Greetings workers of the world! It’s time for another installment of the women at/on/in work series. Today, we will hear from Kelly, who blogs at My Twice Baked Potato. How better to celebrate the job you are in than shirking your duties to read what Kelly has to say about nightmare jobs? (I’m pretty sure your boss wants you to follow your heart on this one.)
Feel free to email me if you want to tell a story about your supervisor making you pick up his genital wart cream or your client who asked you to launder his money. Embezzlers, widget makers, prison wardens, cafeteria workers…come one, come all. (Send me your post at firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is a safe place.
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Lessons from the Nightmare Jobs by Kelly
When I saw Outlaw Mama was hosting a share-your-craziest-job-experiences- series, I knew that I wanted in on the action!
The summer before college, I worked for a friend at a bakery. Not long after starting, I hated my beanie hat and puffy-sleeved dress that initially I thought I rocked! I had “bakery talk” that was stuck in my head no matter what was ordered. I remember a man asked for a BLT and I responded with my usual “Would you like lettuce and tomato with that?” As you can imagine, the man thought I was an idiot. My biggest bakery blunder was when a woman ordered six chocolate croissants and I asked if she wanted them for here or to go? The look on her face told me that she thought I was being sarcastic and mocking her bigger-boned figure. The truth of the matter was…I just wasn’t good at the job.
The next summer, I decided that I was going to make “big bucks” working for a temporary agency. Although I didn’t enjoy being referred to as “The Temp,” I tolerated the job because if anything got too miserable, it was short-lived. Once, I spent three days scouring newspapers to compare ads for tire companies.
The end of my temp days came when I was placed at a technology company to work the phones. Looking back, I might have exaggerated my phone experience. I thought “How hard could it be?” I had been selected to man the phones while the entire company attended their employee picnic. Not long after I sat down, the phones started. Each time I answered the phone, I knew how to begin the conversation, but it was apparent that I did not know what I was doing nor did I understand anything about the business. Let’s just say this…if you left a message in 1987 for someone at a tech company in Washington and they said they never got it…they’re telling the truth.
The next summer was the real nightmare job! I got a job in a warehouse filling snack boxes and walked in sporting a pink polo with the collar turned up and matching pink moccasins. I expected to meet great friends…but instead, was met with less than enthused employees that looked mighty tough compared to my normal crowd. I was put on an assembly line where I was responsible for filling two rows of the box with M&Ms, Skittles, Corn Nuts, Kit Kats, and Fat Freddie beef sticks. I was extremely slow and the rest of the crew did not tolerate it. Repeatedly they screamed at me as my boxes were shoved off the end of the conveyor belt. Imagine a Lucy and Ethel experience except it was just me…without my Ethel. At break time, the group flew down the street on their Harleys to buy energy drinks, cigarettes, and legalized speed at the corner 7-11. I sat in my Ford Escort crying and choking down lunch. After lunch, they decided to really have fun with me. I was told to unpack the back of a truck and put all of the pop into another truck. After what seemed like a lifetime, I single-handedly completed the task. Shortly after, one of the gang informed me that I had unpacked the wrong truck and that I would have to put it all back. The final straw came when I was handed an ordinary kitchen broom and told to sweep the warehouse. Needless to say…I didn’t return the next day.
As horrendous as those jobs were, I think that those skills help me as a parent! I communicate with my son “meaning what I say and saying what I mean” in a way that I didn’t do in the bakery! I can think on my feet much better now than during the phone fiasco! Finally, I now face jobs that initially might seem too big to handle, but I can break down the tasks into smaller bits which I couldn’t do on the assembly line.
So thank you nightmare jobs…I didn’t know it then, but you helped me be the mother that I am today!
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Kelly from My Twice Baked Potato BIO:
At 12 years old, Kelly started babysitting; however, her first “real” job was when a neighbor approached her to help with a “business opportunity.” Kelly was excited about this new responsibility and took her door to door work very seriously. The only problem was that after Kelly completed the job, her neighbor said that she wasn’t paying her because she had offered Kelly a “volunteer opportunity.” To this day, Kelly’s mother will still look the other way if she sees that neighbor coming out of the grocery store!
Today, Kelly is a mother, blogger, writer, and working elementary teacher. She started her blog (http://mytwicebakedpotato.com) as a way of educating others about twice-exceptional children. Although her son doesn’t share all of her interests (entertaining, Twitter, and reality TV), they share a love of games, animals, and staying in fancy hotels.