So I Now Realize How Annoying I Was When I Worked…

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I’m a Stay At Home Mom, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting on my ass, eating bon bons and shit since my high school graduation.

In fact, it is arguable that in the few years I did work, I worked harder than a lot of people do in their entire careers. I mean there are a lot of really lazy people out there.

But I’m not here to defend how hard I worked then, or how much harder I actually work now in spite of the whole bon bon joke up above. I’m talking about how annoying I was when I worked, which I now realize to the fullest degree.

Where to begin? I suppose, at the beginning.

Article One:

Yes, I did used to work.

In fact, full time for some of it.

The very first job I ever had was as a Burger Bitch at Burger King. That Burger King no longer exists, actually. Nonetheless, in the late 90s I worked there after school and on weekends.

The craziest thing happened when I worked there, well at least it was crazy to me – a young and relatively naive 16 year old. When it was Christmastime, I had to go to visit my mom in Seattle, so I took two weeks off work and left, completely unaware that I would return to find that everyone who worked there had been fired in this completely idiotic, marijuana-induced Christmas Eve internal theft scandal. Not me, though – remember I was in Seattle. But despite not being there to participate in the stupidest drug-induced burger-related crime ever, no one there as the replacements even knew that I worked there. So they gave me a couple hours a week (assuming I would be stealing like all the rest had) until I decided to find work elsewhere.

So I went to Wendy’s. While at Wendy’s I was awarded Employee of the Month. Probably one of my few award-winning accomplishments in my lifetime. I still have the plaque, and yes I am aware that this isn’t saying much.

Also, that Wendy’s doesn’t exist anymore either.

When I went to college I decided to get my shit together on the job front, so I went to a department store and got a job in Handbags and Hosery. But then they revealed about a month in that they weren’t going to work around my school schedule, so I quit. The department store was Robinson’s May, by the way. That entire company doesn’t exist anymore.

Are you seeing a theme here? It gets worse, and now that I’m typing this all out I am wondering if I am cursed.

After Robinson’s May I went to Longs and worked as a pharmacy technician for six years. I still know a fair amount of drug information, though am also out of the loop on newer drugs and insurance law changes and shit. And I also would never, not in a million years, go back to working in a pharmacy. I would force my family to live in a refrigerator box on the corner before going back to a pharmacy – it was that horrible.

A few years ago all the Longs stores were sold to CVS. So there’s that too.

My last job-job was in politics, after college. First I was a community organizer for the non-profit wing of the AFL-CIO. Then I was a contract community organizer for a partisan political action committee. After about a year the PAC had me do an underhanded smear campaign (against my better judgment) on a local candidate (of the same political party – i.e. one of their own) and I was done. I went back to school, left school, became a Stay At Home Mom and the rest is history.

That was the last “real” job I ever had, with the exception of working for a professor.

And if you are wondering if either of those political organizations exist anymore, the non-profit wing lost its funding a year after I left, and the ladies that founded the partisan political action committee liquidated it two years ago. I am definitely cursed.

Article Two:

When I actually worked for a living, instead of running our insane asylum, I was an extremely annoying person.

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I’m not saying that I am lacking the quality of annoying sonofabitch now. Not by any stretch of the imagination – I know I am a tough nut to crack, a bitter cup of tea, and whatever other cliche you could spew out that indicates I’m annoying as shit.

You get the point and no doubt are nodding your head in agreement.

Now this is going to be quite a stretch, but if you can bare with me for a second and use your maximum imagination powers, think of how unbelievably obnoxious I am now. And quadruple it. Then add ten, more parcels of annoying as balls and you still aren’t even close to how un-fucking-believably annoying I was when I worked.

You know why? Why I lost friends – like literally lost friends – and was excluded from family events because I was so fucking intolerable to be around?

Because I never shut the fuck up about my job.

When I was at Burger King, I told stories about the sauces for the chicken tenders and the episodes with the drive thru timer. When I was at Wendy’s, it was similar only added on were the tales about the times they made me dress up in the Wendy costume.

