store.

I told my mom on the way home how it was going to be amazing! A job! Mom! I might have a job! You know how cool that is going to be!? I was on cloud nine at the time. Nothing you could say would faze me. I was sure I was getting the job. I was honest in my interview. I kept eye contact. My mom told me that. Always keep eye contact. So I did. I just had to wait for the call back. I wanted the job. I was so hoping they would hire me. I had a tie on! My pants were ironed! My hair was combed all swooshy like. There was one thing I didn’t thing of. Did he notice my ironed pants?

I cannot recall how much time passed before they called back. But they called back. That means only one thing. He did notice my pants. I was sleeping when they called. The phone startled me. I woke up and answered it. They asked for me. I was all, “Yes. This is me.” I was asked to come in for orientation. I told my mom. She was so happy for me. I got dressed. Ironed pants? Check. Tie? Check. Nice shirt? Check. Swooshy hair? Check. It was time to be a working man. I thought I would be a grocery boy. I figured I would sack groceries. Maybe run and grab carts or something. They had other plans for me. They wanted me to wash dishes. Dishes? Are you serious? Don’t they have women for that sort of job? If washing dishes gives me money, then hand me a wash cloth and point me to the sinks.

I don’t remember all the other people who were hired the same as me but two. I remember those two cause they also got suckered in to the washing dishes thing. One of those two, was the creepy kid who was staring at me. But this isn’t about him. I will save that for later. This was going to be the start of something great. I have a job! I was fourteen and I got a job. This can never get bad.

I was wrong. I was so very wrong.

I spent ten years at that job. I have seen so many people come and go. I watched people leave and laughed. Why would you leave? This is such a great job! I get to eat all day and I am getting paid for it. I should have paid for the food, but never did. It wasn’t like I ate a full meal. I snacked a lot. That was the best perk of this job. I met some great people I am still friends with there. I met my first girlfriend there. She later dumped me. You’re probably wondering why. Or maybe I told you before in a past post. But she broke up with me because of work. Ouch. Work can ruin relationships. That’s not good. I almost died at work twice. Not only did work ruin my relationship, it also is a hazard. I missed a lot of family functions because of work. I worked every holiday. This isn’t what I signed up for. Can they maybe put how disastrous this can be to a person in fine print; I would have never agreed to work here. But no one reads fine print. Like when you have to read all those boring RoC’s or agreements to forums or programs, we all just scroll and click, “I agree.” No telling what those things say.

I am now beginning to see why people hate their jobs. Those people I saw when I walked in for my interview…those so-called smiles? Those weren’t even real. I was suckered in to what I thought was a happy environment. But the money was good. I was getting raises every year. A few times, I got two raises. I was their golden boy. I would come in when they wanted me. I stayed late. I would come in early. Looking back now, I was getting taken advantage of. I feel dirty. I was being used. All I look forward to was Friday. Friday meant payday. The checks just kept getting bigger and bigger.

Soon came full time. Wow. That means I work 40 hours a week and get even more money. But the money wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I wanted more money. So I took on a second job. Two checks paid to me now. I was living it up. I watched my bank account grow. But money wasn’t making me happy. Sure money is nice but it wasn’t making me happy at all. What was making me happy was the people I worked with. They kept me there. As the years passed, I watched them all leave. They switched jobs or quit cause it sucked. Who is the sucker now? I was getting to hate my job a lot more now. I had no one there to talk to. I did but I didn’t like them. They weren’t my friends. It was about time for a change. Maybe something different will make me happy. So I take a chance and put in for another store. I just had to do another interview.

I had everything I needed. I walked in with the confidence that the job was mine. I mean, It was an easy job. I was to stock meat. Anyone can do that. I know it was something that wasn’t challenging enough for me. I just couldn’t deal with the stress the other position gave me. I’m young. I’ll leave the stress for the older people. I have been stressed for too many years. While some kids were playing tag or football, or whatever the hell it was that kids played, I was working. I never had a childhood. I decided to work. That was a bad choice on my part. But working is good. I just think I started a little too early. I am sitting outside the manager office. I am looking at the pictures of the corporate people. I look at the positive, “smile” and “be nice to the customer” signs. I never saw those at my old store. Maybe that’s why no one at my old store did either of those things. They did smile but it wasn’t real. So we’re not going to count that one.

