I aint workin’ here no more.
I was thinking yesterday about all of the jobs that I have ever held. I’ve mentioned a couple here, but not all of them. In the spirit of complete and total disclosure of every miniscule aspect of my silly life, here they are!
This was me at 12. I had a pituitary problem.
1. Garbage Man – My grandfather used to own a trash pickup service, and when I was 12 I started riding along with him, giving him a hand. The route that I worked was in Prouts Neck. He would pick me up at Nannie’s around noon on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays and we would drive out to PN. There wasn’t a seat in the truck for me (he had removed it for some reason) so I sat on a milk crate. No seat belt. We didn’t care about safety laws! We flouted them! He had the radio on some talk radio station, but it was turned so low that you could only hear the sss’s and ppp’s. Good times. The route took about 9 hours. It was about 200 bucks a week. Good money for a 12 year old. Except my Mom took it, for school clothes. Yeah, right. Nice jewelry, Mom.
2. CVS – I got a special permit and started working at CVS when I was 14. I was a cashier. I hated math at that time (I was 14!) so I had the hardest time getting my register to tally up at the end of the night. I always got the dreaded “unhappy face” next to my name on the big list in the back of the store. My manager was a girl named Maureen. I remember hating her, but I think now that she was just a sad person. I wonder what she is doing now? Maybe she is the president of CVS! Or, maybe she is still the assistant night manager in South Portland. Aww. Here’s a weird thing: all CVS’s smell the same. I’m not kidding. The next time you walk into one, take a whiff. It will smell the same from Portland to Orlando.
What? He’s Big and Tall.
3. Casual Male Big & Tall – When I was about 15 or 16 I started working at the Casual Male over by the Maine Mall. It worked out ’cause I am one tall drink of water, and I got a good discount on the clothes. Unfortunately I worked commission, so I barely made any money to buy clothes. My manager was a guy named Tom. He was one of those very feminine straight guys. He introduced me to Donna Summer. He wore flashy vests. He made fun of my youthful religious yearnings. Yeah. He and his wife hated dogs, and would take great pleasure in calling the dog catcher if they saw a dog running around. I remember she would sometimes call the store collect, and while the operator was asking if he would take the call she would yell out “I got another one!”, and then hang up. That way, she didn’t have to pay for the call. Cheap and mean. What a catch.
This is the actual location now. Sad and empty without the Chris2fer.
4. Friendly’s – The last summer before I went to college I worked as a fountain boy at the Friendly’s on Main Street in South Portland. (Friendly’s isn’t there anymore. They closed it when I quit because what is the point of having a store without a Chris2fer in it?) That was a great job, ’cause I made ok money (I didn’t have to rely on tips) and I got to wear pretty much what I wanted. Under that blue Friendly’s apron, of course. And, I learned how to make all the ice cream sundaes. Years later a friend of mine told me that all her gay friends would come to the Friendly’s to check me out. I just thought that she was bringing in business. Hi, boys! Coming in for ice-cream again? What? You want the cones from the bottom shelf? Let me just scooch down and get those for you…
So, that’s it for the teenage years. I’ll pick up from there some other time.
Have a happy fourth of July! Try not to blow your fingers off with illegal fireworks. I’ll see you all on the 7th.