Tag Archives: barf

Resume of a Teenager

Since I wrote a blog entry the other day with a topic that covered one of my job duties as a teenager, I been cruising up and down memory lane with respect to all the other jobs I held.  The following is basically my teenage resume.  I think you’ll find it very impressive.

Baskin Robins 31:  I started working when I was fifteen years old.  I would ride my bicycle and park it in the back room of the ice-cream shop.  I was scooping ice-cream for a paltry $2.10.  The minimum wage at the time was $3.55, but the child labor laws did not seem to bother the owners of this fine upstanding community business.  The crooks that owned and ran the place paid me in cash and a free cup of ice-cream after every shift.

Taco Bell:  Later, I landed a job at Taco Bell.  When I was on break I would alter the foil disposable ash trays (yeah, it was that long ago) to read “Taco Hell”.  It’s fairly easy to change a “B” into an “H”.  I actually got “fired” from this wonderful position after only a week and a half.  You see, when I was filling out the application there was a line for stating your age.  The required age for the hours that they wanted me to work was sixteen.  I was still only fifteen at the time.  When I filled out the application, I fudged my “15” to look like a “16”—a sloppy five looks like a lot like a six.

So this blatant lie caught up to me as they were filling out the required tax forms for a new employee.  After working a full week and half, the manager informed me of my dismissal and actually said that he wasn’t sure he could pay me for the hours I already worked.

I told him I was sure they could.  And they did.

Arby’s:  I once refused to clean a bathroom that was covered in barf.  I’ve cleaned the bathrooms a zillion times before, but on that one particular night I took a stand.  I informed my manager that I don’t get paid enough to deal with that mess.  I was willing to resign my glorious position and go work at the McDonald’s down the street.  The manager (a nice guy) actually agreed with me and he cleaned the mess up himself.

Thing is, he didn’t make enough money for that task either.  I’m not sure anyone does.

For the record, it was the girl’s room.

Best Warehouse:  This job was only available to me during the Christmas seasons.  I did two tours of this duty.  There was this electronic store that sold televisions and other large bulky items.  A small team of four people and I would be working on the storage side of the warehouse which was located on the second floor.  There was this tiny little dot matrix printer that would kick out an “order” for some customer that was somewhere down at the bottom of a conveyor belt.  The “order” would be a brief description of what the item was, which aisle held the item, and finally which shelf would I find the item sitting.  My job was to grab the order, run to the location of the product, carry the product to the top of the belt, put the product on the conveyor belt, send it down, and then grab the next order and go again.  This conveyor belt ran down from our nasty warehouse to the beautiful showroom down below.  Our customer’s were always beaming with smiles as they would see their product moving swiftly down the belt into their arms.

Well no one told me how to properly place a twenty-seven inch television on the belt.  That was a “huge” television back in those days.  The proper way to place it on the belt is to make sure a corner of the box is pointing down the belt.  Doing it this way, the box won’t flip and roll down the conveyor belt.

You should see the look on a customer face when their brand new television comes rolling down the conveyor belt toward their happy little face.  The expression goes from joy to horror in an instant.  The customer at the bottom looked up at me a politely asked me to retrieve another one.  I reversed the belt and brought the television back up.  I properly sent down a different television—correctly angled this time.

I put the “rolled” television back on the shelf for the next customer that ordered one up.

Balloons To You:  I held a position as chief balloon inflator—a title that I gave myself.  This job’s duties were exactly what you think they are: Blow up balloons and deliver them to the address that you’re told.  Most of the deliveries were to weddings.  Letting go of balloons just after getting married symbolizes your previous single guy freedom escaping your grasp.  Oh relax.  I’m happily married and if you ask my wife, she’ll confirm that.

Anyway, the interesting aspect of this particular job was the major balloon launches for grand openings of large businesses—thousands of balloons.  This is accomplished by starting at 10 pm.  You enter the bottom of what can best be described as a very large bounce house.  Ours was shaped like a giant hot air balloon.  There is just enough room inside this inflatable structure for four people to stand shoulder to shoulder in a small circle.  Once situated, you start blowing up balloons from a helium hose that has four nozzles.  When the balloon is fully inflated, tie a super fast knot and let it go.  It comes to rest on the inside the ceiling…and then you do the next one.  And the next one.  Until finally, there are no more balloons to inflate.   This usually takes all night.  Typically the finally balloon would be blown up somewhere around eight in the morning or so.  This job is an all-nighter.

You finish, wait for the business to give you the nod, pull the cord that opens the top of the structure, and all the balloons float away.  Ten complete hours of effort, for what?  If the breeze is typical, you can see the balloons for about ten minutes.  Yeah, that’s worth it.

