Friday, October 14, 2011

This was not like being John Cusak in that movie where Jack Black was still funny at all...

Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal. I worked in the music industry once. For three days. That's right, I wore the red vest of Strawberries Records and Tapes (even though there were definitely no records and very few tapes) for three entire shifts. And it was still only the second shortest job I ever had.

Now had I worked at a record store when I was 17 or 18, even one as steep of a crash course with irrelevance as Strawberries was at the time, I would have thought it was the greatest thing in the world, or at least nearly as great as getting paid to shotgun beers and provide in-depth annotated lists of the 30 greatest Ramones songs (which is still a search query I fire into every now and again, because, hey, you never know, sometimes dreams can come true).

By the time I did work at a music store, I was just a bit older than that, and had no illusions about it other than the fact that I needed a second job to help pay some bills. And, hey, music. Still could be a lot worse ways to work a few extra hours per week for short money, right?

(This is the part in the narrative where I am supposed to answer my own question above with Wrong! I was considering leaving it an implied wrong, but...)


Now, I freely admit I have worked a lot of jobs, and true, very few of them have involved operating heavy machinery or performing overly complicated surgery, but the one thing that linked all these jobs was that not one of them required me to piss in a cup. Except for the one where I wore a red vest and had to dust Creed CDs, obviously. Although I am typically opposed to drug testing, I am even more opposed to not having enough money to pay my bills. So I sucked it up and pissed into the cup. And since it wasn't 1989, I passed the drug test with flying yellow color.

So, day one, being appropriately drug free enough to operate a cash register, I began my second job. The first thing I noticed about my boss was that she did not have any eyebrows. I mean, there were those pencil mark things where eyebrows once may have been, but since she was under the age of 80, I was assuming the real eyebrows were lost in some kind of industrial Walkman type of accident, so I tried not to stare. The second thing I noticed about my boss was that she was not very bright. I also did not hold this against her, on the off chance that the accident that caused the eyebrow loss may have also caused some minor brain damage. She obviously had no plan for what to do with me as a new employee. I did get her lunch at the Pizza Hut next door. And I had to nod my head sympathetically as she babbled on about how before she worked at Strawberries she had never heard of bands like Puddle of Mudd, and since she had started working there, she had heard of bands like Puddle of Mudd. I should have stayed at Pizza Hut.

But at least my eyebrowless boss who was amazed by the existence of extremely crappy faux-metal bands talked to me, which was a step above what I got from, oh, every other asshole who worked in the store. But really, that was okay, them being assholes and all.

Other than making runs to Pizza Hut, my three days on the job consisted of me walking around the store, helping the confused masses locate the latest Celine Dion holiday CD. (Big display over near the register, ma'am. Big display over near the register, sir. Can I interest you in the new Puddle of Mudd Chanuakauh CD sir?)

This lasted for three days. Somehow, I was never put back on the schedule. Somehow, I did not raise a fuss about this.

But, before I end this tale of a short chapter in my working life, I will provide you with an actual transcript, from memory, more or less, of an actual exchange between one of my coworkers who did not speak to me and one of Saugus' finest musicophiles.

CULTURED SAUGUS MUSIC SHOPPER: Can you tell me where to find Da ZZ Top?

ASSHOLE COWORKER WHO DIDN'T SPEAK TO ME: Ummmm, what kind of music is that?

CULTURED SAUGUS MUSIC SHOPPER: You know, dose guys with da beards, Da ZZ Top.

ASSHOLE COWORKER WHO DIDN'T SPEAK TO ME: Oh, Da ZZ Top, well they must be under D.