Tuesday, December 05, 2006

ippoc's got me thinking about the many bad jobs i've had and all the times and many ways i've been fired.

DerWeinerschnitzels, corner of Blossom Hill and Branam Lane, San Jose, 1980. I was told to stay at the fry station. There were no customers that moment. I didn't want to stay at the fry station. It was hot. I wanted to talk to Alison, the cashier by the cash register. Tim the, day manager, told me to get back on fries. I said i didn't want to get back on fries. it was too hot. after i flipped off Tim the day manager, i was asked to hand in my orangey brown apron and kerchief and to clock out. my days of free chili-cheese dogs were over.

Apple Slide and Design, San Francisco, 1987. I was hired as a stat camera person to do camera work for a business card and letterhead company. I had some previous experience, very little of it, however, in stat camerawork. the owner looked at my portfolio while he argued with a customer on the phone. when he hung up, he asked "you want job?" i said yes because no one else was asking me that question. for the next two weeks he walked past me and shook his head or peered into the garbage can at the wasted photo paper and said, "you not know nothing," which wasn't exactly true. i knew some things, just not too much about stat cameras. my sister would sometimes drive me to work. we would drink our coffee in the car in the parking lot. "shouldn't you be going in?" she'd say,when i didn't get out of the car. everday i wanted to quit. the work piled up. orders came in. his wife usually worked the sales desk, taking orders, but sometimes if there was a rush job, she'd come over to the camera area and take the picture herself. "faster, i do it myself," she woud say. in the end he canned me on a tuesday morning just after i'd entered the building. i can't say i blamed him. i only wished he'd done it before my sister left the parking lot.

Account Temps, San Francisco, 2000. During another unemployed period, i worked temp jobs. one job all i had to do for eight hours was staple forms together. everytime i thought i was done, they brought me more. they marvelled at how fast i was. another temp job was for the Golden Gate Ferry Service. I worked in a trailer by the golden gate bridge. it was smallish this trailer like something to transport race horses. There were five of us in there. my job was to enter in the responses from a survey: "If there was a faster ferry would you prefer it? Yes? No?" At lunch the other trailer dwellers would each heat up their food products in the microwave by my desk. i would open the window to let in some fresh air but it smelled like exhaust from all the cars rushing by. The woman who hired me was former military. SS, i think. she said she'd had some problems with the previous temps. Something about the tight-lipped way she said "problems" made me curious. Had they done drugs out the back of the trailer? Stolen one of their dot-matrix printers? "I don't want you on the Internet", she said, "that's not what you're paid for. You understand?" she asked. I said i understood but there's only so much data entry one lonely temp can do in a trailer filled with exhaust and Top Ramen fumes. i lasted two days before i was told to take my things and leave. i think she'd caught me looking at cat pictures on craigslist. sometimes when i cross the bridge i look for that sad trailer.

14 comments:

Ippoc Amic said...

what about crazy insane granola commanders and city council meetings, hummm "I can't hear you"

marscat said...

i know...but it was getting late.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

marscat wins...


delicious.


though's Lauren's had some flair.


what will ippoc be inspiring us all to divulge next?

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

stupid gramm[e]ar ...

lauren said...

oh my god. i love them, your stories.

especially flipping the day manager off. i want to do that at my current job sometimes.

more stories please. especially granola commanders.

velogirl said...

happy birthday!

I used to hire folks from Accountemps when I worked at Schwab. I don't think I ever hired you. but I would have if I'd known you.

bbelf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Sheez...those are quite the stories. I don't think I'd make it in the trailer, either.

Happy birthday!

lauren said...

happy birthday!

marscat said...

thanks for the b-day wishes. i like birthdays!

Miss Mary said...

i'm looking into my first temp-job so thanks for the stories...

and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

marscat said...

good luck Miss Mary.

they often lead to permanent jobs...which can be good or bad.

Shawn Kielty said...

I really want to tell some story now about working in the sausage factory ... for three days ...

Great stories.

lauren said...

i miss you guys and your stories!

can't wait to hear all about your cruise!

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

come back!!!