Welcome to Top Ten Thursday! I created this meme to add a little bit of variety to Frump Day ( no longer Hump Day, not yet Friday...) If you would like to participate, just create your own Top Ten post about anything your heart desires and add the link below. Everyone is welcome to join in. This should get really interesting...
Most folks, even actors, politicians, and day traders, who have awesome jobs now, have, at some point, worked at some absolutely awful places. Or, even if the place was great, had some terrible days. Here are my examples.
1.Lumper. Yeah, I wondered what that as well, when I answered the ad from the paper. Turned out, Lumpers unload freight from tractor-trailers. I worked the graveyard shift. I showed up to work in gloves and winter coat and spent my nights carrying boxes of frozen food from trailers that were backed up to the loading dock. I had to stack them yay tall and then run round and round the whole stack with a giant roll of plastic wrap. This was during the summer. When break time came, I peeled off all my winter wrappings and went outdoors, into the warm night air. Break time was the only nice part about that job. LOL I worked with some of the scariest people I have ever met, to this day. My hands and ears ached from the cold and my nose was constantly bright red.
2. Toe Seamer. To clarify, toe seaming is not a bad job, usually. I have resorted to that many times and liked it just fine. However, when my oldest two kids were still in diapers and I was married to a jerk that beat me and called me names, who incidentally wouldn't even work in a pie factory, I had the worst toe seaming job ever.
My cousins owned a hosiery seaming business. Larger businesses would send their overload to them to have it sewn. One of the cousins realized that the larger mills were throwing away perfectly good socks each day. When socks come off the knitting machines, they are connected to the previous and next sock by a few strings. Whenever a knitting machine had problems and messed up a sock, several good socks, that were unlucky enough to be attached to the cull sock, were also thrown in the waste bin. My cousin got special permission to haul away the waste from these bins. He realized that someone could sort through these bags of waste, including cigarette butts, spit, lunch leftovers etc..., find the good socks and seam the toes up. Then he could dye and package them and sell them at the local flea market. Nobody wanted that job. Then he remembered that I was in desperate need for money and got me to do it. He payed me .25 per dozen pairs of socks that I found and sewed.. That's just a gnat's poot over one cent a sock! I averaged about $10.00 a day. Ah, who better to kick you when you are down than your own family...
3. Chicken Processing Plant. The mere odor of that place would puke a buzzard off a gut wagon! Terrible, terrible, job. Thank goodness I wore a cover on my head, as I just so happened to work directly beneath a small leak in the conveyor belt above. There was a continuous drip of chicken blood raining down on me. My face and hands were frozen and each night I went home with a sore throat and the taste of raw chicken in my mouth. No amount of brushing or gargling would get rid of this.
4.First Wiper, at a furniture plant. The person up the line from me would spray the entertainment centers with varnish. When they reached me, I had to jump up on the conveyor belt, hang on to the piece for dear life, as I rode it down the line, wiping off varnish with the other hand along the way. The place was too hot and there were no face masks available the whole time I worked there. We were always told that they were on order.
5. Mowing. Had I ever actually used a riding mower, this job wouldn't have been so bad... A "friend" said his dad wanted to hire me to mow this huge field of grass that was next door to his mobile home park. I needed the cash and agreed. When I arrived, the mower was already sitting in the field. I hopped on and he showed me how to start it, popped it into whatever gear made it go, and waved as I went on my way. Both of these guys disappeared for hours. I rode circles around that field, in the blazing sun, needing to pee and dying of thirst, with absolutely no clue how to stop that darned mower. One of them finally showed back up,just as I finished mowing and helped me stop it. For those that don't know, just lift yer arse off the seat and the mower will stop. That's a real handy piece of information to have!
6. Cashier. Again, not a bad job at all, except for these next two examples...
At the first store, I ran register and also scanned lottery tickets and paid folks their winnings. Well, one summer night, the AC was broken in the store. This place was packed and we were allowed to prop open the main doors, with strict instructions to keep a close eye out for folks stealing beer, as it had been a problem. Well, there was a line at my register that reached clear to the back of the store. The rest of the register lines were just as long. Well, just as an African American gentleman approached the counter, with his winning tickets in hand, I saw a Caucasian man making his way out the door with a case of beer that he had not purchased. Thinking quickly, I shouted, "Hey, do you need me to ring that up for you?". Annoyed, he stepped to the counter and I rang up the beer. Now, I only did this to prevent a theft. It had absolutely nothing to do with the skin color of anyone.
I told the A.A. man that I was so sorry and proceed to scan his tickets. That's when it started. He said,"You think you can get away with that sh**, you b*tch?!". I ignored him and continued to scan. "If I was white, that would never have happened!" I kept right on scanning. "You f**king b*tch! I've got something for you! I don't come into these parts without protection." Enough was enough. I stopped scanning, took his money from the drawer, slapped it onto the counter, along with his unscanned tickets and said, "It's time for you to get the h*ll out of my line.I'm not going to help you while you talk tome like that! Even an idiot could see that I called that man into line to prevent him from stealing! It had nothing to do with the color of your skin! Have fun waiting in line at another register!" As I spoke, the woman in line behind this guy was making praying motions with her hands and mouthing to me, "Please, don't! He has a gun!" She was pointing into his jacket. At that point, I was so pissed that I was ten feet tall and bullet proof!
