Archive | June, 2015

Summer Job Memories

11 Jun

I have a summer intern starting at my office next week so it got me thinking about my quest to find summer employment when I was a youngin’.  I started babysitting when I was about 12.  Although I am only 35 it seems babysitting has really changed since I was for hire. First of all, I got paid at the lowest $3/hour and at the highest maybe $5.   I would come home and find a note with a list of names of people who had called wondering if I could sit.  Once I realized I was ‘in demand’ I started to prioritize my choices. Gone were the ethics of ‘first come, first serve’.  Who paid the best.  Who had cable.  Who didn’t creep me out.  Who had normal kids.  Who would come home at decent time.  You get the picture.  At that time for daytime babysitting no one ever left you a vehicle to use (well and I was under 16 for quite a few years), so you were literally on lock down out in the country with the kids. The big reward being I would take my sexy earnings and head right on into the Pace Setter to put a pair of Ikea jeans on layaway.  In grade 11 I made the big leap to getting a job at a gift shop in town and that was actually a really great job.  I worked there for 3 years.  I remember being at a party one night until about 4 in the morning and rolling in for a shift at 8:30.  I slept on the concrete floor in the stock room for 59 of my 60 minute break.   I left this sweet gig to head to Calgary for the summer and live with my oldest brother.  18 and in Calgary with about $400 to my name.  I hit the classified section hard and found myself a job doing landscaping for the summer at Groundskeepers Inc. The girl I got paired with was a super weird chick named Michelle.  Michelle liked wolves.  She was highly possessive of our 1985 Ford Ranger.  She would use the same piece of kleenex all week.  She liked video games, a lot.  I had absolutely nothing in common with her and I had to spend roughly 9 hours a day with her for 3 months. I learned about edging, deadheading, boredom and sexual harassment that summer.  I said ‘Austa La Vista’ to Michelle and returned to Nova Scotia 20 pounds lighter with a nice tan and got myself a job at Shoppers Drug Mart.  I mean, this was what you would call a sexy part-time job in a small town.  The worst part was the bloody uniform.  Oh god those pants.  They were polyester, puffy and tapered at the bottom.  I did everything I could to avoid wearing those frigging pants.  I think I even got written up for not wearing them. So many funny things happened working there.  Requests for sex jelly, hemorrhoid creams and when toilet paper went on sale there was a stampede.  In an effort to have a Monday to Friday job for the summer, I decided throw my pill counter and polyester pants aside and took a summer job at our local radio station CJFX.   From counting pills to writing advertisements… I was using a different part of my brain.  My best ad was for Shergain Feeds and Needs. I wrote a Jerry Meguire-ish ad where I had Gord Cunningham (the announcer who had lost something like 200 pounds, got a sports car and a young woman that year) to act like a sheep and say ‘show me the manure’,  There was no air conditioning, my computer froze at least 12 times before lunch and I did a lot of crossword puzzles. Mary and Ellen, my two main coworkers, were hilarious.  They were about 30 years older than me.  I would highland dance during the ceilidh, hide in closets and scare Ellen, and phone prank Mary.  There was one old doll named Florence who worked there too.  I don’t think she ever had sex and besides my grandmother she was the crankiest creature I had ever encountered. She would march into my office wearing her blouse and skirt set with her finger out, telling me I hadn’t put my traffic order in right.   I also worked as a bartender at our university bar, but that was somewhat cool.  After I graduated from StFX I packed my suitcase and moved to Toronto. I had my tax return and some graduation money in my bank account. No more summer jobs as I was a graduate.  I found myself a full-time job at Pepsi, bought a car and hit the roads…

I wonder where Michelle is, I wonder if Florence ever got laid and I wonder if that guy with the penis so big that he did not fit XL condoms ever found a solution.