OK I’m gonna go ahead and throw out the few horrific times that people were dumb enough to entrust me with the care of their children. I mean in all honesty, I wasn’t really working, so much as visually ensuring that the children in question were still alive.
My first actual job with a paycheck and benefits and stuff was telemarketing. Thaaat’s right. I was one of those awful people who interrupt your dinner asking if you’d like to sign up for one of their many tempting (not) offers like a JC Penny card or a health insurance supplement. It was mostly a soul-crushing job, and I’m proud to say I got not only my first ulcer while working at this place but also my first migraine (the first of many to come, I might add). To this day I get annoyed with people who make jokes about calling telemarketers while they are eating dinner. It’s an AUTO-DIALER, the employees have no control over who they call and when, and the dinner shift pays better. As for why they don’t take ‘no’ for an an answer? They’re not allowed. They have to give a certain number of rebuttals before they’re allowed to hang up. You don’t like it? Take that finger of yours and hang up the damn phone. YOU won’t get fired for it and it’s nicer than swearing a blue streak at the person on the other end who really is just doing their job.
Oh, and about just doing your job. I had a guy tell me once that he knew I was just doing my job but I should get a different job. I calmly explained to him that I lived in a small town where my only career options were telemarketing and flipping burgers, and telemarketing paid better. Plus, I couldn’t get a job in food service on account of my high school GPA was too high. Go fig. So then I told him if he had a problem with he could go…uh…well, I got a little rude after that. Then I gave him the 800 number to dial customer service if he had any questions regarding the call. 😉
It was the longest 3 months of my life. It wasn’t all bad though. I befriended a nice tattooed man and his wife who took me to their tattoo artist for my very first tat. On my lower back. Nothing beats standing there with your pants halfway down while your coworker and his wife are behind you going “Hey, it’s turning out really well.” Gawd. I also had money for the first time ever, so I was able to do stuff like put gas in my car and drive it, which is pretty much the number one ambition of any teenager. Oh, and I met a gay guy in training who was nice enough to explain what a Prince Albert piercing was, since he happened to have one. Ouch. And I befriended another coworker who used to swap migraine meds with me. Course I might not have needed them without the job, but that’s another story. I also occasionally talked to a really interesting (lonely) person on the phone who had something to say that really made my day, like the time I sold an insurance supplement to an old lady who advised me that if I was ever attacked by a man I should “Grab him by the ring dang doo and pull as hard as you can.” That lady was AWESOME.
Oh, and there was grilled cheese. This dude in a food service truck came every night and sold food to us at dinner time, and he made fantastic grilled cheese. Now that I’m vegan I have hot dreams about dipping two golden slices of bread with gooey melted cheese into a vat of Campbell’s tomato soup. That’s probably a story for another time.