five o'clock world
I've worked at Target for four days now, and I already want to kill myself - even more than usual that is. The only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that I will be getting a paycheck every couple of weeks, something that I have not gotten in nearly a year. But I use the word paycheck loosely. At $6.50 an hour, I could probably make just as much money walking around town checking the coin returns in pay phones and vending machines. But if I must have a job, I may as well use it as fodder for my blog so at least some good (besides the pocket change I'll be making) can come out of it. So here we go . . . .
After my orientation on Thursday, I find out that I am scheduled to come in at 5 am Friday morning. As I arrive, the "leader on duty," as she is called, has a meeting of all "team members," as we are called, to discuss the plan for the day. She introduces me to this group of approximately 25 employees, and they all give me a big "HI BRAD!" at her bidding. I can tell that a fantastic day is starting. She points me in the direction of two ladies with whom I will be working. As the meeting breaks, the fatter one, named Julia, tells me to follow her to the stock room, and as we arrive she informs me that I am going to "hate it" working there - a great way to break in new employees I'm sure. Needless to say, my outlook for the next eight hours was not too sunny. Julia is one of these women who can't go five minutes without talking about how she needs a cigarette. You know the kind. It's one thing to be so weak as to be a smoker, but it's completely another to be so addicted that one must advertise that addiction to the entire world at every opportunity. Anyway, this woman insists upon calling me "honey," even though it's obvious that she's not more than 35 years old. I feel there there must be at least at 25 year age difference between the honey-er and the honey-ee in order for that to fly. It's also fairly obvious that she spends at least half of her income from this extremely low-paying job on cigarettes. So she begins to explain to me, as briefly as possible, how to use the mystical "PDT," a fairly complex little gadget without which Target stockroom work would be but the fevered dream of a madman. However, professor Lena Myers was better at explaining social inequality than Julia was at explaining the PDT. Imagine trying to learn sign language from Koko the monkey. Sure, Koko knows sign language - it was a long and painful process to teach it to her, spanning years - but you're never going to learn shit from her. That's the only thing I can compare to trying to learn the functions of the PDT from Julia. I eventually figure it out enough from talking to somebody else to do the task at hand. Finally my immediate supervisor Jon comes in. Jon reminds me of an older me. Not much older, mind you - perhaps even a couple of years . . . younger. Julia proceeds to explain to Jon several complaints she has about her co-workers, and about her work schedule and how it will conflict with her far more important schedule of cigarette smoking. I can tell that it's taking Jon all the willpower he has to keep from crushing Julia's head with his fists like that guy they used to show at the end of the Daily Show when Craig Kilborn was still the host. You know what I'm talking about. By this time I have walked past the dog food section of the stock room at least a dozen times, and I determine that, based on the smell, dog food has got to taste like a combination of rat feces and mothballs. I theorize that If I were a dog I would be forced to eat my owners just to get some fresh food. Plus they deserve it for feeding me that crap. A while later I find myself at the top of some 20-foot shelves removing boxes to be pushed to the sales floor. I wonder if I should take a tumble whether I would be able to claim workman's compensation. I curse the fact that I didn't read through the fine print on my contract and decide that it's not worth risking a spinal cord injury for money that I may not even get. Eventually the day ends with my life, my $52 in pre-tax earnings and my suicidal thoughts intact.
We listened to KISS 96.5 WAKS on the radio the entire day, and I realized that they essentially play the same 10 or 15 songs in a loop all day long. At least I think they do, or that could have just been my brain taping over itself. Also, "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas has got to be one of the stupidest songs ever made - and I had to listen to it at least 4 times that day.
Also, I would like to point out that during my three work shifts I have had thus far, I have already taken two dumps. 21 hours of work, two dumps. That's a 1:10.5 dump to work hour ratio. I'm definitely on pace to eclipse the 1:18 that I posted at the Career Center and blow the 1:32 from Hawkins out of the water. Plus I took a dump while I was at home during my lunch break my first day, so had my bowels functioned slightly differently we'd be looking at possibly a 1:7 ratio, which would be more than one dump per full work day - quite a feat if you ask me.