Revco:  See blog entry here.

Man Tech:  Not much to say about this position.  I sat at a computer and typed in numbers all day.  I don’t even know what the numbers were for or why they were on printouts that they handed me.  All I know is that the company wanted them typed in and I was rather fast at punching numbers.

It sucked.

Firestone Mastercard:  Aside from the night shift of blowing up balloons, this position was my only experience at working third shift.  The purpose of this job was to open credit card payments sent in by ever so happy credit card holders.  There was this real cool machine that would advance a line-up of envelopes past a blade that would slice open the bottom of the envelope and then the side of it too.  From there it would use these tiny little arms to pull and hold open the envelope.  All of this was controlled with a foot pedal.  You tap the pedal and the assembly line of envelopes would progress.  The goal of the line was to sort the mail into three piles: a payment in full, a payment less than the total amount due, or other.  All night long the machine would present you a held open envelope with its tiny little mechanical arms.  You grab the contents, make a determination on full payment or not, place the check in one of the three piles.  Absolutely fascinating—not.

My biggest memory of this mind numbing job was how often individuals would write horrible things on the memo line of their checks.  People would actually write things like “go to hell!” on that line (or worse).  That, my dear credit card user, is not the intend purpose of the check memo line.  Was it actually me that these people wanted to see traveling to hell?  I was just an envelope opener trying to earn a dollar.  And I wasn’t the one who bought a ton of crap that I couldn’t afford.  I would usually put their checks into the “other” pile to increase the possibility of it being marked as a late payment.  Screw you Mr. Surprised-By-My-Balance.

By the time seven am rolled around, I felt like I was in hell.  Odd, those people kind of got their wish.

Wolf  Systems:  I worked for a computer company that would put together customized computers and networks for other small companies.  I had this job just as Windows 3.1 was gaining a lot of popularity.  I liked the graphical nature of the wild new “Microsoft Windows” thing, but I was totally convinced that the “mouse” would never catch on.  “I wouldn’t buy stock in this company until they realize that the keyboard is the only input device you’ll ever need.”

I may have been on the wrong side of that innovation, but you should have seen all the crazy keyboard shortcuts that I knew.

College:  And then I went to college so that I can get “real” jobs.

Buy my book so that I can quit my real job.

Dog Owner

I know this story might not make me too many new friends, but here goes.

Being a dog owner does not necessarily mean you are a dog lover.

There, I said it!  I know this is an unpopular stance in the blog world, but here is my take. There are bazillions of examples of blogs dedicated to dogs and their cuteness and all. I get it. I understand that a dog is a man’s best friend—at least I’ve heard that saying. It just doesn’t necessarily apply to this man. My boys cracked me and turned me into a dog owner after only ten years of their own existence. I bought a dog several years ago. I still can’t believe it roams in my house. We brought this dog home and I named him Peeve. As in pet Peeve. My very own living, breathing pet Peeve.

Not cute when barfing on the carpet.

He is a Maltese Yorkie. When full-grown, this little ball of doggy cuteness will not top more than ten pounds. If he surpasses that weight, I will start removing parts until the ten pound limit is once again reached. Relax, I would do it humanely—start with the tail, move to the ears, find other non-essential parts. Come to think of it, he has already been fixed, so technically I’ve already started this process.

So tell me, how many of your “best friends” will graze in your front yard, eat as many rabbit turds as possible, and then barf them up on your carpet in three different rooms of your house? Man’s best friend. Nope.

And speaking of pet peeves, it rubs me completely wrong when people refer to me as the dog’s daddy. I am the dog’s owner. I paid for, with money, to have this beast live in my house and occasionally eat my wood-work. It didn’t require a single strand of my DNA, not even a single helix, to bring this dog into the world. So when people say to my dog as they pass by my yard, “Good doggy. Go back to your daddy!” I cringe inside and want to scream! “I’m the dog OWNER, not the father! Are you implying that maybe I had inappropriate relations with a dog? And this is the result, my son?”  But I’ll just clench my teeth and be silent–until I blog about it.

My dog (that I own) brings my children happiness. That’s what I bought into.  If I would have known that all this happiness comes from a creature that occasionally craps on the carpet, I could have handled the job myself.

Buy my book or I’ll crap on your carpet!

Rude Awakening

This weekend didn’t bring me a story to tell other than this very short one.  No worries, I had a great weekend.

When taking a nap, it is no fun to wake up hearing the following phrase echoing through your house.

“The dog is barfing everywhere!”

Remind me why I let a wild beast live in my house.

buy my book (no dog barf included)!

