Tales of a Working Stiff

My look most day at My Retail Job
How I avoid frostbite.

I have been at My Retail Job for 3 months now.  Things are going pretty well.  It doesn’t feel like I got hit by a Mack truck anymore.  I would say it was more like a golf cart.  Maybe next month, it will feel like a 10-speed.  The month after that?  Perhaps a tricycle.

I am enjoying My Retail Job.  It’s fun.  It’s stress free.  I’m feeling more comfortable in my role there.  But I am discovering and seeing things that I don’t usually see in a normal day.

  • The elderly will go to great lengths to save 20 cents on a loaf of bread.  Even if it means spending $4 in gas to do so.
  • I have a bazillion cuts and bruises on my body.  Most days it looks like I got into a fight with a rooster.  But there are no roosters at work.  I swear.
  • By the end of my shift my hands look like that of a Grave Digger.  You don’t want to know.
  • I still don’t like using the walkie talkie, but I’m getting used to it.  Although I still get that little butt pucker when I hear someone ask me a question over it.
  • A man decked out in a dress, high heels and makeup looks like a man decked out in a dress, high heels and makeup.
  • Your extremities can go into frostbite mode when you are in the freezer after about 3 minutes.  Even with a coat, hat and gloves.  Very glamorous.  You wish you were me.
  • Children who surround you like crows on a carcass is not creepy at all.  Especially when they are staring you down.  Having mother there to call them off is of no comfort.  I think I’d rather be chased by a bear.
  • Some parents think the isles of the store is for playing Chase.  Go entertain the kiddies in the parking lot so I can get some work done.  Please.
  • I’m pretty sure I will slice off part of my finger with a box cutter before this gig is up.
  • I cannot for the life of me, fold the top of a box so that it closes.  Folding the top of a box makes the Rubik’s Cube seem like a walk in the park.
  • I can’t figure out how I got this job since it seems that the prerequisite is to smoke.  Oh wait.  I inhaled once when I was 14.  That must count.

The hours are long and I take home enough bacon to feed a hermit crab.  But having my own thing, feeling like I’m contributing and boosting my confidence?  Priceless.  I highly recommend it.  Frostbite, creepy children and all.

Up In Smoke

I couldn't quite pull this off.  As much as I tried.
I couldn’t quite pull this off. As much as I tried.  And I tried.  Believe me.

I smoked.  Okay, I tried to smoke.  I tried to smoke so much that I actually bought a whole pack of cigarettes with my allowance once.  I was 14.  All my friends were doing it so why not?  I wasn’t one to pass on a good peer pressure moment.  I walked all the way (a mile) to the neighborhood deli to purchase this pack of cigarettes.  In the day before I.D. was required.  I was the shit.

My brothers made this really crappy fort in the back yard.  It was made of wood scraps found in our basement and was about the size of a latrine except not as nice.  The parents thought their offspring were being creative and imaginative.  In actuality, this was the place to go to release our “cool.”  Our little fort of crap made from scraps where I would start to “smoke” my first and last pack of Marlboros.

At first, I didn’t inhale.  I know it conjures up images of our 42nd president (don’t be impressed, I had to look that up).  But I am not lying.  This went on for a good week.  Until I inhaled.  What came next was one 70 pound teenage girl bent over a curb outside of the Easy Glider Roller Rink.  As green in the face as what was coming out of her mouth.  With the spins to match.  Yes, that girl was Yours Truly.  That was the end of my love affair with cigarettes.  My parents found out about my little stint with the smoking stick.  A neighbor ratted me out.  But I got the last laugh because I quit anyway.

Since my experience, I have always wondered why people bother smoking.  Surely, I’m not the only one who reacted so negatively.  I’ve asked and the answer is always “you get used to it.”  Yes, and I suppose you could get used to having someone hit you in the stomach repeatedly with a club, but why do it?  I have to say I am incredibly grateful for that night at the curb, Mr. Vomit.  My lungs thank you too.  And my face.  My heart.  My teeth.  Get the picture?  Just Say No.  I didn’t.