New Career 2/3-2/9

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Dear Dean
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RE: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby Dear Dean » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:04 am

I will be old enough for full social security benefits in five years and thought that I would retire then. But today I started a new job. After working 19 years for a company, they closed their doors and I lost my retirement benefits.
So here I am today at a brand new computer with Word 2007 that has so many extra icons and tabs that I cannot fathom. Will I loose my job the first day because they think I am too old to learn?
Instead of going to lunch, I stay at my desk with a pop and chips from the canteen and try to figure out all this new fangeled stuff.
Thank God I have some Tylenol in my purse as a headache is forming behind my eyes and spreading to my temples.
I take a deep breath and begin again, typing up the forms I was given. Oh, I can cut and paste and oops, there I lost an entire document somehow.
Biting my tongue, I walk to the cubicle across from me and ask the young man there if he could help me.
With a sigh of relief, he comes over and proceeds to not only find my missing document, but explain some of the new features on my new computer.
"I thought you must be a whiz since you stayed at it all morning and never asked for help. I was supposed to show you the ropes but I assumed you knew it all because of your age. You seemed to have it all together and I was envious of you. I remembered my first day on the job. We laughed and I relaxed and realized that we all need help and our constituents are usually willing to share.
I am going to enjoy learning new skills, and am glad they have a company policy of letting one work until they are 70. Maybe then I will begin writing my novel. Until then I will be busy being a model employee and adding to my social security total.

Lily Ranger
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RE: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby Lily Ranger » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:04 pm

The hard rubber seat has desensitized my butt completely. This is a relief from the excrutiating pain that kept shooting down to my thighs for the first hour. I really don't look forward to standing up at the end of my shift. The stool squeaks when I move even just a little, and the headphone I wear picks up the noise. The people in the lobby tell me it sounds like I've got a box full of mice in here with me if I move too much. Since the manager has as much of a clue as Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick, I figure I'll invest in a can of WD-40 after I get off work.

I adjust my headphone, then swivel to face the small sliding window in front of me making sure I've plastered on a gracious smile. Silently, my mantra scrolls across my mind. "Ask for the money first...ask for the money first...ask for the money first..."

When I slide the window open, a blast of arctic air freezes my eyebrows, lashes and lips. It's pretty difficult to enunciate when your face is frozen into a death grimace like Dr. Sardonicus, but I do manage.

"That's a Family Meal with a large cole slaw, biscuits and two jalapeno peppers? Twenty thirty-five please."

The Jeep's window lowers just enough for a heavy winter coat sleeve with a mitten on the end, to emerge. I can't see anything else inside. It looks as if the car has a human appendage, and in its fist are crumpled dollar bills. I remember to offer the strawberry parfait, but alas the Jeep doesn't have a sweet tooth. I crow internally. I nailed it!

My first two customers got free dinners. That's going to come out of my already tiny check, but burn me once (twice?) shame on me. As I make change, and instruct the Jeep to move to the next window, I think about when I was still working on my previous job, and how the folks behind the sliding windows were formless, featureless drive-thru extensions with bags of burgers or cups of coffee attached.

Now I know better.



:)

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Santiago Swifte
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RE: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby Santiago Swifte » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:49 am

--Dying To Get In--

It had been a long, hard road.

I found myself looking down at my first victim. I raised the scalpel and began my grisly task. I worked in a shroud of silence, my only illumination the fluorescent lights over the table.

I thought about my previous job with the railroad. Last September, I left my home and family behind for six weeks of training in Atlanta. It was worrying and studying and tests all the time, so that the possibility of failure hovered over my head like a large pendulum with a sharp, half-moon blade at its end.

Before I left for the railroad, I was employed with a contractor at a steel mill. I quit because the pay wasn’t good, there was no possibility of moving up and very little to offer for retirement. The most miserable part of the job had been the guy I was partnered with, Jerry. He had lost his job a few years before when the local paper mill had shut down. Though he was retirement age, he couldn’t survive on what little he was getting out of his retirement and therefore trapped. He was too worn out to do the job and too hard-headed to ask for easier work.

Management would never let me escape the slab yard where we were working. I was doomed to carry the bulk of the work there, with Jerry as a constant reminder of where I might end up if I couldn’t find a steady job for the long-term.

It had been a major relief to begin a career with the railroad. Railroad retirement, great pay, great benefits…these were things that I thought I had to look forward to. I suppose nobody could’ve foreseen the economy falling out like it did in my second week in Atlanta.

