Is your posterior rooted to the parental couch? If not, then in all probability by the age of twenty-five you have had several jobs.

Thanks to Uncle Sam, take home pay for beginner jobs was less than expected because he took a cut of the action. However, the point of first jobs was to have spending money you controlled. At times, a parental mandate had you put aside part of the earned pittance for college.

In all probability, your baby steps into the job market resulted in good and bad memories and lessons. Truth be told, all past and present jobs include good and bad experiences.

For example, preteen and teenage girls babysit.

A college classmate’s mother dictated her fee. The rate varied between thirty-five cents to fifty cents per hour, depending on the economic circumstances of the family in need of a sitter. Her mother knew handling urchins was worth more than that, but the woman had control issues.

Of all the babysitting stories people shared, two remain etched in my memory. One was for the ten-year-old daughter of a neighbor couple. The father was a bartender, and the mother spent every Saturday night with him from five pm to around six am Sunday morning.

After the child was asleep and since they did not own a television, the sitter looked for something to read. Her search revealed an interesting magazine collection of females in their birthday suits. She never told her mother otherwise the quite lucrative babysitting gig would have ended, pronto.

The second job was for a family with four children, the youngest a toddler in diapers. They took the sitter to their lake house for the summer, the good part of the job. The downside was not only changing the child’s cloth diapers but rinsing the smelly contents in the toilet. She vowed to use disposable diapers when and if she had children.

A young man of our acquaintance was hired to clean a service station, which included the crusty toilet bowl. After trying all types of cleaners, he explained to the boss that the crust ring would not budge. To which the boss replied, “Use your fingernails.”

In high school, Pat worked in a music store. They sold records, sheet music, a few instruments, and record players, both the portable and the furniture type. More often than not, her salary took the form of records rather than cash. Whenever she had a customer prepared to buy a record player, the owner jumped in and closed the sale to avoid paying her a commission. This job offered dual lessons: take money instead of goods and kick the cheapskate somewhere vulnerable when he tries to cheat you out of a sale. She chose option three, quit and found a real paying job.

Bosses come in many varieties. Some treat employees as human beings, while other suits care little about their neigh invisible underlings as long as they do their job. In addition to the lack of TLC, both male and female suits are guilty of speaking in the tongues of sailors.

When John’s presentation displeased the boss, the suit’s temper flared, followed by verbal bites out of the poor guy’s hide. Then the domino effect kicked in. Every presentation following the initial detonator set the “menu” tone for the rest of the meeting. For this reason, the employees dubbed meeting day Butt Munch Tuesday.

Whenever a counselor at the employment agency quit for another job, the boss sued demanding fee payment for the job found. He assumed, sometimes correctly, that without their counselor positions they would not have found the new job. His nickname was Sweet Sue.

Looking back on those less than perfect jobs, perhaps a permanent, rent-free life on the parental couch is a better option than working for suits from Hell. But then there is the discomfort of roots growing out of your posterior.

Since “Work Rids Us of Three Great Evils, Fun, Time and Relaxation,” what will you choose money or an inverted root canal?










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