Do You Want Fries With That?


My son got a job today delivering pizzas. He’s had one or two jobs throughout his high school career, neither lasting longer than 3 – 6 months either due to lack of hours, or he had to quit because of football season. Regardless, I’m glad he found a job because he needs the cash before he goes to college.

This reminded me of all the jobs I held since I was his age. I really had to strain my memory on this topic because we’re going back a number of years (frankly, I’m too lazy to do the math right now), but most of you already know how old I am, so does it really matter?

My first job I got when I was 14. It was waitressing for Sambo’s restaurant which turned into a Denny’s, which then became vacant, which is now called Dino’s Cafe. Frankly, I couldn’t believe the guy thought I was 16. Yes – I lied about my age on the application. Back then, they didn’t ask for proof of age and basically took your word for it. I explained I could only work on weekends because I was a Lancette and had practice every day after school. “No problem”, he said. I got a uniform, a name tag, an apron and sensible shoes.

I sucked at it. “May I help you?”, was the most over used phrase in my vocabulary. This quickly turned into, “What the hell do you want?!” Well, I never said that, but sometimes I felt like saying that. Where was Ed Debevic’s back then?

The point was driven home when my family came in for a meal. My mom, dad, sister and her boyfriend, (now husband), sat down in my section unexpectedly. I was excited to see them, but a little nervous serving them since I had only been there one week.

When I got home from work, I said to my dad, “How did I do?” He said, “You did great except for one thing.” I said, “What?” He said, “You took away Bill’s plate of food while he was still eating.”

I laughed. “Really?” “Yeah. He had his fork up to his mouth, and you just took his plate away!”

That was the only job I ever got fired from. My first job and I got fired – talk about a confidence booster.

I worked alot of retail: Just Pants in Woodfield, Fashion Nation, Express. I loved the discounts you received working there so you could buy the clothes and wear them to sell. The downside was that I never saved any money – I was always spending my paycheck on clothes.

I worked for an attorney while I was studying to be a Paralegal. This was probably my worst job. It was a white knuckle drive all the way from Schaumburg to Northbrook with no easy way to get there. With close to an hour’s drive in good traffic, my attorney boss was a hoverer. He sucked the life right out of me while I could feel his breath on my neck as I worked.

The job was pretty mindless. Filling out forms for real estate closings was not my idea of riveting work. I was hoping for more meatier stuff like divorce or murder cases, but this guy handled real estate and probate…..BORING. So, after being chastised for leaving the copier machine top up rather than down, not highlighting a certain word on a document, or not using the appropriate tabs for signatures, I decided to leave Stalin and look for other work.

This landed me in Rolling Meadows with the bathroom stalker (see earlier post). But, I eventually moved up and got transferred downtown where I got to experience being a slave to the train schedule, but had a really cool boss who liked to drink at lunch and turned lunch into an all afternoon field trip. About 4 of us once a week would have lunch and drinks and then head to other places for more drinks. I came home on Fridays with a hangover!  Although I really enjoyed working downtown, it made for a really long day (especially on those Fridays when I never returned to work!). And, I don’t care what anyone says, crossing that river in the winter time SUCKS even with the warmest coat on!

I worked for my family for awhile, which although fun, I needed more of a challenge and room for growth.

I think my worst job was working for a construction trailer company. My boss, who was a woman, thought I was a threat the first day I was there. It was a very tedious administrative job, and I often asked her for more to do. After awhile, I was shoved into the warehouse where I started tearing down trailers with sledgehammers so they could be built back up for spec. I have to admit, that the sledge hammering and nailing were alot of fun, but after six months of getting the cold shoulder with the other girls in the office, I just couldn’t deal with the pettiness any longer and found a contract position with Tellabs.

That was the best, most rewarding job I’ve ever had, and I ended up staying there over 10 years. But, as the years went by, my mind wanted to do more creative things and so here I am with my own business as a Web Designer.

I make a mere pittance compared to what I used to make, but I make my own schedule, and love what I do, plus my health really won’t allow me to do anything else, so I guess it’s a win/win for now.

Matt will have more jobs after this pizza delivery gig, I’m sure. I’m just glad he got a job so he can now stop asking me for gas money!

What was your worst and best job you’ve ever held?

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8 thoughts on “Do You Want Fries With That?

  1. It’s hard to pin down my worst job, because there are some contenders. But here goes. Worst ever? Working at a florist shop on Roselle Road when I was 14. The owners were drunk by the time I arrived after school and more drunk when I left. I have a brown thumb, so I overwatered/underwatered the plants. But I became a queen at making bows! Freshman year, I went to the Christmas dance with Dean. His mother called in my corsage order and I saw it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I was not having a pin stuck through my fabulous polyester blush colored dress. And I knew it would have to be anchored to my bra strap. Back then, the corsage would have outweighed the boobs and I was sure that I’d spend the night fussing with the damn thing. Oh, and the colors were WRONG. So I made my own gorgeous wristlet that was a perfect match for the dress. I feigned surprise at how perfect my wristlet was when Dean arrived at my house to pick me up!

    1. Haha!!! Dean Gronemier??? SHUT UP! And you made your own corsage???? LMAO!!!!! Did he ever find out about it???

  2. Second runner-up in the worst job contest? Marty Shelly convinced me to became a cleaning lady at the Holiday Inn in Itasca, where she was cleaning and occasionally bar tending at 15! What a hell hole! My parents were shocked that I’d take a job cleaning hotel rooms and probably wanted to send a picture of my bedroom to whatever moron hired me, but I’m sure they wanted it to go down as one of life’s valuable lessons. It was the most disgusting job, cleaning smokey rooms that had an after-burner odor of whiskey. I learned that people were messier than I was, which is hard-won competition. And I have been forever creeped out by the memory of numerous used condoms that freaks would leave on their nightstands in lieu of tip money. It was nasty business and I only lasted a couple months.

  3. Second runner up to the shitty job contest? Working as a clerk in a car dealership in Wheaton on Roosevelt Road while I was in college. It wasn’t enough that I had to listen to car salesmen laugh at how they screwed car buyers. No, no, it gets better. Spending a year being pinched, tickled, chased and kissed (not by choice) on the lips by the scumbag owner. I was finishing up the sales paperwork one night. The doors were locked. Suddenly the lights went out except in my office, just the showroom adjacent to my office. Frightened, I got up to see if I had been accidentally locked in for the night! Holy Crap! When I walked into the showroom, the owner grabbed me from behind, spun me around and shoved his tongue down my throat. (I was 20.) Poor man! He was unaware I grew up with two older brothers close in age and I knew how to fight dirty. From time to time, I wonder if his winky ever worked right again after I slammed my right knee into his crotch hard enough to double him over. Also, I wonder if the hearing ever returned to his right ear, hopefully damaged by my piercing two-finger in the mouth playground whistle that can bring a cab to a dead stop in downtown Chicago. I quit that night! I grabbed my purse, took the keys off his desk, unlocked the door and bolted, after taking a shitty waiting room chair and slamming it against the glass curtainwall in the showroom, causing a spider-like crack about three feet in diameter in the curtainwall glass. Wonder how he explained that to his insurance carrier — broken glass. . .from the inside!!!! Bastard! I guess that one was Number One on the crappy job list!

    1. Wow! You got me beat by a mile!!!! I’ve had guys get “fresh” with me on the job, but NOT LIKE THAT!!!

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