Things were okay until my training was done. I was furloughed and told by some slick-looking company official that I should just try to find something to do until I was recalled. This guy was wearing a pair of Prada eyeglasses, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that his clothes came from the same place. He had a soft look to him, as though he had never worked any hard, manual labor.

As a matter of fact, he looked a lot like the man I had on my table.

I smiled at the irony. I remembered feeling betrayed by destiny and angry and afraid, for what could I do then to support my family?

I decided to take the reigns of destiny, myself. I looked long and carefully and finally, I found what I was looking for.

“Looks like he died of natural causes,” my instructor in mortuary science said as he walked into the room.

I grinned as I looked up at him. “Yes, so it would seem.”

When I first mentioned my interest in this career path to my dad, he had told me, “One thing about the funeral business…people are always dying to get in.”

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christina_monique
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RE: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby christina_monique » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:58 pm

“Stop sulking, Vanessa. Being laid off means you get to start fresh. You hated your job at the coffee shop. Now you get to-”

“Get on careerbuilder.com and find a new job to hate?”

I didn’t mean to snap at my best friend, Erica Frances, but I was bitter. I couldn’t help but think that I’d jinxed myself.

“I hate this job,” I mumbled daily as my alarm clock sounded, followed by, “I need a new job!” Well, my wish came true when Nat Burrows, my ex-manager, decided that he could do my job himself. Nat couldn’t do his own job himself; that’s why he hired me. But it didn’t matter. I had a Plan B. I wasn’t excited about it, but work was work. I decided to tell Erica about my new career choice.

“You’re going to do what?” Erica yelled. It seemed she totally forgot we were in public. She whispered, "Vanessa Holt, you are not going to be a stripper.”

“Erica, my first gig is this weekend. I’ll be making a lot more money than I made as Assistant Manager of Java Hut.”

“That is so not you, Vanessa.”

I sighed. It was time to tell Erica how I was able to pay for four years of college.

“You’ve matured since then,” she said. “You’re older, and I thought you were wiser.”

I ignored her. “Like I said, my first gig is Friday at Erotique Lounge where I used to work. It’s not your scene, but you should come by anyway so I can prove you wrong.”

“Whatever,” Erica said.

*******************************************************************************************

Friday arrived way too soon. I didn’t think I’d be nervous, but I was. I didn’t get it. For four years, stripping was my life.

It was my turn to perform, and Alonzo, the lounge owner approached the microphone. He announced, “An old Erotique Lounge favorite is back! Give it up for Mocha, an Erotique Lounge original!”

Suddenly I knew what was wrong. I replayed Alonzo’s words. “An old Erotique Lounge favorite…” It was the word old that bothered me. The word was harsh, but true; I was too old to prance around naked in front of a bunch of horny men. I was twenty two years old when I last performed as Mocha, and that was ten years ago. Erica was right. I was older, wiser, and I needed to leave the past where it belonged.

I ignored Alonzo’s introduction and ran back to my dressing room. That young, immature student was history. My dignity and self respect as a grown, educated woman was worth more than the money I’d make. I dressed quickly and ran to my car, praying that angry Alonzo wouldn’t catch up with me. No sooner than I opened my car’s door, though, I heard someone walking behind me. My heart raced as I spun around, but I frowned when I saw that it was only Erica.

She laughed, shook her head, and spoke the inevitable: “I told you so.”

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Re: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby RobGeo » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:43 am

Never dreaming my loss would feel so bad, I wanted to cry. This happened to other people, not me. And as I wrestled with the current situation, my head swirled tumultuously: If I’d said some things better, or worked harder and longer hours, this might not have happened; if I hadn’t been so gratuitous I might have safeguarded my position. But none of the mental wrangling was relevant; my positive performance reports cited ambition, youth, open mindedness, and leadership potential – it didn’t matter now. Fundamentally, it came down to reality and the old maxim ‘Last in First Out.’ And I was out.

After several failed interviews, a new Institute hired me. Following a scant tour, I was dropped off at the staff cafeteria. Sitting alone in the corner along the back wall, I unassumingly sat hunched over the introductory binder pretending to read its contents. Peeking over the top of my glasses, I watched clusters of people eating, laughing, or working. I glanced at my watch wondering if my friends at the other place were doing the same things we did together right now. Feelings of withdrawal and abject emptiness surged through me.

