Friday, May 22, 2009
Grannie Annie's post about her first job brought this to mind...
When we were unloading stuff at my office after the walk Sunday, my boss remarked that he worked in a warehouse in college, in part to help pay for tuition.
"But my first job," he said, "was as a janitor. I had to help clean the entire Dairy Gold building. I lasted a week." (Dairy Gold is a big dairy in the Pacific Northwest, for you non-native readers.)
I said, "My first job was better."
My boss: "Oh yeah? What was it?"
Me: "I had to call men who had penile implant surgery and ask them how it was going."
Needless to say, that conversation didn't last much longer!
But it's true...while I had earned a little cash doing babysitting from age 13 on, my first "real" office job was in the urology department at Stanford Hospital.
I was taking a "work experience" class in high school, which meant if you had a job and attended one meeting a month, you could have a free period during the day, and this meant I could leave early. I hated every minute of high school, so this was an attractive proposition.
Well...the guys in the urology department didn't explain the details of the position to the department chair at the high school. (She was horrified later, when she found out.)She was told the job involved calling patients and taking surveys...which was true.
So I used my middle name and began my task, at minimum wage, which at that time (1993) was $4.25 an hour. One of the residents thought I was cute and bumped me up to $6 an hour within the week.
Let me tell you - I realized from the first call that the best ones were the ones where no one was home! You could not pay me $425 an hour to do this today.
One guy totally denied having the surgery. "Nope, it wasn't me."
Me: "I'm so sorry - your name is XXXXXXX and you live at XXXXXXX, right?"
Him (clearing throat):"Yes, but it wasn't me."
Another one gave me waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much information.
Him: "Well, after I first had the surgery, I was able to get to the full size I had been before. Then a couple of months went by, and it was only about half the size, and now I'm only getting to be about a third of the size-"
Me: "Well, thanks very much, please feel free to call Dr. K at xxx-xxx-xxxx, BYEEEEEEEEE!"
My favorite was an 82-year-old guy (the ages were on their info. sheets), who said, "Well, the only problem is I've got too many girlfriends now, heh heh!"
I only lasted two weeks - I just told the doctors that I was too embarrassed, and they said they understood.
I used my $60 check to buy a Polo shirt for my dad, and he wore it until it wore out.
What was your first job?
Oh PS...I also worked as a (clothed) cocktail waitress in a topless bar for a month...but that's another story.