He stuffed his hand into his jacket and pulled out his gun, yelling expletives at me the whole time. The second he did this, I could hear, Ding! Ding! Ding!, as the register drawers of the other three, cashiers, who were men, popped open. In a flash, each one of them was holding his own little handgun, pointing them back at the crazy man. The husband of another employee, who just happened to be shopping there that night, grabbed a jar of Sour Wood honey off a shelf and stood, poised to slam the glass jar into this guy's skull, if he made even one more move. The man kept raging on at me and I kept throwing it right back at him. I am not sure exactly what all was said, as I was infuriated! I have no clue why, but I was so mad that I wasn't scared in the least. Something snapped in me. Finally, one of the guys dragged me into the back room, trying to save me from getting myself shot. Eventually, the cops showed up and took care of things...
7. Cashier Story #2. This happened at a different convenience store. There was a local thug that always came into the store. I'll just call him Jackass He was the type that always broke the rules, just daring anyone to call him on it, so he'd have an excuse to fight. The air changed when this guy walked in. On this day, he came into the store asking for change to put into the phone. Every Sunday he did this. He would drive out to the store, get change, and go to the phone booth and call his daughters, who lived in a different state with their mom. He was usually drunk. But he always came at the same time and then talked to them for hours. They had a standing date. But today was different...
When I had came into work that afternoon, another local guy, Willie, was out front on the phone. As I passed, I heard him arguing with someone on the other end, about his phone being disconnected. He was very angry and was waving his phone bill through the air as he spoke, as if the other person could see him. A while later, I saw Jackass drive onto the lot in his van. He just sat there for probably thirty minutes, before walking into the store. "Who the h*ll is that on the phone?! He's been running his gob for ages!." We told him that it was Willie and that he was having trouble with his home phone. He came to the counter and asked for change, as he walked out the door he said, "Well, I need to call my girls! I'm already late!". Pretending to care, we assured him that Willie would most likely be finished soon. He went and sat back down in his van. A short while later, I heard a co-worker mumble,"Oh no!", as she stared at the surveillance monitor. I went to have a look and saw Jackass storming across the parking lot toward the payphone. Even though Willie was still in conversation, Jackass tore into him. We couldn't make out his words but he was screaming loud enough that we could tell that much Much to our surprise, Willie didn't argue, but rather, he just hung up the phone and walked away. As we were discussing how we might not have handles that so well as he had, we saw something that made us all fall silent.
There was Willie, walking back across the lot to the payphone and he had an axe in his hand! Jackass was oblivious, chatting away and laughing, as Willie brought that axe down upon the back of his head. We all gasped in disbelief, as he dropped to the ground. I headed for the store phone to call 911, certain that I had just witnessed a murder. Before I even finished dialing the number, I was relieved to see Jackass rise up to a sitting position and slowly shake his head. As he blankly looked around, trying to gather his senses, his eyes locked upon the the figure of Willie, making his way back to the truck, with his axe held down to the ground. That's when the confusion in his eyes suddenly changed to rage. He made his way to his feet and broke into a full sprint across the lot, grabbing hold of Willie, who had just placed the axe into the bed of his truck and was reaching for the door handle. From there on out, it was just a matter of giving the 911 operator a play-by-play, as we waited for the police and an ambulance to arrive
Jackass held Willie by the shirt collar and punched him several times. Then he gave him one hard blow that sent him flying a few feet away. He continued in this fashion, hitting him and then walking to where he landed, picking him up and hitting him again, until he had beaten Willie all the way to just outside out front doors. Willie did not stand a chance, as he was much older and out of shape. Jackass then proceeded to pull Willie up to where he was just sitting on his knees, walked back a few steps, and then ran and kicked him in the head. He did this several times. He beat him with the rage of a man who had just gotten his hands on the man who tried to kill him with an axe. Though there were several men in the store, only one of them had the nerve to step outside and try to save Willie. His attempts were futile. He just was not strong enough to hold Jackass back. He did however give Willie enough time to catch his breath. I told those near the door to be ready to let Willie in and lock the door behind him, as I was sure he was about to run inside. I was wrong.
Willie, too stupid to know that he couldn't win, ran at Jackass full charge. They fell to the ground in a bear like hug. They rolled around and around. Finally, Jackass stood up and left Willie on the ground. That's when he leaned back and spat forcefully over the fence, laughing victoriously.I assumed it was one of his teeth. Just then, the police arrived, with the ambulance right behind. I noticed that Willie was holding his hand to the side of his head and blood was pouring down freely through his fingers. Oh my God, Jackass had bitten off Willie's ear and projectile spat it over the fence! Once they were separated , Jackass into a police car and Willie into as Ambulance, it was safe to go outside. I spent the next hour, walking in the grass field next to the store, looking for an ear. It was finally located in a puddle spit and rushed to the hospital, where it was reattached to Willie's head. Though it had seemed like ages, we determined later, by watching the surveillance tape, that the police had actually arrived in eleven minutes. That had to be eleven of the longest minutes in my life!
The story doesn't end there. A week or so later, the man who had tried to help break up the fight, passed away in his sleep from a heart attack. Before Jackass ever went to trial, Willie was found dead in his yard. His truck was running, with the driver's side door open and he was lying by a tree, dead from a gunshot wound to the chest. The police determined that he had propped the rifle up, between his chest and the tree and shot himself. I thought this very strange. If he wanted to die, why would he bother having his ear reattached? Why was his truck running?It made no sense. Anyway, as a dead man can't testify, I don't think anything ever came of prosecuting Jackass.
8. Driving tractor for Hubs, before he was my Hubs. I did it because he was short of help and I needed the extra money. I discovered later that he actually paid me $1.00 less per hour, than men that did the same job. Plus, I actually minded his little girl, in between the times I needed to drive...
9. Garage Attendant. I worked with a bunch of rude guys who punched me in the arm whenever they walked by me.
10. Vinyl Siding Salesperson. These were cold calls. People hated us. We had to make so many follow-up appointments per week to keep our jobs. I hated calling and bothering folks but I really needed the money.