Random small groups of workers sauntered passed me. I glimpsed up from scanning the index page attempting a shy smile, but they exited the lunchroom giggling, and nudging their mates about “the new guy.” I lowered my head and began recounting the letters on the same page.

“Oh! Excuse m-me.” Someone brushed the back of my chair with their hip.

I looked up from my slouch, grumbling, “That’s okay. No problem.” The woman pulled out a chair while pointing at the table and politely asking, “D-do you mind?” I swayed my head.

“I w-was watching you look at that same page for quite some time now,” taking a deep breath and exhaling a sigh.

‘Oh man. My luck. A stalker. What next?’ as my Guardian Angel whispered, ‘The other job is gone. Over. Done with. Put it behind you, grow up, move on, and learn from it. Here’s a new opportunity. Don’t blow it.’ Poof! The Angel disappeared like clouds in a clearing wind storm.

Letting down my defences, I chanced asking how long she had worked here.

“Well. Y-yes. You see. Quite s-some time. And you’ll be working in my d-department.”

I wanted to slither out of my chair and die under the table.

“Oh. Forgive me. I’m sorry. Hope I wasn’t rude?” I grovelled, adding, “I’m really nervous right now not knowing anyone here,” as she watched me drum my fingers on the table top.

Looking up at me with an intoxicatingly warm smile, she added, “N-no problem. Let’s start over shall we?”

RobGeo
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Re: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby RobGeo » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:43 am

Never dreaming my loss would feel so bad, I wanted to cry. This happened to other people, not me. And as I wrestled with the current situation, my head swirled tumultuously: If I’d said some things better, or worked harder and longer hours, this might not have happened; if I hadn’t been so gratuitous I might have safeguarded my position. But none of the mental wrangling was relevant; my positive performance reports cited ambition, youth, open mindedness, and leadership potential – it didn’t matter now. Fundamentally, it came down to reality and the old maxim ‘Last in First Out.’ And I was out.

After several failed interviews, a new Institute hired me. Following a scant tour, I was dropped off at the staff cafeteria. Sitting alone in the corner along the back wall, I unassumingly sat hunched over the introductory binder pretending to read its contents. Peeking over the top of my glasses, I watched clusters of people eating, laughing, or working. I glanced at my watch wondering if my friends at the other place were doing the same things we did together right now. Feelings of withdrawal and abject emptiness surged through me.

Random small groups of workers sauntered passed me. I glimpsed up from scanning the index page attempting a shy smile, but they exited the lunchroom giggling, and nudging their mates about “the new guy.” I lowered my head and began recounting the letters on the same page.

“Oh! Excuse m-me.” Someone brushed the back of my chair with their hip.

I looked up from my slouch, grumbling, “That’s okay. No problem.” The woman pulled out a chair while pointing at the table and politely asking, “D-do you mind?” I swayed my head.

“I w-was watching you look at that same page for quite some time now,” taking a deep breath and exhaling a sigh.

‘Oh man. My luck. A stalker. What next?’ as my Guardian Angel whispered, ‘The other job is gone. Over. Done with. Put it behind you, grow up, move on, and learn from it. Here’s a new opportunity. Don’t blow it.’ Poof! The Angel disappeared like clouds in a clearing wind storm.

Letting down my defences, I chanced asking how long she had worked here.

“Well. Y-yes. You see. Quite s-some time. And you’ll be working in my d-department.”

I wanted to slither out of my chair and die under the table.

“Oh. Forgive me. I’m sorry. Hope I wasn’t rude?” I grovelled, adding, “I’m really nervous right now not knowing anyone here,” as she watched me drum my fingers on the table top.

Looking up at me with an intoxicatingly warm smile, she added, “N-no problem. Let’s start over shall we?”

Loper42
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Re: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby Loper42 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:47 am

My heart pounded furiously in my chest. Hands shaking, I turned the knob and entered the room, Smoke filled my lungs, and I nearly doubled backwards. Why was I, a former journalist for a prestigious newspaper company, working as a waitress at a burger joint. Sure, I wasn't lounging in my apartment for hours on end watching soap-operas, but I also wasn't the waitress type. In fact, I much preferred watching cheesy dialogue then dealing with people's problems. For one, people are demanding, loud, obnoxious, pesky, and not to mention, picky. Why on earth did I accept the job? I still wasn't sure.

But here I was and I here would stay until the shift ended. I had promised myself I would start fresh, and I was, even if I died in the process.