At the department store, it was constant bitching about how the management was over scheduling me and trying to get me to work when I was supposed to be in class. And about the girl that worked in Handbags with me who I later saw on an episode of Blind Date. I knew it was her, too, because she was always talking shit about Asians even though she, herself, was Asian; and she did it on the show as well.

Longs there were the neverending stories about the customers and the old men that hit on me while picking up their Viagra. There were the tales about insurance problems and how my boss was so seemingly helpless he couldn’t even schedule his employees without my help as well.

It was the worst when I worked in politics, because there weren’t just the stories about what I did at work, but what political bullshit horsecrap issue or candidate I was all fired up about at the time. Health care. Immigration. Gun rights. In-fucking-tolerable is what it was.

Now that I’m heading on to 32, more people I know are getting promotions. Or going back to work after being at-home moms for a while. Even a few are just graduating from college or graduate school. Don’t get me wrong: I am extremely, like over the moon, happy for these people. Their work opportunities are wonderful for their situations. It’s awesome.

I just wish sometimes people could have things to talk about other than work. Like post a Facebook status about what you did with your kids. Or at a family party, could we talk about something other than your innovative quality control systems? There is so much more in this world to talk about than work, and maybe it’s only when you don’t work that you realize that.

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The Burger Queen

For a very brief stint in high school, I worked as a fast food harlot.  Okay, I wasn’t so much a “harlot” as I was a queen, but you get the point.  I was that girl that you can never understand in the drive thru intercom, who chomps her gum in your face and picks at her nail polish, as if you would have no issue with such a food safety standard.  That was me.  I was the girl who would sit in the office, eating my salad, while taking your order and entering nothing into the computer.  “I’ll have your total at the window.”

But I was in high school, so we can all assume that if I worked in fast food now, I may not be quite so obnoxious.  For one, I would likely empathize with the general public more; for two, if I’m working in fast food at this stage in the game, I’m in no position to walk the line between ’employed’ and ‘fired,’ which I was most certainly doing when acting the way I did at my job in high school.  As time goes on, though, I realize that maybe I wasn’t.

Because I would consider myself to be a better employee in a fast food job, I generally expect others to do the same.  When I pull up to the window of McDonalds to get my daily Diet Coke (I’m addicted, and it has to be fountain DC), and the kid looks like he may not even be old enough to work, legally, I am in no way surprised by incompetence.  But when I pull up and see a woman in her mid- to late-40s, I expect better than that.

Now here’s the thing:  my father loves Burger King.  It’s a horrible habit; and I can’t stand the place myself.  But as he says, when you get to a certain age, you should be able to have the few things you truly enjoy without judgment.  Okay, fine – fair enough Papoo.  Although it would seem that service would be important, especially when he frequents the same Burger King so often.  And yet, time and time again, he returns with a story about something going wrong, always at the hands of the real Burger Queen – a woman quite obviously in (at least) her 40s.  Her name is Deloras, and even when it is sweltering hot out, she wears this long, dirty black cardigan sweater over her uniform.  She is constantly annoyed with my father, a sigh and extra chomp of her gum is standard when he pulls up to the window.  Her hair is generally disheveled, and if I ate the food I am certain there would be some of it in there.

I think, pulling up to the window, my father would get the best of service from this woman, the Burger Queen.  For one, he is a “regular” and in the fast food world, that means a lot.  But more than anything, his orders are generally simple.  It seems insane for him to order a medium Sprite and receive a King sized fry.  It seems ludicrous for him to clearly say “bacon croissant” only to receive a sausage breakfast scramble bowl.   Still, these mishaps go by every time he goes.

The ultimate in insults came the other day when he was given his food and the Burger Queen said to him “please leave the drive thru line, sir.”  I was there, he had been polite.  He asked how she was doing.  He paid, collected his food – and was then ushered out before she had even finished handing him his items.  No time to even put the food down and she was asking him to leave.  It was then that I realized, the horrible service would never end; my father will just put up with it, as all fast food patrons do.  The moral of the story?  Don’t eat fast food if you expect good service.  The real moral of the story?  No matter how bad the service, the Burger Queen seems to always prevail.