Tales of a Temp were never so tasty…
I got kicked out of boarding school – but I won’t go into that story (maybe in another blog, it’s a comedic tale of rebellion). But that forced the issue that if I wanted to attend school in my home town, I’d have to pay for the fees, textbooks and everything else myself. That was my punishment. Enforced by my Father/Overlord. Otherwise I’d be shipped back to the cold halls filled with Nun’s wearing scowls and habits that smelled of mothballs. So I needed a job.
My rescue came in the form of a popular fast food chain restaurant. It was fairly new to our town at the time, and employed younger workers that could accommodate evening and weekend shifts. It took me a single day to find the job and get my first roster from what would be my third ever employer. I don’t think my father thought I was capable, that I’d cave in to his will and get sent back to his expensive boarding school with a tail between my legs. Well, I showed him! Watching his eyes bug out and veins pulsing along his forehead and neck, I informed him I had enrolled in the local (and Public) High School having fulfilled my required employment. I missed my friends, my home and was happy to never see the Nun run dorm rooms ever again.
Unlike the institutionalised education I’d been surreptitiously ejected from, I became fast (food) friends with my blue-collar worker types. No snobs here… it’s hard to be stuck up when you’re covered in a thick layer of cooking fat and have mayonnaise stains in unfortunate places. Swapping pinstriped blue and grey uniforms for maroon polo shirts and tan pants, I bonded with my new mates facing similar dilemmas – needing money… from hard yakka. Plus, I was loving the new independence my own greenbacks afforded me.
I suffered through coming home smelling like grease, rude customers, hairnets, and a couple of occasions soaring into the air as I slipped on an oily floor. I don’t fall gracefully, I look like Bambi jumping on a trampoline: all flailing limbs and unco-ordination. All for the benefits of staying home and my own money. Another was left overs… my brother was my best friend. I’m sure he grew an entire foot over the year with all the extra food he kept sneaking out of the fridge.
It was a pretty cushy job, because of my big smile and eloquent diction, I was always placed on drive through. And I enjoyed it until someone did a grab and dash. But funny how you know everyone in a small town. Needless to say the culprits were caught on CCVTV and quickly tracked down.
Christmas brought a staff party, where three girls sung carols in beautiful harmony, affectionately dubbed the ‘Pointer Sisters’ (because they were aboriginal – I know – I shudder at small town mentality).
So by halfway through the year I had cracked my secret recipe to happiness: paid my tuition, bought my first car, expanded my wardrobe and had a social life. Even though the food may have had secret herbs and spices, it was the greens in my bank account I was more thankful for. Even though I’d been in the workforce before, this was the first job to make me feel like a grown up.
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