My unreasonable hair is reminding me a little of Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction, and since all the clean laundry is STILL down the basement, I'm wearing a pair of gitch so large, I could easily sail a small boat. So, the thought of me mincing around in a sparkly dress with no booze on it (or maybe a little, who knows), and an all-hairs-in-place wig on, while little girls all around me light up with joy--well, that sounds pretty good.
Also, I want to say "gourmet chocolate taster" would be a dream job, but I think it would fill me with stress. Who could ever stop at one?
Oo! I wouldn't mind being a proof-reader, or a writer for a magazine. That would be pretty dope. I lost the contest to become a prominent parents' magazine's newest blogger recently. Oh the sadness! Why didn't they choose me? I tell it LIKE IT IZ. Oh wait, perhaps that is the reason. Yes, yes, it's not all smiles undt sunshine here in angst land.
Perhaps if, after I'd submitted my link to my blog, I had immediately penned an article titled "THE JOYS OF BREASTFEEDING," and then after that, "KIDS--THEY MAKE ME CRAZY, BUT YA GOTTA LOVE EM'!" or, "MY SON MISSED THE TOILET BOWL AGAIN AND NOW MY SOCK'S ALL WET," then maybe, just maybe I coulda been a contender.
Bah. Potty training and play groups. I suppose that's what they think it all ads up to. When we all know the truth, don't we, people. Yes, sometimes after the fifth day in a row of the little people getting up at SIX, when it's still dark outside, and we didn't sleep so well the night before because we catch ALL THEIR COLDS NOW, well, sometimes it's just not possible to blog about all the FREAKING COOKIE HOUSES WE CAN BUILD TOGETHER.
Oh my, do I sound a tad bitter?
So, I think any job to do with writing would be okay. And really--those ladies who work at the "early years" centres? That's a pretty sweet gig. You get to gab all day, and every now and then, pick up some toys. I'll bet they don't hire you unless you have some early childhood education degree, which is funny because I have a LOT of experience picking up toys. Hm...must rethink the zen-ness of this job perhaps.
And so, the greater majority of jobs suck. I am afraid, people. I am very afraid. When my kids reach an age whereby I can "go out into the real world" and get a job again, what the hell am I going to do?!? I have a terrible attitude! I'm a malcontent! I get super bored super easy! And, I mean NO offense to the cashiers out there, but I can't do that again! Serving the public is HORRIBLE. I think I would swallow an entire bottle of (insert NSAID of choice) just so I DON'T have to serve the public. More hyperbole. Whatevs. I'm wicked tired.
Am I being a little dramatic? Am I?!?
Well, let's take a small trip down memory lane then, and remember all the jobs I've had.
Sucko Job #1: Raft Rental Cashier ~ Wave Pool
I live in a tourist town. Most jobs available to teenagers are tourism-related. There used to be a waterpark in town, complete with waterslides and a wave pool. It was pretty fun..until I WORKED THERE.
When I was 17, my parents basically told me it was time for me to get a summer job. So, young self-esteem devoid karen found out through her piano teacher, that a lady he knew was looking for kids that summer for the water park. My stomach flopped, but I applied for a job.
I was hired to rent "rafts," or air mattresses, to people to be used for the wave pool. I had to sit on a stool, under a patio table umbrella, at my little post, INSIDE A FENCED-IN CAGE, and manage the stupid rafts. I had to inflate them, with the little electric pump. I also had to take in the deposit for the rafts. Sounds easy enough, right? Okay, well how about this: in order to rent a raft, the customer had to pay $5. If the raft was returned in the shape it was sent out, I would then give $2 back.
Do you KNOW how many people only saw that the raft rental was THREE DOLLARS, and I had to explain a billion...no, a trillion times a day that they had to pay 5 bucks up front. I got very tired, very quickly of explaining this. So, I made my own handwritten sign:
"when you rent a raft, you must pay $5 up front. Upon return of your raft in good condition, you will get $2 back."
