I’ve had a lot of jobs in my lifetime, by virtue of my incredibly wishy-washy personality. Typically these jobs are in the customer service industry, which is unfavourable for me because under the best of circumstances, I’m extremely ill-equipped to deal with the general public. Positions that require a good deal of customer service skills and pretend, bullshit happiness are not my bag. Unfortunately for me, (truthfully, it’s unfortunate for everyone who is forced to be in my presence) I consistently find myself in these types of jobs. The real struggle however, typically exists with my coworkers. No I don’t want to work with you, I want to work alone. Focus groups? Fuck that. Meetings? I’d rather be naked, rolling around in the snow. Any work that requires cooperation of any kind with others, in a position where I’m not the immediate leader of the sheep? I’m out. Reason being, I’m somewhat arrogant, and a little entitled. I more than likely think that whatever you’re doing, it’s wrong, and that I could probably do it better than you. How dare you tell me otherwise, Sharon. These are the things I have to swallow (or really poorly attempt to swallow) when I force my disgruntled face into an uncomfortable smile every single day. What makes it worse is that I’m dealing with people’s petty, exaggerated issues with whatever service I’m representing. The service of which I’ve done none of the work and gotten all of the shit for. I’m sorry that you’re taupe paint you ordered is actually more of a soft, koala skin brown. What can I do to help you? Can I throw the paint can at your face and watch you bleed out of your eye socket?
Without further ado, here are a few jobs that I’ve failed miserably at. (I swear one day I’ll find someone I’m good at.)
- A Waitress. Being a waitress is kind of like being a babysitter for fully grown, dysfunctional adults. Depending on where you work, that is either an exaggeration or a gross understatement. My first introduction into this glorious profession was at the local syphilis-ridden dive bar when I was still 17 years old. During this time, it didn’t really bother me, the vomit cleaning and the drooling, stuttering men. I was just stoked to be behind a bar with a drink gun in my hand. However, the second my boss told me that he’d give me a $2 an hour raise to waitress in a bikini I dropped my towel – akin to a mic drop – and bailed. (That’s a thing right? Bartenders always have a towel.) A few years later, I found myself being hired for a new bar that was set to open in the coming weeks. (Coincidentally, it was the renovated, newly owned bar that I had previously worked in) It was a disaster for so many reasons, the kitchen crashing, the inability of waitresses to comprehend sections, to name a few. However, in my first month of working, I was on my 8th straight shift in a row. I was leaning against the bar, as my feet felt like I had just walked over a pile of lego for six straight hours when my balding, insufferably annoying boss approached me asking if I had checked on my only table in the entire restaurant. To which I responded, “Yeah, like six fucking seconds ago.” Needless to say, the next day his wife, my other boss, sat me down and said: “It’s clear this isn’t a good fit for you.” So I was unemployed, once again.
- A Construction Cleaner. Once I was so hard up for cash, that I hit up my best friend at the times father for any work that he could give me. To give you an idea of just how hard up I was, her and I lived in HIS rental unit and we each paid $200 a month, utilities included, to live there. Somehow, I still struggled to make that work. He had a renovation company in the town we lived in, which I always assumed was a front for some kind of laundering operation. Needless to say, he needed someone to essentially chuck pieces of scrap drywall and metal out of a two storey window into a garbage bin below. I worked for, not even kidding, two hours before I realized this may be the worst decision I’ve ever made. Do you know how it feels to have drywall dust ALL up in your eye balls? Felt like I just trudged through the Sahara desert during a dust storm. The agreement was that I was to stay until the entire place was cleaned up. After 6 hours of what I considered to be the most back-breaking labor I’ve ever had to endure, I straight up decided that I had had enough, and that my work day was finished. My boss for the day wasn’t interested in that, and in order to get paid for the sub par work I had already done, I had to stand in front of his house, banging on his door until he finally answered the door. Needless to say, that was the last of that endeavour.
- A Customer Service Representative. Might be my longest enduring and least suited for position. It has come to my attention throughout my years as a front desk monkey that I’m not super great at pretending to give a shit. And, I’m a hyper-emotional type of person, I have this deep inability to live my life through rationality and logic, over emotion and feelings. Due to this, I often let my emotional immaturity over come me when I’m at work. As an example, I recently had a week off for Christmas and New Years. For the first time IN MY LIFE, I’m in a salary position. So, not only did I have time off during this magical, loving time, I was still getting paid to enjoy this time. Upon arriving back to work, it took me almost an entire week to get back to my normal self. I was having this self-involved, self-coined experience called post-christmas blues. Nearly everyday, someone asked me if I was sick, or if I was okay. No I’m not sick, Louise. I would just rather be at home, playing house and having sex instead of sitting here, stewing bitterly about how I’m underpaid and underworked. Boredom sets me into narcissistic spirals of anger and bitterness, something I try to avoid. But, most importantly, I’m just not one of those people who will move mountains to help you out with your shitty problem. If you’re running away from your abusive husband with 4 children in tow, homeless and crying. I’m ALL over it. You need me, and I’m into it. However, if you’re pissed that the radio program that you listen too FOR FREE, is 37 seconds late to air, and you call me – your point person for bullshit complaints – to tell me how mad you are I’m going to have a hard time not only caring, but being nice at all.
- An Unpaid Field Assistant. When I was in school, a requirement of graduation was to complete a week of field school, to test a research question developed by me and a group of fellow students. As you would assume, this included walking, hiking, trailing, a lot of bullshit exercise that I don’t have the time for on a good day, let alone as a requirement to graduate my program. When I first was made aware that Field School was a thing, I became nauseous at the thought of my fellow students becoming alarmingly aware of how divinely out of shape I was. Our very first day there, we completed a lovely hike up a mountain (probably more like a hill, but I’m a drama queen) where I immediately fell behind to the back of the pack and had to have a babysitter accompany me up to the top because we were in bear country and needed to stay in pairs. This was made worse by my incredibly intelligent decision to get a tattoo that covered my entire thigh, the day before we left. It had become so well-known that I was a terrible hiking buddy that my group drew straws to see who was stuck walking with me. Whoever was with me would have to listen to an endless barrage of complaints. Why was it so bright? I feel like I have shin splints. How much farther to the top? Should we stop for two seconds? Why is it so hot? Why is it so cold? My head hurts. I can’t catch my breath. This is the day I die. You get it. By the end of it, everyone was really happy to be able to go home and not have to endeavour into the wilderness with me ever again.
It might be a generational thing, the unwavering entitlement to have a job that not only pays well, but appreciates you, understands your talents, is flexible, gives paid vacation and 20 sick days a year. Has a comprehensive benefits package that includes massages and Tai Chi classes. Is accommodating to spells of depression and severe moodiness and has an intelligent and well-organized management team. And evidently until I find that, I’m stuck job jumping like a 20-year-old with permanent existential issues.