I’ve been asked the same question quite often lately. You know, when you meet someone new, first conversations turn around standard issues before diving into what it’s interesting, passions and hobbies. Well, question has been what I’m doing now, my current working situation. I’m glad to say I’m employed, and although my job is not fascinating, I’m active, and considering the country situation nowadays, I feel lucky.
It’s not a bad job, not boring either, in fact during peak seasons it can be really stressing sometimes, as shipping, what my direct tasks are related to, is not exact and accurate science, and what makes it interesting, and my skills useful, are those situations I have to trust my experience and use my skills, to sort things out, or at least, reduce the impact incidences make cause.
Anyway, it’s not about my current job what I want to talk about, but about those temporary shitty jobs everybody has to accept sometimes, especially when you’re young, to afford self indulging or buying beer…or whatever.
Never worked for McDonalds or Burger King, I used to be a baby sitter for a whale kid who used to insult me because I rejected to explain verb past tense in French for the simple reason I couldn’t speak the language, I used to teach English for many years, delivered flyers into mail boxes… nothing much out of line I guess. But believe me, I’ve done certain things that I’m glad for not being a shy person, otherwise I’d had ended up crying or turning into one of these Jap guys who never leave their rooms.
And because I’m in a very cheerful mood today, I’m gonna tell you some of the most remarkable.
When I was at the high school I just had a short weekly allowance my parents agreed to give me. I didn’t complain, it was fair and I could handle fine until I started to get drunk every single weekend. Extra money was always welcome and I was up to anything. I think I was 15 or 16, my next door neighbors had a 4 years old daughter you was obsessed with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Remember it was June and her birthday was getting close. Her mother got acquainted with somebody at the nursery the baby was attending, who had a couple of costumes of the mice. I just had to find a partner and we would get 4000 pesetas (currently 24Eur) each, to surprise the girl by dropping by and staying for half an hour. It was horribly warm, we had to wear those smelly suits, and those big clown rubber shoes, but the worst of all, were the giant papier-maché heads. Jeeeez! We had to be very careful not to drop the heads, all the kids were jealous of us because we were having drinks with a straw, and the girl who was super clever, started to inquire whether we ate children, because she could see eyes inside our mouths. We finally got an extra tip for the effort, and went straight to the bar to hydrate.
Being miss XL t-shirt size, going to the beach wearing Doc Martens, I had the possibility to get regular positions as stewardess in congresses. But I had to wear uniform (no problem)… and heels. Medical congresses were my field, because my dad used to visit them as he used to work for a pharmaceutical company, and I got acquainted with some of the doctors, and received a special treatment: presents, better meals and alcoholic drinks for free. So imagine me, in costumes, accompanying doctors and nurses to dinner, getting a bottle of wine, and forgetting I had my sneakers on rather than the uncomfortable shoes… many hours, not well paid, but it was a kind of luxury.
Oktober Fest, my friends! I felt like a mule carrying full jugs of German beer weighing 1,5kg each, my God! Those two 10-day-in –a-row fests, working 10 hours nonstop every day, were the toughest and best trainings I’ve ever had in my life. Team building, stress, busy hours all the time, was to become my daily routine in London a couple of years later at the coffee shop. Still we had time to flirt, make friends, get drunk and have fun. This wouldn’t happen nowadays I guess.
It was after my London years, when I got back home, I experienced the 3 most ridiculous assignments, the three of them in Xmas.
It was a very cold winter in my hometown, and I was receiving some benefits but was totally broke, living with my family again, returning to my college studies. A friend of mine told me she was working for an advertising and promotional company, and told me there were vacancies for season jobs. It was ok for me, although I didn’t have much spare time, but it was ok.
First day, I was given a Santa Klaus outfit, and have to distribute Cash Converters flyers downtown. They had run out of beards, so many people recognized me, which was a bit embarrassing, not for the costume, but because everybody was approaching to me thinking I was giving candies or something for free and I just had a crappy flyer some people even threw onto my face. I spent 3 or 4 days like that. Terrible!
There was another time a friend called in sick. Bullshit! Her parents were out of town and she had plenty of time and space to get laid nonstop with her fuckfriend of that time. Thus I had to go to a big mall and put a page boy costume, assisting one of the wisdom kings to listen to the kids who were delivering their wish list of presents. Everything was very quiet in the morning, we could sneak for smoking sometimes, but afternoon was absolutely mayhem. My friend was shorter and thinner, and the outfit ended at the edge of my butt, covered by mustard panties. Whenever I was bending over, I had 10 old men right behind my back whistling and clapping and whooeeeeing and making noise, so eventually crowds of young teenagers were joining the party. Some dared to take pix of my butt. C’mooooon!!!
After few days recovering my dignity, I received another phonecall. I was starting to be quite pissed off, because the company had advised other kind of assignments and this was like a kind of bad joke. I was starting to wonder whether I’d get paid or it was a fraud. Well, this time seemed to be a bit more serious. I had to work at a mobile store, advertising a company and informing on some Xmas offers. When I arrived, I was surprised by the amazing news. I had to stay on the street by the store, so I wouldn’t bother customers, and be dressed like a green fairy, with my cone hat, and my beautiful ballerina tutu, with temperatures dropping to -4ºC (25ºf), and snowing… I managed to wear my jeans and jumpers underneath, and my portable CD player for 5 looong days. Thinking I wouldn’t meet anyone there, a former teacher from my high school recognized me and stopped by to say hello. He was talking to me as if I was 15 and this was a job for buying books or something like that. I was 24!!!
Thinking of these stories has made me laugh many times, it’s a pity I don’t have pictures, because, as you can see, most of them implied outfits. But seriously, since I was very young I started doing whatever to earn my wages, and I’m proud of it. Suffering a bit of injustice, doing certain things you hate, working nonstop for 10 hours… this is part of our life experience, and at the end of the day that helps you to get a more realistic perspective of what life is about. I don’t regret anything, because every single temporary job helped to achieve freedom and independence.
And now it’s your time, any remarkable horrible or weird jobs you have, please tell me!