I’m trying to look busy as I work my notice at current job* and it’s tiring frankly, because I have next to nothing to do, except answer the phone and shuffle papers from one end of my desk to the other.
There are 10 more working days left until I blow this popsicle stand forever and although I have heaps of cool stuff coming up over the next few weeks, part of me wishes I could fast forward time – I’m gagging to start the next phase, so sue me.
All this has got me thinking about the jobs I’ve had since I left school, some have been truly wacky and educational, while others have been dreadful. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that this job has been the worst, but has it? Worse than the twenty-five minutes I lasted plucking turkeys on a farm at Christmas time? Let’s revisit my CV highlights.
Oldies but Goodies
My first job was doe-eyed care assistant in a home for the elderly (and criminally insane). (Kidding, I wish). Yes, I was a professional bum wiper during my school/college days and mostly, it was a rewarding experience.
My boss, a German lady who walked with a pronounced limp and chewed Nicorette 24/7 made things less bearable. Rumour has it she was a former lush who’d fallen out of a moving plane onto the runway, hence the gammy leg. She fired me for having pierced ears after a couple years of service and by then I was happy to go (how dare a teenager have pierced ears though!).
Slightly awkward when my Gramps ended up there as a resident himself many years later but the staff took care of him until the very end, for which I am grateful.
One December, my BFFs and I thought it would be fun to go and pluck turkeys for some extra Christmas cash. What honestly could go wrong?, we thought. What we hadn’t accounted for was the total horror show that awaited us. Turns out, this was never going to be the sterile scene we were picturing. Instead, we were lead into a barn (Leatherface’s barn in Texas Chainsaw), given gloves and a rubber (?) apron and told to wait.
Knee deep in bloody feathers and god only knows what else, my stomach had already started to turn when the actual turkeys were brought in and hung by the feet on hooks in front of us. We could hear the poor gobbly bastards having their throats cut in the barn next door and it turns out, you’re supposed to pluck your birds while they’re still warm because the feather comes out much easier. In my story I lasted 25 minutes but the truth is, I can’t remember even touching a turkey. I believe I freaked out there and then and was gone before it even stopped twitching, Joanna, Juliet and Faye close behind me.
I’ve talked about my time at Daisy Publications before and to be honest, I still think of it fondly, even though it opened up my eyes in ways that probably weren’t necessary at that age (22). We dealt in an awful lot of filth and now I can look back and giggle about it but at the time, well I learnt quickly that there are pockets of kinkiness all over the place, literally something for everyone. Is that a bad thing?
To each his (or her) own I say, as long as you’re not hurting anybody but my god, I don’t want to see it. This might explain why I’m so vanilla in my old age.
I’ve only ever walked out of one job in an R-E-S-P-E-C-T manner and it was after a short stint at the UPS store in Penticton, BC. The job itself was 90% helping people use the copier but one day the boss was so mean to me because I fucked up some shrink wrapping on some business cards, that I walked into the back, grabbed my coat and was gone before he had a chance to draw his next breath.
I remember that feeling of total liberation as I sashayed down Main Street, hips a swinging like it was yesterday. Looking back that was the beginning of the new life I built for myself, a sassier one where I told a lot more men to fuck off.
Starbucks: The Early Years
I by no means look back on my job as a green-aproned Barista with vitriol, however the early days took a bit of getting used to. This too was a job in small town British Columbia and I ended up loving it but for the first few months it got really tiring being asked if I knew the Queen of England.
The girls too, apart from my beloved Rebecca, all went to church and didn’t like cursing or sex talk, my life blood. So for a while I was the Billy No Mates of Cherry Tree Mall. It changed one day however and I never looked back, moving to Down Town Vancouver and meeting some of the loves of my life.
Those genuinely were the days and although I still remember how much my feet and hips ached after each shift, I sometimes miss the job. I do not miss the toilets, though.
After all this I’m pretty sure I can survive a few more weeks in a job that didn’t work out. I’m not going to let the negatives break my spirit. I didn’t then, I won’t start now.
How about you? What have been your weirdest most wonderful jobs?