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  • Austin Hamblin

Day #18: Past Jobs


#18: Past Jobs

We spend so much of our life at our jobs. It’s really depressing, especially when most people hate their jobs. Yesterday I got hired to work at Bertch Cabinets, and I can’t wait to get back into the workforce, mainly because you know… $$$.

Jesup Food Center: In high school, I worked at a small grocery store less than a block away from me for almost two years. I know a lot of adults say, “You have the rest of your life to work,” but I’m glad I worked in high school. It helped me prepare in a small way for what life would be like when I graduated school, and it gave me money and introduced me to a friend I still have to this day. I made minimum wage, and I saved some money, but I spent a lot on comics. I have an insanely large comic book/graphic novel collection for a 23 year old, and it’s mainly due to me not having bills, but having a source of income. I did the basic stocking and register. Things eventually went south, as two of the other high school aged people I worked with had been stealing alcohol. The sad thing was, they knew about it for around a year before ever actually doing anything about it. I didn’t snitch on anyone, but I wasn’t going to lie to the police for anyone. Another girl I worked with, our parents had been very close friends for a long time. The girl had told me she had stopped him from stealing booze, only to sell it to them (both underage mind you) I told the police when I went in for questioning. Then her parents suddenly hated my family. How dare I not lie to protect her. My dad used to talk with her father almost every night, and suddenly the phone stopped ringing. If we ran into them out in public, they would ignore us. Now seven years, later they are finally starting to talk again.

Hy-Vee: After graduating, I “took a year off” and by that I mean my anxiety and depression hit an all time low. A toxic relationship I was involved in made me go downhill fast, and I used to get so anxious when leaving the house, I would throw up and have panic attacks daily. A little over a year after I graduated, I got on the right medication and got my life back in order. I was scared about entering the workforce, so I applied to a third shift stocking job at a midwest grocery store chain. Eventually, I moved to first/second shift and became a full time employee in the salad bar. I was basically cutting fruits and vegetables all day. It wasn’t a bad job, but when holidays came around, we got really busy, and my boss, well, she liked to drink.. She was court ordered not to drink, but still did, basically everyday. For a while, she stopped putting herself on the schedule, so if she was too hungover she could sleep in a few hours and then come in. Somehow she managed to get away with this. Slowly, I started getting more responsibility from her, with of course no extra pay. I think HyVee is a great place. I honestly do. I love to shop at it, and I think it is a great place to work, especially for a part time job. They will work around your schedule. it just didn’t work out for me, and I wanted to find something else.

ABC Supply: Think the yard at Menards, but for contractors. They mainly sold roofing supplies; sheet metal, shingles, things of that nature. I picked orders, loaded/unloaded trucks, and got to drive a forklift. Driving forklift is a skill I am glad I picked up. I kind of think it’s fun. When you have to move a bunch of stuff or unload a truck, you get to sit on your ass the entire time, but you are actually doing something productive. I got work with a bunch of cool people there. They laid off in the winter, and depending on how much it rained in the spring, you wouldn’t have much work either. You’d get sent home early or have to burn a vacation day. We got seasonal unemployment, but being laid off is so damn boring. The branch manager was a genuine piece of shit. Now, I’m the type of person who will likes to joke around and give people shit, but I can actually have a conversation with people and understand when I might be going to far or how there's a time and place for everything. He used to call me Shrek, which I hated and he called me fat a few times, even though he was extremely overweight.. He used to call other employees things such as a scrotum -aced hippy bitch, Homer (the Simpsons), and was just a giant asshole to everyone. He gave special treatment to certain employees whom he would talk to for an hour at a time, but if you weren’t one of said people and went to get a copy, he would get on your ass. If you went to go get food someplace for lunch, he wanted you to bring him something back, but would never offer to do the same. What the hell is wrong with that guy? I stuck around for as long as I did because of my coworkers.

Best Cob: My most recent employer was a factory which would grind up corn cobs for different things: floor dry, cat litter, pill fill, baseball diamond dry, etc. This was a dirty job; I mean when I took a shower after coming home, the water would go down the drain black and brown. This was even after I blew myself off with an air hose. No heat or air either… Just think, some days it would hit double digit in the negatives, and we would be out working in the dust and driving around forklifts. Most machines didn’t work properly in the cold (shocker). They couldn’t keep people. For the year I worked there, I would say I saw over 60 people walk in and out of the doors, yet they wouldn’t give pay raises to the people who did last... I had seen three different plant managers in one year. The dust was not good for anyone’s health, so I am glad to be gone. I was miserable at Best Cob. This is all I will say about this place...

Everyday I will be posting an entry in my writing challenge 100 Days which has been collected into a print collection. If you are interested in purchasing a print collection:

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