I Got The Workin' Man Blues
by Turtle Jones

We think jobs suck. But they are a necessary evil. I mean, it is great sitting around the house for a vacation, but if you are like most people, there are only so many times you can nap or clean the house before you get bored and the walls start talking to you. So you need to work. Don't get me wrong. Some jobs are fun. But some just suck.

Seems like more than a few writers on FTTW are starting new jobs. I guess it must be that time of the year cause I am one of them. Michele has a new boss and well, we just thought it would be fun to talk about those days. The starting a new job memories. I guess this column might not apply to you if you are one of the many unemployed citizens of the world, but you may get something out of it. Who knows.

Turtle goes first.

When I was a youngin', I was faced with a rough choice. I was basically living for free at someone's house in a cool little room in the back. Kinda keeping high and under the radar at the same time. So I had a pretty good gig going there. We raided change from cars and sold drugs for beer money. Stay up all night playing music and sleep all day. As I said. Good gig I had going there for awhile.

Problem was, I was still a kid and the other people I lived with were my parents. I had a separate door to get in but there was only so much they could take. My parents were cool but I guess I had crossed the line. The "what are you going to do with your life" questions changed into "get a fucking job or don't come home" questions. Which if you think about it, weren't really questions at all. More like statements or some shit like that.

mcdonalds.jpgSo after a few months of seeing me sit around drunk and high, an ultimatum was given. Get a job today or never come home.

Whatever, dude.

So after sleeping a few weeks on peoples couches, I started to figure out that they might be serious this time.

After carefully considering my options with my education background and priors with the CYA, I became a full fledged member of McDonalds.

They hire anyone.

I was given my brand new polyester uniform and told to report to work 5 AM the next morning. Well this wouldn't work. That's like 12 hours away and I have to be at a show in like four hours. I probably won't even be back into town until about three in the morning. I'll probably be wasted, too....

But what the hell. It's McDonald's. They work with everyone with a disability. Plus I vowed to stick to alcohol only that night. The show can't be that great, right?

After a few hits of acid and a lot of beer (yes, the show was that great), the magical time came around. I had to be into work. Remember those days before we all figured out that drinking all day gives you a certain odor? Well, this was one of those times. Beer DOESN'T stink as long as you brush your teeth. It is NOT coming out my pores and I am NOT seeing shit out of the corners of my eyes. I CAN and WILL flip your god damn McFuckingHappy Pancakes with a smile.

I poured the batter on the grill and smiled at my boss.

After I got fired later that day, I vowed to always remember that polyester sucks and maybe sofa surfing wasn't so bad after all. - T

Michele feels alone.

I'm not good with change. I hate new things. New jobs, new schools, new friends, whatever. I'd be really happy if nothing in my life ever changed again. So starting a new job is an overwhelming kind of thing for me. Sleepless nights, lots of stress, lots of worrying.

I've had a lot of jobs in my life. So I've been through this many, many times. It doesn't get any easier. First day on the job, it always feels like walking into the cafeteria in grade school. You search for a friendly face, someone who looks like they wouldn't scream "COOTIES!" if you talked to them. cooties.jpgYou try to act comfortable, as if you belong there, but you know damn well that everyone is whispering behind your back about your clothes, your hair, your lack of experience, your shoes, your tits. Or maybe that's just me. I tend to imagine things a lot.

Eventually you find your place. That place may be a far corner, out of the way and away from all the people who have worked in the place for ten years and have their little cliques and clubs. You're Milton and they're about to take your stapler.

Or maybe you're just thrown right in with the lions, and you spend your first few days just trying not to be eaten alive.

Maybe you get lucky and the morale is really, really and no one really gives a fuck about the new hire because you're all in a sinking ship anyhow and one more person just means an extra bullet when the mailroom clerk finally goes postal.

Sometimes you luck out. You end up working in a place where everyone is nice and welcoming and they make you feel at home right away. Sure, they are all high or drunk and the assistant manager takes milton.jpgyou aside and teaches you how to slip merchandise out the back door, but hey, it's like a party in there and that's ok. Man, I miss that record store.

But my worst ever first day on the job came almost seventeen years ago. I was totally unprepared for this gig. I had zero experience for the position and honestly, I wasn't even sure if I wanted it. But sometimes things come your way that you just can't say no to.

So there I was, thrown into this job with only conflicting words of advice from several people who had been in the position before. It was terrifying and overwhelming and from the get go I was sure I was making every mistake it was possible to make. People tried to help but everyone was telling me different things. I decided to just ignore everyone and wing it. Maybe I'd get the hang of it eventually.

By the end of that first day, I was in tears. I could not do this. There was no way. Too much responsibilty. I was not cut out for this.

But being a mother isn't exactly a job you can just walk out on.

Seventeen years and another kid later, I still have no idea what the hell I'm doing, but I'm pretty sure I'm doing it ok. - M

So those are our memories of starting new jobs. I know some people have started more than others, but we all had to start at least one. Unless you won the Lotto or something. Anyways, those are our memories.

Feel free to add your own nightmares to this pile cause we want to hear yours.


My worst first day was about 5 years ago. I had left a pretty good, but highly stressful job to take one that I knew was higher paying and hoped was less stressful.


Took me 10 minutes to figure out that I was in WAY over my head. The office and assistant tipped me off. I didn't need an assistant, I thought, I WAS the assistant.

Took them 6 months. Then I was "Layed Off".

Best thing that ever happened to me, in retrospect.

Y'all should do a LNT about wierdest job interviews... I have a couple for that =)



good idea , deb

that might come out tonight


When I was 17 I had worked at KFC for about a year and got "The Grass Is Greener" syndrome and jumped ship for Burger King. The Colonel is Dead! Long Live the King!
Remember, the drinking age was 18 at the time and very few places carded people.

So the day came. During school that day a friend of mine said, "Hey man, I got some 'luudes? You in?"
"Yup" Then we split early and went to my house and had a vodka chugging contest. I won. Woo-hoo!

4pm rolled around and I was due at work at 5 and I was well and truly passed out on my bed, fully dressed. My friend came in and woke me up, "Dude, you got to go to work."
I get up, jump in my 72 Dart and head to the plaza to get some pants and shoes to wear to work. I still remember trying to keep my finger on a pair of shoes and not succeeding as I said, "I'll tek shese". I got them in a size 9 1/2. I wore 10 1/2. I got some pants, waist 30 inches, I wore 32 inch pants.

The only thing I remember from that first day of work was constantly putting lettuce on cheeseburgers. Why? I have no idea. I had eaten probably 400 Burger King cheeseburgers by that time. I think I kept forgetting either the mustard or the ketchup, but they all got lettuce.

They never fired me from that job. My third day the oh so dedicated workers there told me to clock out and then help them "Clean the Store!!! YAY!!!"
See ya. Pants and shoes in the dumpster and off I went to KFC to "get some food". My boss said, "Why don't you come back?" "How about a raise?" I said. No raise, but I went back.

Except for the one week at BK, I worked at that KFC from one week before my 16th birthday until 5 months after my 18th (when I went off to college) and the only raise I got was when they raised minimun wage.
At least they didn't mind my hourly trips to the dumpster.


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