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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jobs I Have Had And The Lessons Learned

Cleaning an Episcopal Church and the rectory. I was 12. Here I learned that some men of god have an unexpected appreciation for the most vile pornography and bestiality I've ever seen.

Working at a carnival. Here I learned that nothing is fair and that people will spend an awful lot of money on a crooked game to win a $1.25 stuffed animal, even if they know better.

Working in a parts house. Here I learned that if you put a few really expensive parts where no one else can find them, it's called “job security”.

Working in a women's garment factory. I worked with 600 women and about 30 men. There was always a large percentage of people here in a very bad mood.

Working in a carpet factory. Here I learned that it's better to be friends with the boss than to try to do a good job.

Working on a shell dredge boat in Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Here I learned not to tattoo your girlfriend's initials on your ankle and if you are bending low to step under a cable do not, under any circumstances, absent-mindedly lay the glowing end of a turnbuckle that was just cut in half with a torch in your hand. You will regret it but it only happens once.

Worked on a boat with a seismograph company in Galveston Bay. Here I learned not to fuck with the cook and that, if you get more than 3 Cajuns together, a game of Bourré (Booray) will spontaneously start.

Worked with a seismograph crew on land. Here I learned that if you work seven days a week without a break, any night of the week can be Saturday night.

Worked as an industrial equipment painter. Here I learned that you just paint right over the rust because no one gives a shit.

Worked as a graphic designer and sign painter. Here I learned that people want the absolute best work you can possibly do, they want to micro-manage every pencil stroke and they don't want to pay you. If they aren't crying and bitching, you didn't charge enough. Beware of conversations which begin with, “Well, I don't know anything about art but...”

Worked as a convenience store clerk just off the Tulane quad. Here I learned the love of being extremely rude and giving “real-life” reality checks to arrogant 13th graders.

Worked as a clerk in a porn shop. Here I developed an aversion to shaking hands.

Worked as a bartender, bouncer, door-man and manager at several bars over the years. Here I learned that, in the bar industry, the customer is never right.

Worked at a used car lot. Here I learned to be terrified of buying used cars.

Worked at a pawn shop. Here I learned the value of people's possessions, which is absolutely nothing if they're trying to sell them and expensive as hell if they're trying to buy them. Also, you can actually smell misery.

Worked as a clerk in a liquor store. Here I learned that really pious religious people sometimes like to sermonize while they are buying their liquor. They also like to park way the hell out in the middle of the parking lot so it doesn't look like they're parked at the liquor store.

Worked as a carpenter at nuclear power plants. Here I learned that it's sort of creepy to get yearly statements (just like from the bank) letting you know how much radiation you have absorbed while on the job.

Worked as a designer (the telecommunications industry's word for someone who does engineering work but doesn't have an engineering degree nor their pay) in the telecommunications industry. Here I learned motto's like, “There's never enough time to do a job right, but there's always time to do it over” and “Let the ragged edges drag”. I also learned that companies pay computer people large sums of money to develop software programs that they will roll out before they are ready, force you to use, keep updating and improving them until they no longer function at all, then replace them with another program which is also not ready.

Worked as a cook at a frat house.  Here I learned that no matter how much money your boss has, how nice a car he drives, how well he dresses and how well you do your job, if it turns out that he is a closet crack-head, neither one of you will have your job for long and you will probably work your last two weeks for free because, apparently, crack-heads can disappear like ninjas.

These experiences have molded my life and probably go a long way toward explaining why I am as twisted and fucked up as I am. If you pay attention, you will be too.