He calls me in the office. Now remember my last interview? The questions about my family, my life, school? Yeah…he didn’t ask those. He asked different questions. Lots of things have changed in 10 years. He asked the questions that are handbook style. He wanted to know who I work for? (the answer is “the customer.”) He writes my paycheck. That’s what I hear all the time. He’s not paying me enough then. The manager wanted to know what the must important thing is. Again, the answer was the customer. This went on for about another four or five questions. I was going to ace this test. I mean interview. He asked about my goals. I don’t have goals. I don’t know. Not to die this year? That has been my goal for the last few years. It’s an easy goal. He wanted to know where I see my self in 5 years. Five years is a long time. Then he asked about 10 years from now. If I didn’t know where I would be in 5, I sure as hell won’t know where I will be in 10. The ‘not dead’ answer, didn’t go over very well. I try my best to make light of all situations ar work. I work with the more boring people. They have no sense of humor at all. Or if they do, it surely isn’t my style of humor. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to joke in the interview. The interview was over. He leaned back in his chair and relaxed. He put his arm behind his head and stretched. Now we were going to be friends. Just two guys kicking it back and chatting. It was now a “you know this person?” thing going on. We got in the topic of my first manager. He was a really nice guy. He was married. He had a little girl. He ran a great department that made money. He was a really nice guy. But it turns out nice guys like blow. He did some bad things. He held up a gas station and now is serving time in an Iowa jail. I don’t know if he is out yet. After hearing about all that, he is still one of my favorite bosses. After our little talk of the past, he shook my hands and I thanked him for his time.

Days pass.

So I am at my job and they call. I got the job. I am 14 again. I got more money. A raise came with the transfer. More money is awesome. Now I can even better things. But will the money make me happy? Will this job make me happier? How the hell did I get it anyway? My interview sucked. Was it my tie? I’ll go with that. The tie is an amazing tool. The last week I was there, I had not a care in the world. I really didn’t. I walked around like I was king. I was getting out this joint. The other store is seen as the better one. All the good people go there. I counted the days down till the very last one. I got there and did nothing. Not a single thing. I just shrugged and was all, “okay. I don’t care.” I clocked out, [fngr] the store and headed home. It was a sad day leaving. I miss a lot of the customers I served. They got me a card and all signed it. Nice to know I was noticed by someone.

Tomorrow was going to be the start of a new day. The start of a better and less stressful job.

The only thing that sucked about the new job was being the new guy. You don’t know anyone. It could be a good thing too. I knew a few people but we worked at opposite ends so we hardly so each other. As the days passed, I got know people. They didn’t seem that bad. They were a lot friendlier than the other people at the other store. To make things better, my job was great. I got there and did my job and left. I didn’t have to stay over to finish things. I didn’t have to come in to play catch up. I did my thing and left. I even had weekends off. Those weekends are all a blur. Lots of alcohol was consumed. My boss began to really piss  me off. He would have me filled something one day. The next day, empty that same one, move it somewhere else and refill it with another product. The next day, I had to do it all over again. This went on for months. Stop moving the crap around and people will find it. Everything should be in its place.

That was always my saying. I said it all the time. My friends thought it would be funny to screw with me one night. I passed out one night when they came over. They went wyld and moved things all around my apartment. I found my microwave in the tub; my clothes were on my bed. Papers were taped or thumb tacked to the ceiling. I had a Boba Fett life size stand up board…he was lying on my bed. I love star wars. Best movies ever. But I lost Boba Fett. I got in a fit of rage one night and tore it to pieces.

One of my couches was turned over. The TV was turned around. Oh…my silverware and all utensils were sprawled out on my dining table. Needless to say, I was pissed. Nothing was in its place. Things need to be in their place. Even if they are shoved under the bed, I know where it’s at. Don’t touch my things.

After six months, I began to hate it. It was boring. It was the same thing everyday. My manager noticed my lack of enthusiasm and asked what I wanted to do. I’ll go back to doing what I did before but do it here. And that is what I did. It was like I never left. I jumped right in. I didn’t forget a thing. Things were looking up. My manager was great. He was blow free. I have worked with 8 different managers. He is like my fourth favorite. So I was back to doing what I hate. I left that crap cause it brought me stress. At least I was stress free for six months.

He ended up leaving. They decided to make me acting manager. I did the acting manager thing before. I hated it. But thanks for giving me this opportunity to have stress again. I missed it. The new manager came in one day to check it out before he started. He met me for the first time. He told people I looked like I was white trash. Okay. So maybe I didn’t do the swooshing thing with my hair that day. Maybe I didn’t shave the 4 hairs on my chin. I can take that. He had this mole on the back of his head that was almost like a third eye. Oh…and he had this gap in his teeth. That’ always irked me. He was always concerned about me and him. He always thought I was mad at him or that I hated him. He was at least right with me hating him. He was the kind of person who offered you gifts and money to buy your friendship. He was also the one who was telling me I couldn’t leave for my grandpa’s funeral. “Why!” He had this real whiny voice when he wasn’t getting his way. “Cause I never really saw him when he was alive. I figured it would nice to see him when he’s dead.” He called me heartless and stormed off like a pissed off princess. He liked to touch people. Not like a bad touch. I think he was the icing on the cake for the “don’t touch me” thing I got. I can’t discuss it…it is too traumatic. What he did was horrible.