Brilliant. The most satisfying thing was watching the
Imagine, just imagine how many times someone grabbed their raft, squeezed it and inevitably said; "can ya pump it up a little more?!?" No, I explained, I wasn't allowed, becaue if I pump them up too firm, they'll burst. Blah, blah, blah, tongue falling out, yackity yak. Plus, most of the rafts in time developed slow leaks, so I had to pump MOST of them every morning. My fingers soon became raw after fighting with the metal, threaded lids.
Whenever it rained, it's not like anyone was there after hours to put my stool inside either. So, after a good rain, that thing would be like one big wet sponge. I could either sit down and get all wet, or stand the whole day. I had to wear really thick, blue sweat-pants material shorts, a yellow shirt and a baseball cap. Very, very not-cool in the '90's.
One guy took his raft, tossed it into the wave pool and JUMPED on it. The thing burst, of course. He brought the deflated raft skin back to me and was totally miffed when we wouldn't give him his $2 back.
Still, there were some highlights at that job: like the time the French strippers came in, creating a stir at the family park, with their super high healed shoes, and their thong bathing suits. Big Ted, the retired cop who was now park security, could hardly toss them out fast enough. Ah, and I can't forget the time a kid was SCREAMING because a bug had flown into his ear, and his mother sucked it out.
Sometimes I got to work in the gift shop though, where I'm ashamed to admit I swiped, and chowed down a ton of these chocolate/caramel squares.
Sucko Job #2 - Charwoman
Okay, so, for the four years I went to university, I paid my way through school by cleaning hotel rooms during the summer. This was extremely hard work, and I would like to say that those ladies deserve a freaking tip people. Surely you can leave a couple of bucks on the pillow and a thank you note, when you check out of your hotel, provided your room was nice and clean?
I used to have 14 rooms a day MINIMUM, and that was only when the other dirt bag maids weren't calling in sick just for the hell of it, because it was SUMMER and they wanted to go to the beach. Seriously. When those girls called in sick, we all got extra rooms dumped on our list. And guess what--everybody had to stay until until EVERYBODY WAS DONE. So, that means that even though you may have hustled ASS all day, if Sally Slowpoke wasn't done, you still had to go help her. Grumble, grumble. What a job.
Let me paint a little portrait for you:
a young, soft porkchop karen, with delicate sensibilities showed up for her first day of work at the hotel. A hardened maid came up to greet her at the lobby, then proceeded to lead her down, down, down past the nice rooms, down past everywhere, and down to the BASEMENT where the lunch room and lockers were.
There was no mistaking it for anything but a basement, because there were pipes and such snaking across the ceiling. karen was given a grey, prison-issue smock to wear, so karen threw this on over her shorts and t-shirt. karen would be training with Marg (rhyms with 'argh') that day, and Marg had very little empathy, patience, or even general people skills.
Marg was a petite beast of a maid, and she whipped through there at a pace that poor butterlegs karen could barely keep up with. After whizzing through who knows how many rooms, they got to have a break. Back down to the basement...and it was the good old days, whereby smokers could still smoke wherever they wanted to.
So, karen sat in a room filled with hardened, slightly miserable, overworked maids, who smoked, and smoked and smoked, and complained, and swore, and used grammar that karen knew was simply incorrect. And then, it was back to work.
karen busted her nuts, if you will, for several more hours, had a lunch break somewhere along the way, and then was spat back out of the hotel at quitting time, completely exhausted, and shell-shocked from the rough and tumble women she'd encountered.
karen's brother was there to pick her up, and she happily told him; "wow, that sucked! Good thing I'm not going back tomorrow!" karen's brother, incredulous, said; "but you have to! You have no choice! You need the money to pay for school." Tender, soft hearted karen, now filled with despair, burst into tears.