Bobby John, the slimy manager waggled up to me, and shook my hand with a hearty “hello.” The man obviously had one two many beers because I could taste the alcohol on his breathe. “Welcome to Bobby's Burgers and Bar,” the man said with a dingy smile. “Since yeah said you had past experience waitin' tables, I figured you didn't need none of the trainin' I give new employees.”

I forced a nod, silently cursing myself for stupidity and manners. This was going to be a long day.

Only hours later, my head ached, perspiration stuck to my forehead, and my hair was a tangled mess. I ran at full speed into the back, nearly running into a tray of lunches, and a cook with a bag of lettuce. I searched stumbling and falling, for someone who could explain why they had yet to make my food.

Several tables had been sitting impatiently (some for hours) waiting for food, and the cooks didn't seem to care. Worse, they thought it was funny. “What do you mean we're out of burgers?” I asked in utter terror, the burgers were practically all we had on the menu. It was the signature item. How could they be out of burgers?

The oblivious cook laughed with a shrug. “Were outta burgers, but we got everything else that goes on um'.” I sighed exasperated and turned my furious attention to Bobby John, who was lounging on a chair whistling and reading a newspaper. He wasn't even working! Lazy bum. I thought.

All my fears seemed to disappear and I realized, as my wrath descended upon the man, how lucky I was I wasn't him. “What do you think you're doing? This is your damn burger place and now we don't have any burgers!” I raged, my eyes burned into his, astonished at his idiocy. He didn't even attempt a response, but his silence fueled my rage even further. “You know what Bobby John, I quit.” I said, surprised at my bluntness. With those words, I stomped off. I still didn't have a job, but for once I had a spine.

Loper42
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Re: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby Loper42 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:47 am

My heart pounded furiously in my chest. Hands shaking, I turned the knob and entered the room, Smoke filled my lungs, and I nearly doubled backwards. Why was I, a former journalist for a prestigious newspaper company, working as a waitress at a burger joint. Sure, I wasn't lounging in my apartment for hours on end watching soap-operas, but I also wasn't the waitress type. In fact, I much preferred watching cheesy dialogue then dealing with people's problems. For one, people are demanding, loud, obnoxious, pesky, and not to mention, picky. Why on earth did I accept the job? I still wasn't sure.

But here I was and I here would stay until the shift ended. I had promised myself I would start fresh, and I was, even if I died in the process.

Bobby John, the slimy manager waggled up to me, and shook my hand with a hearty “hello.” The man obviously had one two many beers because I could taste the alcohol on his breathe. “Welcome to Bobby's Burgers and Bar,” the man said with a dingy smile. “Since yeah said you had past experience waitin' tables, I figured you didn't need none of the trainin' I give new employees.”

I forced a nod, silently cursing myself for stupidity and manners. This was going to be a long day.

Only hours later, my head ached, perspiration stuck to my forehead, and my hair was a tangled mess. I ran at full speed into the back, nearly running into a tray of lunches, and a cook with a bag of lettuce. I searched stumbling and falling, for someone who could explain why they had yet to make my food.

Several tables had been sitting impatiently (some for hours) waiting for food, and the cooks didn't seem to care. Worse, they thought it was funny. “What do you mean we're out of burgers?” I asked in utter terror, the burgers were practically all we had on the menu. It was the signature item. How could they be out of burgers?

The oblivious cook laughed with a shrug. “Were outta burgers, but we got everything else that goes on um'.” I sighed exasperated and turned my furious attention to Bobby John, who was lounging on a chair whistling and reading a newspaper. He wasn't even working! Lazy bum. I thought.

All my fears seemed to disappear and I realized, as my wrath descended upon the man, how lucky I was I wasn't him. “What do you think you're doing? This is your damn burger place and now we don't have any burgers!” I raged, my eyes burned into his, astonished at his idiocy. He didn't even attempt a response, but his silence fueled my rage even further. “You know what Bobby John, I quit.” I said, surprised at my bluntness. With those words, I stomped off. I still didn't have a job, but for once I had a spine.

dryersheet
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Re: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby dryersheet » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:06 pm

My GChat window was flashing again: it was the boss. Only twelve hours into my new gig as a professional slacker and I was already getting reprimanded for the third time. I gingerly extracted my hand from the Cheetos bag laying on my chest and reached for my mouse. I clicked over to the flashing Window, leaving cheesy orange finger prints on the left button.

