Friday, May 22, 2009

First jobs

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.


Granny Annie said...

LOL! I doubt anyone will be topping this one. Have a safe holiday weekend.

Scarlet said...

Wow! This is hilarious!! You make my first job (telemarketer for a lawn care service) sound so lame! :)

I also sold sausages and cannolis at the Italian Festival every summer...which was a blast because I had a thing for Italian guys back then. (Still do.)

I cannot TOP your phone job or your topless bar experience. Again, wow!

Fireblossom said...

Oh I might have known you'd find a way to work Richard into your blog LOL.

My first job was as a student assistant at the local library. I made a dollar sixty five an hour. I was 16. But you know what? From reshelving returned books, I learned so much about who had written what and where to find it. I have always been a library and book store rat, and it was the perfect job for me.

Sidhe said...

That is waaaayyyy too good! My first job was selling candy and pop at the pool. Not nearly as good as asking adult men about their penises but I did get to see lots of cute boys in their swimsuits (and, it was in Germany...lots of Speedos!).

Shionge said...

Yo...this is so funny and what an experience huh?

As you read about my 1st pay check post, I worked in this drug store at a hotel and so all sorts of guests walked in to buy magazine, cigarettes, candies....medication plus condom.

I was on 18 years old and totally naive and innocent (I swear :)) so was didn't think much about when I pack it for the guys.

Now I know why they looked so embarrassed :) Now I know why condom always sells very well with KY hahahahha..

happy workend RK :D

Word Geek said...

Wow. That's one inappropriate work experience placement. My first real job involved laying out the dead, as I worked in a nursing home and was one of the few non-superstitious workers there. Creepily, I kinda liked it. The bodies of incredibly old people who had died peacefully and were no longer in discomfort, and whom I had liked, just never freaked me out.
It's not like this was a weekly occurence or anything - we weren't killing them off!
BTW my non existent blog post is fixed now :)

Aliceson said...

You would never get me to do that, but this is coming from the girl who hates her current job at a dairy farm. Yummy! One of my first jobs was at a shoe making factory. I cleaned the leather shoe uppers, kept a nice fume buzz all day. ;)

Phil said...

LOL, my first job was at a Baskin Robbins and I was terrible at it! I couldn't remember all the ingredients that went into each sundae. BTW, I too was a cocktail waitress at a topless club, except I chose to go topless to just to fit in. And because I've got the pecs to pull it off.

skyewriter said...

You win for funniest first job experience.

My first job was at 15; I worked for $2.35 an hour (minimum wage for that time) at a mom and pop ice cream shack on the road back from the beach.

I got to meet lots of cute, tan boys in swim shorts... no sausage slings like in Sidhe's experience :).

LL Cool Joe said...

My first job was when I was a student, and in the summer holidays I worked at Wimbledon Tennis Club in the Competitors bar. I served all the famous tennis players of the time with strawberries and cream. My friend at the time, served them with much more than that! She managed to sleep with loads of them!

I've always missed out on all the action my whole life really. :D

Anonymous said...

Mine was too boring to mention. I give you the trophy for this one!

Darth Weasel said...

eh, first part-time job was awesome; "lumping". Dad was driving long-haul, I got to go with him. If we had to unload the trailer by hand, we got 40 or 50 bucks each. Today? totally not worth it. 16? 40 bucks was a lot of money to me back then. Plus I got to work with my Dad, so it was cool.

First "real" job? Burgerville. What is it about fast-food workers that they think the world is coming to an end if someone has to wait 4 minutes for a burger? I have waited an hour for a TABLE at some restaurants, 3 or 4 minutes is nothing. But watch the average fast-food worker and note their sense of urgency. If we could get that S.O.U. from our 'leaders" we would actually be getting somewhere.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that fast-food workers might, penile-survey workers notwithstanding, might be the most underpaid, overstressed people on the planet.

Claire said...

Best first job ever!


pheromone girl said...

Mine was boring - I can just hear the men, talking to a pretty young girl on the phone... hysterical!