After I got out of school for the summer 1987 I got a job delivering pizza. I thought it would be easy since they provided a truck to drive. It was easy getting pizzas to houses but then I got called to these apartment complexes with 20 or more buildings that wound around and around. It was the 30 minutes or it’s free days and I messed up the time quite a bit. Delivery was until midnight during the week and 2am on weekends. After that, I had to wash some dishes. I would end up getting home (still with folks) between 2 and 4am. Apparently the 35 year old boss wanted to sleep with me (I was 21) since he tried to invite me out “for coffee” after shift. I refused and then he got revenge on me by firing me over a tiny thing. There was also this rather perpy girl there who seemed happy when I got fired. I got to go overseas for the only time in my life after that as an early college graduation present then I came back and TEMPED again.
This time I signed up with probably the best known temp agency in the world. They ended up getting me work summers, vacations, and even for awhile after I graduated college.I really don’t remember my first assignment there, but I temped summer until school started in the Fall. I had one assignment that summer that lasted a few days–putting together boxes! It was fun because it was summer and me and the other temps ate outside at a cafe for lunch and even ordered beer. I might have gotten one of my first “light industrial” jobs in a factory that summer, I forget.
The next year I worked winter break and summer break with them. During winter break I might have had the cracker factory job. I started on one part of the line putting the crackers into boxes but ended up taping boxes of oyster crackers and tearing up my hands. It was far from home, it was cold to get there and it started at 7am. It lasted a week.
The following summer, ’88, I can’t remember what assignments I had. I actually had a job doing janitorial part of that summer I remember. The janitorial office jobs stink as they only lasted a few hours a night and paid sh*t. I remember doing the paper taping thing winter break 88 for the agency, though. I worked with a mean nasty ugly white woman that said she was a “Christian” and used to kiss up to the boss and call her her “Christian Buddy”. I got to see this lovely human again at another assignment in 90. I graduated that Winter, and that Spring I got a plum scut job opening up hundreds of magazine renewals a day. It was a long term assignment and I think lasted there 4 months. I even applied for a job there but of course did not get it. I remember signing up for the birthday club and having to bring a cake for someone’s birthday but getting these childish pink cupcakes on mine. That was before cupcakes were “in” again and were only eaten by kids. I was given a day or so of notice and then the job was over. I also got a job in early 1989 right after graduation going back to the first place I ever worked for the THIRD time. I had a new boss and different work. I lasted about 2 months or so then bye bye. The lady who was my boss liked me and brought donuts my last day. That was the only time that ever happened, ever.
I got a job in late 1989 that lasted until March 1990 that was my last job with the service. This time it was data entry, the most complicated job I got out of them the whole time I was there. I was actually on a COMPUTER not filing, or stamping, or photocopying, or taking out staples etc…I got fired from that job. I screwed up and I won’t say what I did. They never mentioned what I did. Instead they said I had an “attitude” problem so they had to let me go. I know they were spying on me but were too scared to say it. Back then, spying on people while they worked was sort of declasse. I then went and became a janitor for awhile which sucked since I had to walk there and back having got rid of my car that did not work. The man that cleaned bathrooms came onto me and I hated that. I had one floor of an office building sans restrooms to complete then go home. It did not pay the rent. I had to move back home. I quit the janitorial job and went to Job Service from my folks house and got one of the worst jobs I ever had.
I was put alone in a room to file these computer punch cards that are no longer used. That job lasted 3 weeks. They worked with aerospace companies doing clerical stuff I guess. I was alone in a cold air conditioned room. When I took breaks/lunch this other employee, this little Asian man, would fake punch me and pretend he was going to attack me. He told me he knew Karate. I was glad to leave even though I cried all the way home when I was fired.
I went to a school for “underemployed” and people getting off welfare to learn word processing. It lasted 3 months. After graduation, I got my one and only job with a real company doing real work. I had benefits even though it was considered a semi-temporary job. Too bad I was young and didn’t get sick. I did get new glasses and my teeth fixed when I worked there. My teeth did not go bad until a few years later when I had no Dental. Despite endless promises they would hire us, it was bye bye after 2 years.
I stayed on unemployment for a few months then got a job at the worst temp agency I ever worked at. I thought it was a good idea because the owners of the company knew my family…I actually got yelled at for doing that without asking by my parents. Was I a dog? No, a ti, and didn’t know it yet. My first assignment was data entry typing ad copy for the paper. It was ok even though people were snotty and left me out. The only problem was that I ran out of work. I had nothing to do. So, one day, I did a crossword puzzle after asking for more work a half dozen times. The boss saw me and I was fired. It lasted a week or so. I got another job for a tiny bit somewhere else doing some other office scut work but ended quickly. Then I got sent to the worst job of all.
It was the “papers” again. This time I actually found my ex-boyfriend working there as a regular employee. It was one of the largest insurance companies in the world, I’ll say that. He was temp to hire. He had turned gay and was living with a man twice his age after a failed marriage. He was liked. He didn’t work on my floor. From day one I was HATED, THE SCAPEGOAT. The boss was this sort of unfeeling gal that always wore the same type of outfit every day. She hated me too. My coworkers included a bitter man who happened to be neighbors to someone who I knew, weird. Another co worker was a mean black girl who was supposed to be some kind of super duper Christian who spent all day in church Sunday. She was mean as a snake and laughed at me. There was another lady who was very overweight and growing out of her clothes. The man, a native American, laughed at her all day, saying her “headlights” were showing. I lasted there about 5 hellish weeks. I was glad to get fired for a “bad attitude” or whatever. I never got another assignment from them and learned the nephew of the owners lived in my neighborhood when I got stuck in the hood. He was perpy and weird and bought something from my family and tried to not pay for it. My sister loooved him though. Some girls gotta have a gay friend. I went up to our local food bank in the neighborhood and was rudely treated by a gay volunteer and my food smelled funny when I got home. The volunteer must have known my sister’s friend because he was all like “there she is” when I came in. da da da.
After that I worked at that famous Scottish restaurant flipping burgers and “closing” for about 6 months. I also dished out hot dogs on game days for another famous corporation and went to school to become a gasp! Line Cook. I was almost 30 and already a born loser. I was beginning to wonder why I was having such a hard time getting a start in life…
One thing all these jobs had in common was that I learned few to no new skills with each new position. It was as if someone was determined I would never learn a marketable skill. It was all scut work. It took more skills to make burgers and fries and pies at Mickey D’s than to do those “office” jobs I got. Pure worthless. By the time I turned 30 I was a prep cook, taking the bus and having no health insurance. Stay tuned for the next installment.
P.S. I forgot the week or so I delivered phone books for some greedy company that paid piecework rate.