SPRVIZOR69: If you're reading this, you're fired.
ME: What? Why?
SPRVIZOR69: Geez Louise, Son of Gosh. 2 Minutes? You responded to my instant message in 2 minutes? What, are you on bad drugs?
ME: What do you mean? That flashing was bugging the hell out of me...
SPRVIZOR69: Listen, buddy, when I was down in the pit, I could let a chat go unanswered for 45 minutes before clicking it open. I even left the sound on. Do you think that little "Ka-chunk" sound could tear my gaze away from Adult Swim before a commercial? Think, again, Buster.
ME: Okay, okay, golly, I'll try again.
SPRVIZOR69: That's right. I don't want you to move a muscle for the next two hours. Don't get up until your bladder is more turgid than a water balloon.
Me: Roger.

I set back to the task of slacking with extra resolve. I could do it. I could be lazy. And I didn't need to turn to performance enhancing drugs, either. A real slacker needs no bong or beer. All he needs is the immutable urge to do nothing. I re-holstered my mousing hand into the bag of Cheetos and started fumbling around for the remote. Rats - it had somehow fallen off the couch and skittered underneath the coffee table. I must've drifted off to sleep and rolled over on it before I knocked it down, because now the channel was switched to Lifetime. Oh Gosh. Oh Sweet merciful Gosh. I stretched my fingers towards the remote, nearly tipping the bag of Cheetos over the edge as well. I grunted under the strain, my fingers almost reaching the remote. Gathering all the strength I was allowed to muster, I lurched forward, but to no avail - my finger tips made contact with the remote but only pushed it further away. Nuts. On TV, the actress who plays the mom on Home Improvement was on the phone, talking about her baby in the hospital or something. Cripes. I started to disentangle my feet from the blankets in order to get off the couch and fetch the remote, thereby delivering myself from drivel. But then I remembered what The Boss. I could do this, I thought. This is America, and I'm not going to back down. I wasn't going to let down my forefathers and all the patriotic loafers that had come before me. I had a duty to serve. I hunkered back down into my couch groove, squinted my eyes, and tried my best to get caught up in the Lifetime drama.

dryersheet
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Re: New Career 2/3-2/9

Postby dryersheet » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:06 pm

My GChat window was flashing again: it was the boss. Only twelve hours into my new gig as a professional slacker and I was already getting reprimanded for the third time. I gingerly extracted my hand from the Cheetos bag laying on my chest and reached for my mouse. I clicked over to the flashing Window, leaving cheesy orange finger prints on the left button.

SPRVIZOR69: If you're reading this, you're fired.
ME: What? Why?
SPRVIZOR69: Geez Louise, Son of Gosh. 2 Minutes? You responded to my instant message in 2 minutes? What, are you on bad drugs?
ME: What do you mean? That flashing was bugging the hell out of me...
SPRVIZOR69: Listen, buddy, when I was down in the pit, I could let a chat go unanswered for 45 minutes before clicking it open. I even left the sound on. Do you think that little "Ka-chunk" sound could tear my gaze away from Adult Swim before a commercial? Think, again, Buster.
ME: Okay, okay, golly, I'll try again.
SPRVIZOR69: That's right. I don't want you to move a muscle for the next two hours. Don't get up until your bladder is more turgid than a water balloon.
Me: Roger.

I set back to the task of slacking with extra resolve. I could do it. I could be lazy. And I didn't need to turn to performance enhancing drugs, either. A real slacker needs no bong or beer. All he needs is the immutable urge to do nothing. I re-holstered my mousing hand into the bag of Cheetos and started fumbling around for the remote. Rats - it had somehow fallen off the couch and skittered underneath the coffee table. I must've drifted off to sleep and rolled over on it before I knocked it down, because now the channel was switched to Lifetime. Oh Gosh. Oh Sweet merciful Gosh. I stretched my fingers towards the remote, nearly tipping the bag of Cheetos over the edge as well. I grunted under the strain, my fingers almost reaching the remote. Gathering all the strength I was allowed to muster, I lurched forward, but to no avail - my finger tips made contact with the remote but only pushed it further away. Nuts. On TV, the actress who plays the mom on Home Improvement was on the phone, talking about her baby in the hospital or something. Cripes. I started to disentangle my feet from the blankets in order to get off the couch and fetch the remote, thereby delivering myself from drivel. But then I remembered what The Boss. I could do this, I thought. This is America, and I'm not going to back down. I wasn't going to let down my forefathers and all the patriotic loafers that had come before me. I had a duty to serve. I hunkered back down into my couch groove, squinted my eyes, and tried my best to get caught up in the Lifetime drama.

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