And so I went back to work. I stuck it out. I even had my own floor eventually, and my own cart. Here are some highlights from that job:
* one time a kid called me "the janitor," and for some reason, that was more than I could bear
* after a team of baseball players checked out, my entire floor was DISASTROUS. I particularly enjoyed finding that the garbage can had been used as a "loogie" bin the entire night in one room, which was DISGUSTING, but I suppose I should count myself lucky, since other ball players on another maid's floor had used a garbage bin as a barf bucket. And guess who had to CLEAN that people? It wasn't like we could just go get a new garbage bin
*sometimes Stan, the BIGGER boss, and total A-hole, would go around the bathrooms and spray straight bleach on the tiles to get rid of the mildew, and we'd have to scrub it. MMmmm....nothing like sucking bleach fumes all day. I heard that chainsmoking jerk tried the nicotene patch at one point, but would peel it off to have a smoke, then stick it back on again.
* none of the maids liked cleaning "the bottom Sixes." This was a very small floor of rooms, (in the 600 series of numbers) way on the other end of the hotel, in the basement. These rooms would usually be rented last, and the rumour was that the evil hotel people would rent them to tourists who didn't speak very good English. Terrible, but I think I believe it.
These rooms ALWAYS smelled like mildew, and were always damp. There was no cart down there, to carry cleaning supplies, so whichever maid won the "bottom sixes" lottery had to carry a plastic basket of supplies instead, and had to keep running back to the linen closet to get sheets and towels. Total pain.
Also, there were bugs down there. Weird bugs. There was this thing that was kind of like a huge, walking mosquito with no wings. I threw the telephone book at it, and the book bounced off, the thing uncrumpled itself and kept on walking, until I finally crushed it for good. Shudder. But the best part was the linen closet, which had a rodent trap in it. A GIANT rodent trap in it. Too big for a mouse, ie., and tied to the wall with a rope. Yeah.
* Once, a nice single man with some tour group stood and yapped my ear off for a bit before he checked out. Then he left and said his room was available to be cleaned. So, in I went and found that he had picked his nose and wiped everything he got out of his shnonk on the counter. This was particularly confounding since he'd just stood and chit-chatted happily for like five minutes with me.
* There was another block of rooms that were always rented after all the others--the "bottom 9's" (900 series rooms). These too, were the lowest rooms, but they had patio doors that opened to ground level. One time my job for the whole day was to be in the bottom nine's scrubbing mildew off the walls, and vacuuming bugs (none of the rooms had been rented out). Those roly-poly potato bugs would just march right under the doors into the rooms.
* never put your ice directly in the ice bucket. Just take my word for it.
* we loved it when tours of old people would come through. 70% of them never bathed during their stay, so, no tubs to scrub. Hooray!
*Speaking of old people, there was at our hotel, briefly, a kookoo maid who would just fold those sheets and blankies back up and tuck them back in, if she'd had a tour of old people stay in her rooms. Sometimes those teeny elderly tourists hardly even wrinkled the sheets, so she figured they weren't dirty. Yeah.
* I don't know about other hotels, but those blankets and comforters on the bed only get washed once or twice a year for spring cleaning, or if there's an obvious stain on them. The laundry people, who worked in constant thousand degree conditions, would get P*SSED OFF if we maids requested more than one clean bedspread per day. But then, the laundry people hated the maids, and the maids hated the laundry people. It was one of those weird, unspoken rivalry things. I had to go to the laundry one day to pick up a king-sized bedspread. Those women were URGLY.
*We would frequently be out of supplies, and because the maids were the ultimate pee-ons in the great hierarchy of hotel staff, new supplies wouldn't necessarily show up too quickly. So, we all soon learned that we could clean the tubs with those little complimentary bottles of shampoo.
*We ALL hated cleaning the suites that had jacuzzi tubs in them. Those things were a total pain.
*eavesdropping on lunchroom conversations could be a total treat at times. Once a maid tried to emphasize just how tired she was at the end of each shift: "At the end of the day," she said, "I'm comatoast."
- once a few maids were discussing a woman they knew whose man had cheated on her. "If that were my husband," one of them said; "I'da CAUTERIZED him." The other maids all nodded in agreement. "Yeah--cauterized him."
*that hotel no longer exists.
Stay tuned for PART TWO, where I will rant about more sucky jobs!