He left. I cheered. He asked if I would miss him. “not really.” Then I walked away. I haven’t seen him since. Life is good.

Things were somewhat looking up. I liked the people I worked with. We all got along. We had fun together. New boss arrives. Everyone is on their toes. We normally are when a new boss starts. Is he going to be a jerk? Will he be cool? Turns out, he was/is the coolest boss I have ever had. The blow boss was great to work with, but this guy. Coolest guy ever.

I decided to apply for a different job. Same store, different position. I was in my normal nice shirt and tie and my nicely ironed pants. No swooshing hair this time. I had it shaved off. It went well. At least I thought so. He asked the questions about goals and where I see myself in so many years. He made his decision that day. I was at home and he called me. I didn’t get it. I was a little mad but it passed. What he said to me, sent me into a rage I still have for him and for the store.

Him: You work tomorrow?
Me: Yep.
Him: So….uh…we’ll see then, right?

He thought I was going to quit. When I quit, I think I would go out in style. I need to make it something they will always remember. I had one guy quit with a text message. Then forgot he quit. Why would my manager say that? Did he really think I was going to quit over not getting a job? Thanks for having faith in me.

So my current boss is leaving. I see why. So I figured maybe it is time for me to leave too. I decided to start looking around for other jobs. I applied at a few places. It is a big decision to leave. I’ll won’t be making the same amount of money. As much as I say money isn’t important, it is. Money is always important. My mom always says it isn’t. Why would people want millions of dollars? I bet they aren’t happy. No mom. I bet they are. It’s like when she watches, “deal or no deal’, she likes to figure in taxes. “Why are they so happy? They aren’t getting a million. Think of what it’ll be after taxes.” I can figure it out. It’ll be a lot of money still. Money is important. It was important to me when I was 14 and it’s still important 14 years later. Which is why I have this problem. Do I suck it up and stay at my job and be unhappy making good money or leave and go somewhere else and be happy with less money? I luckily found a place that was offering a little less than what I make now. It seemed like a job for me. There is no food involved. That is always a plus. A job where I don’t have to cook will be like heaven. I’ll never get to experience heaven, so that’s the closet to the feeling I’ll ever get.

The interview went nice. And you know what? I didn’t even wear a tie. They liked the job experience I had. They liked how I have stuck with the same job/company for so long. They want people like that. Should I have told them you’ll get at lest 14 years out of me before I hate it? I didn’t. I left that part out. The guy was really nice. I kept eye contact with him too. But eye contact now, is a lot harder than it was before. Now my eyes like to wander. Plus, when I stare at people so long, I began to look through them. I need to look away. So I did that. He room was pretty bare expect for some award crap on the wall and a picture of a waterfall with a rainbow over it. I liked his tie though. It was green. Green is a nice color.

You know they asked that question in interviews sometimes? They ask what your favorite color is and you can be wrong. True story. I was told a lady was asked that question and said “red”. She didn’t get the job because of that. Thankfully I like Green. Green is the color of money and everyone likes money.

I waited a few days and got a call back for a second interview. I didn’t even know people do second interviews. But oh well…it works for me. I told some people at work about it. They are upset that I might leave. The managers don’t know. I don’t feel like telling them till I decide. Then it will be their problem. So I am back at the place for my second interview. It goes over well for the most part. They can’t pay me what they said they could. They said I need a little more experience and time before they can review me and maybe, maybe being his keyword. Maybe, give me a raise to what they originally offered.

I got really depressed hearing that. But it was the best offer I have got at all the places I applied at. I applied at lots of places. “We can’t pay you that!” One lady, chuckled and said, “Most of our managers don’t even make that.” The guy said he would make a decision and call me back later that day. I don’t know how many people applied but hopefully there wasn’t many. I was leaving his office and heading out the front doors. That’s when I decided to not take this job. It took me a minute for my brain to click, but I knew the guy walking in. Of all things, he was wearing a tie. He looked the same. He was just a little heavier. Remember the kid I told you about who had ESP and was reading my mind? You know….the kid who was staring at me! Yes! Him! The dude walking in was him.

I said hi. He said hey. He works there. I said I was applying. He was all, “cool! It’s a really great place to work.” We said our goodbyes and parted ways. Damn. I don’t like that kid. Not one bit. If I come here, I am going to be unhappy still. I will not work with this kid or around him. So I waited for the guy to call me back. Sure enough, with the luck I have, he offered me the job. I declined it and told him that an opportunity has opened up at my current job that I am filling.

So my job hunt will continue. I need to find a job where no one will know me. I want to be the new guy again. I want to start fresh. I know too many people. Too many people know me. Oh well…it’s just a job. I am just going to suck it up and make the best of it. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have had my mom iron those pants. Oh…I would have kept the swooshy hair cause I still think that’s stylish.