“I don’t wanna work, I just want to bang on the drum all day.” – Todd Rundgren
Top 10 Strange Jobs You’ve Had
…but I’m going to change it a little and give you:
Top 10 Jobs I’ve More or Less Gotten Fired From
Through high school and college, before I found my calling as a writer, I had a lot of different jobs in the service industry.
Unlike Stasha, I had at least 10 jobs before the age of 20.
I was surprisingly good at waiting tables, and probably because I’m sociable I enjoyed it. The problem was I
had have a Big Mouth, so I couldn’t keep my trap shut whenever I had a rude customer.
I’d lose my temper. I’d say awful things that everyone thinks but nobody says. Once, for example, while in college I was waiting tables and also taking an art class – and I lectured two men on the virtues of the painter Edward Hopper – they wanted to move to another table that didn’t have Edward Hopper postcards laminated into the tabletop. They said it was pornography.
I chastised them for mistaking art with pornography.
Oh, and did I tell you these men were monks? They weren’t dressed like monks, and this was Mill Valley, California – but they were actual monks-in-training from the seminary in, of all places, Mill Valley. (Who knew there was a training institute for monks in M.V.? This would be the equivalent of finding a barefoot Afghani goat herder herding goats in downtown Baltimore. You’d just never think you’d see it.)
They still insisted on moving to another table, but at this point it probably had more to do with them wanting another waitress than it did with Mr. Hopper.
After I’d lose my temper I’d spill things. But never on nice customers.
I’d compulsively tell people what I thought of their assholic behavior. It was like I had a special form of Tourette’s that only afflicts waitresses who are about to be fired. I was stuck in a repetitive and predictable equation:
Rude Customer + Me Telling Them What I Think Of Them and/or Accidentally-on-Purpose Spilling Something On Them = Me Getting Fired (repeat ad nauseum)
This kept happening until I found my groove and started working as a writer – and I was never fired again. Well, not so far.
And let me tell you: I am polite to the wait staff.
Top 10 Jobs I’ve Been Fired From
(Please ignore the psychotic formatting going on in this table. WP is messing with my table.)
|Job Description||Reason for Getting Fired|
|Peppermill Girl (age 19). “Wanted. Girl to wear a flame-red satin gown with slit up the side to serve trays of hors d’oeuvres to lecherous businessmen in the lounge.”Length of employment: 2 weekends.||Customer asked me to come up to his room.Me: “But I don’t even know you.”Him: “I’ll give you $100 bucks to know me.”I poured a bowl of dipping sauce on him & walked out before they could fire me.|
|Lifeguard at Beach Pool (age 18). “Wanted: Trained lifeguard who knows CPR, lifesaving, & how to clean up poo to sit in a chair all day long doing nothing but getting sunburnt.”Length of employment: Under 2 weeks.||Had to throw a teenaged boy out of the pool for rowdiness. He came back in and went poo in the middle of the bathroom floor! and I had to clean it up.I quit, but mostly because I was bored stupid sitting up in that chair. It was nothing like Bay Watch!|
|Sandwich Maker in Deli (age 17). “Wanted: Sandwich maker in upscale health food deli. Pref. someone who does not accidentally lick fingers.”Length of Employment: 1 year.||I had just started & was making a customer a sandwich. After putting the mayo on the bread I licked my finger!Right in front of the customer!I didn’t get fired but that embarrassing!|
|Waiting Tables in a Busy Tourist Cafe (age 20). “Wanted: Kick-ass waitress with ADHD to multitask in busy tourist cafe for the Saturday 9-to-noon shift. Pref. someone who can be polite and does not lose temper.”||Unbelievablyrude customer made the mistake of snapping his fingers at me in addition to being extremely rude. I had 18 tables & it was busy so I told him to go home and “cook his own g.d. eggs.I also sort of accidentally spilled milk in his lap. But the regulars clapped!Boss fired me after my shift – said: “Do us all a favor – don’t ever work in the service industry again.”|
|Counter Person at Run-Down Salmonella Deli No One Ever Went To (age 16). “Wanted: 1 person to make sad tuna salad, chicken salad, and crappy sandwiches in our sad deli that doesn’t get any customers while listening to Todd Rundgren in the back.”Length of Employment: 1 summer.||Got into a spat with the owner who kept asking me to Windex a spot on the deli window that was permanent. Fired.|
|Working in an Organic Ice Cream Store (age 17). “Wanted: Ice Cream scooper who loves ice cream.”Length of Employment: 6 mos.||I loved working there & got all the ice cream a person could want but I couldn’t figure how to do the till at the end of the night so they had to fire me. I suck at money & math.|
|McDonalds (age 16). “Wanted: Cashier who can tolerate polyester and is able to shout.”Length of Employment: 3 shifts||This was my first job & I got it because a friend was working there and told me it was fun.I quit because I didn’t want to shout “Ordering! Big Mac!” to the kitchen, and there was polyester involved.|
|Passing out Leaflets for a Health Food Store at the Mall, Dressed as a Giant Avocado. “Wanted: Someone who has the courage to dress up like an avocado at the mall.”Length of Employment: Two weeks.||I had to hand out leaflets at the mall dressed as a giant avocado.A lot of kids from school would come to hang out there and I didn’t want to be seen dressed as a giant avocado so I spent most of my time hiding in the bathroom.Got “upgraded” to sandwich maker and agreed to work there as long as I didn’t have to wear the costume.|
|High-Impact Aerobics InstructorLength of Employment: 4 years||I was really good at this one. I taught up to 3 classes a day through college and after getting my first “real” job as a technical writer. I never got fired but my knees are shot.|
|Domino’s Pizza DelivererLength of Employment: 3 weeks.||I didn’t want to deliver to frat parties because I knew some of my fellow students at these parties, and I was embarrassed to be seen in my Domino’s Pizza getup.|
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