Werk

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.

ruth-caron-57273

Plucking Turkeys

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.

Porn Shop

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.

Packages Ahoy

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?

*Horrible job.

Master of Sex

* Warning: Very NSFW. Sort of *

“How very dare you!”

One of the first office jobs I took, when I was 21, was for an ‘adult’ mail order company. I’d just returned from getting my heart broken in a foreign land (Australia) and swore in the interview, which apparently made me a hot commodity because I was hired on the spot.

A little background: at this age I was still naïve and fairly innocent. The Australian Period was where I learned about sex, myself and the annihilation of the heart and soul. I returned a grown woman in my head but in reality I was still a baby, wet behind the ears.

My job at the ‘Porn Shop’ as it became known took care of any innocence I still had. Named after one of the more cheerful garden varieties (the common or garden Daisy), it was run by a couple who made the Brady parents look like Fred and Rosemary West. They were just so posh and nice.

Behind the façade, however, they had their fingers firmly on the pulse of what was big in the ‘adult’ world and as their Office Assistant, I quickly learnt too.

Of a morning I would come into the office and pack up orders for our customers, seeing way more than my fair share of swollen members before I’d even had my morning cup of tea.

I learnt about piercings in unique orifices, Japanese manga porn (Hentai, if you wanna know); bondage. I discovered The Marquis; Nin and The Story of O; read stories about bestiality that have never really left me (one in particular stands out, of relations between a woman and Silverback Gorilla). I saw a lot and in all that time I stopped thinking about finding a boyfriend because frankly, that much exposure of the carnal kind can kind of put you off.

Daisy’s speciality, their pièce de résistance, was corporal punishment. To me this seemed like the tamest of tame compared to what the Scandinavians were doing, but it was a big seller.

I only left the job when I decided to move to Brighton with my best friend. This coincided with my boss’ decision to start filming porn in the cavernous vaults of the old bank building our office was located within. I drew a line that day. Happy to read it, happy to pack it, happy even to speak to customers and take their orders but don’t make me stand on set while you film it. I shudder to think what my role would have been: half time orange slice, anyone?

Years later my lovely friend P took a job at an adult wholesaler and I found myself once again back on the side of sex. I’d do what I could to help out: review toys, write product descriptions. For a short time I maintained a problem page (think Dear Deidre with Dildos), even tried my hand at erotic fiction. The consensus on that was that it was supposed to be sexy, not funny – and all my romantic heroines were clumsy redheads.

(Note: romantic heroines).

Boxes of the industry’s most innovative products would turn up on my doorstep on a regular basis with my name on it. To most this would have been the stuff of dreams but they came during the height of my loveless and (mostly) sexless relationship and the last thing I wanted to do was ‘spice things up’. So I’d make it all up. I’d give it to my randier friends and get them to tell me about it. I’d hold items in my hands and daydream I was a sexier being. It’s amazing what you can come up with with a little imagination.

I did this for a couple of years. I was pretty good if truth be told. I’d do it again, I tell you.

My lovely mother, during both of these ‘assignments’, was equal parts horrified and delighted. You can’t spend an evening rifling through a box of butt plugs with your daughter and not get carried away in the hilarity of the situation, it’s nigh on impossible. I also used to photocopy amusing/shocking (to me) pictures and give them to Mum and she’d feign being appalled but we all know she showed her friends and colleagues. My daughter the Porn Baron.

What I learnt from both jobs is that now I can talk about anything. Nothing sexual is taboo really and I like that about myself. It means I know how to handle myself when one of my friends asks me (loudly) if I’m a squirter in a pub full of peers.

Sex isn’t all that mysterious, in the end. I may personally never feel the need to dress like a baby or allow myself to be hog-tied but I understand why people do what they do. Let them do it, I’ll be over here being the klutzy heroine in my own story.

This post was totally was for you, Jillian!