This is a popular deal in the blog world, this thing called a meme. It basically means I will now talk about me, me, and me. If you’re really cool and have other blogger-type friends, then they will tag you, which of course means you’re it and have to do the next meme. I however, remain an anonymous lurker, just like you. Yes, you. I see you there. Anyway, here’s my answer to the first question:
Four jobs I have had.
1. Babysitter Extraordinaire: I watched lots of kids from many different families but my worst babysitting job was during high school. Every day after school I babysat for a near-destitute family that had five children and no TV. The oldest child was seven. After an excellent performance review (I taught them to say Please, Thank you, and May I be excused?) I got a raise, bumping me up to $1.75 an hour. I babysat their unwieldy brood while the mom was at work and the dad was away doing absolutely nothing, as it unfortunately turned out. I’d often persuade my sister or another friend to come over & keep me company as well as help with all those kids. I learned a lot on that job: First and most especially, the benefits of reliable birth control; to be very, very careful when considering potential husbands; and how to utilize a sticker chart for crowd control, I mean, to reward good behavior.
2. Babysitting, con’t. Another job I had in high school was babysitting for a darling little girl named Erin, (just one child!) and it paid really well. I was hired by the mother to be at their house watching Erin, basically any time she or the housekeepers were away. The weird part was how the dad would come home but I still had to be there. He’d come home, pour himself a huge tumbler of something brown, and then he’d drink until he “fell asleep.” In the mean time he’d mostly read the newspaper, sit & sing to himself and sometimes he’d play with Erin but whenever she wanted to hear a book he’d say “Maybe Lisa should read it to you.” In retrospect, I suppose I was really there to watch both little Erin & her father, which of course explains why the whole thing was so lucrative. Anyway, after a couple of years the parents got divorced because, get his, the dad was an alcoholic!
And that, my friends, is when the babysitting gravy train pulled into the station. I made some serious cash after the divorce because the mom often needed “Me time” on the weekends so she could go see foreign films by herself or so she could go out on one of her many, many dates. (The dad’s time with Erin was still supervised, and sometimes the mom would hire me for the handoff, but mostly I just worked for her after that.) I was also paid to arrive an hour or two early, watch the mom get dressed & put on makeup and hear all about the disastrous date she’d had the previous weekend. So it all worked out pretty swell for me, especially the part about being paid a ton of money to be a babysitter/enabler/confidant. What I learned? How to appear to listen while carefully observing new makeup techniques such as lightly spraying one’s face and throat areas with Evian mist and then patting it gently to lock in moisture.
3. Drive-thru McDonald’s Wench: There was nothing really noteworthy about that job other than I made some friends while working there that I still have today, 20-plus years later. I kicked butt on that drive-thru window, by the way. This was in the olden days, too, before cushy headsets and all those whiny OSHA rules. Although I did develop a nervous disorder whereupon I still flinch every time a beeper/buzzer/timer goes off in a restaurant. Lesson learned: Get the fries. Get the fries! Get the fries RIGHT NOW!!
4. Head Cashier: I worked briefly at a produce market where I got promoted from regular cashier very quickly, way ahead of the other women who’d been there a lot longer than me and were probably much better cashiers. For example: I’ll bet those other cashiers probably charged the actual prices per pound on produce items, instead of either randomly making up prices or charging a flat $.39 a pound because there was too much memorization involved in learning all the real prices. Besides, who really knows what bok choy should go for and is willing to argue about it?
Nobody in my cashier peer group seemed to be jealous that I’d been promoted over them, which I noticed and thought rather strange. It turns out the owner was a lecherously dirty old man who “liked me” rather a lot, and not in a good-for-me kind of way. Today we’d call it sexual harassment. After he’d leered at me one too many times, while suggestively making one of his double entendre comments, I went home and called in sick for a few days, while I devised my plan for revenge. Finally, I called up and very dramatically quit, right on the spot, with no advance warning. I purposely quit on a very busy day when I knew it would do him the most damage. Ha! Oh yeah, I showed him alright. What I learned: Trust my damn instincts.
Tomorrow: Four places I have lived