Costly Movie Night

Last night, I took my family to the movies.  I can’t remember what movie we saw.  I guess that means this blog’s opening line of “last night” was simply me trying to convince you that this is a current story, rather than some recycled memory from the depths of my brain.  It was actually several months ago, but don’t you think you would enjoy reading this more if it just happened?

My wife and I have an excellent home equity line of credit which we can draw upon to bring the four members of my family to the movies.  Four tickets, one large shared drink, and one large popcorn bucket totaled a cost matching the national debt.  But I got a bit of reimbursement as my children unloaded the caramel powder flavoring onto the popcorn.  They probably should have just taken off the top all together and poured it in.  At least in doing it in that fashion the air in the lobby of the theater would not have been saturated with powdered caramel dust.  Four fellow movie goers were rushed to the hospital with critical respiratory issues.  Sorry about that.

After dusting ourselves off, we made it to our seats.  I love watching movies!  I enjoy watching movies even more now that my children are a bit older.  I allow my twelve and thirteen year old boys to see fairly mature movies.  The movie selection is not an anything goes, but let’s just say that I haven’t seen a cartoon on the big screen in a long time.  Nemo, you’re a cute little fish with that tiny flipper on one side and all, but honestly, I don’t miss you at all.

Well the previews and the movie came to pass.  My sons interrupted everyone in the theater to use the restroom only once.  Their attempt at walking down the aisle hunched over in order to not block everyone’s view leaves much to be desired.  They are fast, but not fast enough.  If you do the math and calculate the monetary cost of the amount of time spent in the bathroom based on the total investment of this night out, you’ll note that actual cost of the large drink is even more appalling than originally thought.  That large barrel of pop caused their bathroom break to ring up to be about $1.21 of missed movie viewing time.  When is the last time you spent more than a dollar to take a leak?

My movie going family has this odd little tradition.  When the movie ends, we continue watching the credits to the very end.  I have several reasons I like doing this.  First, we play a silly little game.  We search the first names scrolling up the screen for the names of people in our family.  “Hey, there goes a Logan!”  “Look, it’s a Denise!”  We almost never find a “Marcus” and “Devin”, but we keep trying. 

I think the second reason that I stick around for the credits is that whole cost of the movie thing that clearly I’m troubled with.  Since I just sacrificed part of my children’s college fund to see this movie, we better use this time as an educational opportunity.  Today’s lesson, what does the “best boy” and the “key grip” do?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Third, some movies will tack on a little extra clip of goodness after or during the credits.  What if you leave the theater and miss out on the blooper reel that the editor spliced onto the very end of the movie?  How would you feel?  Oh wait, you wouldn’t know any better.  You already left!  I hope I didn’t ruin your day by enlightening you on how much joy you voluntarily walk away from in your life.  Sad really.

And lastly, deep down inside I think it’s kind of funny that the teenage employees assigned to cleaning up the theater for the next showing are not allowed to start cleaning until all of the customers have left.  They have to just stand there at the base of the theater with their broom and bucket on a stick and observe my family pointing at names scrolling by on the screen.  This brings me an odd satisfaction.  I know, I have issues that run deep.

Unfortunately on this particular night, my son whispered to my wife that has stomach wasn’t feeling good with about ten minutes remaining in the movie.  So when the credits started rolling my wife told me that she noticed him really squirming around in the seat and looking uncomfortable.  So we left as soon as the movie ended and long before the credits concluded.  I’ll get you next time you lucky teenage movie sweeper.

As we were exiting the building, I decided to hang on to the plastic gallon-sized jug that once held our single shared pop.  I shook out the last remaining drops of pop behind my car and handed the empty cup to my son with an understanding that if he gets sick, this is his target.  Well we almost made it home.  With about five minutes to go until we hit our driveway, the noises produced by my son sounded like an angry beast was crawling out of his belly.  But I could not be more proud of the way that he filled the cup without missing a drop.  And honestly, my idea of using that cup to collect potential barf makes me proud of myself. 

My driving speed picked up just a bit as I swiftly made the finally set of turns in my neighborhood.  I feel like a bad parent because I was thinking “Please don’t spill it” the whole time rather than “Oh, poor boy.”  As I threw the car into park, I was already jumping out my car door in order to open his car door and grab the cup that was getting full and dangerously approaching the top.  Please don’t spill it!  Oh no, I’m still a bad parent.  His mom lovingly got him to our couch, tucked him in, and took care of him. 

I emptied the cup into the sewer at the street.  Taking care of the actual barf gets me some level of parenting points.  Right?

buy my book (it will not make you sick)!