He jumps on my back every time I turn down overtime

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It’s been a while since we delved into my high school journal so let’s go back to July 28, 1985. There was so much in this entry (more than five handwritten pages) that I have to chop this up. Here’s part one.

Just saw a commercial for a Whopper with cheese. YUCK! I work at “the home of the Whopper.” I live, eat, dream, smell (etc.) of Burger King. And I can’t stand it! It’s the scum pit of the world, believe me, I know

Finally, after working there for a month, they gave me a paycheck. No dear, we don’t get paid once every two weeks. It’s once a week. Anyway, they finally gave me a check and let me tell you I’m working for PEANUTS!!!

There’s no way I’m even gonna come close to paying for any of my college education and Mr. Know It All Jack (my brother) jumps on my back every time I turn down overtime. You know, sometimes I just want ONE day off, just to get away!

So I think, ‘Reason with him, explain yourself!”

“Jack, I don’t feel like working today, I’ve worked the last five days.” No dice.

“I remember when I worked at McDonald’s. After a 50-hour work week Dad would make me work overtime!” I doubt it dearie.

It’s almost like he wants me to suffer like he did (?) He wasn’t satisfied until I worked at a fast food place and even that isn’t good enough. Why don’t I work 22 hours a day, seven days a week? That probably wouldn’t please him.

Talk about having it easy! He sleeps til 2:00 pm every day, stays up until 3:00 am, watches TV in between and jumps when Donna tells him to. And believe me, he doesn’t jump he says, “How high? Was that good enough? Want me to jump higher? No? Lower? Sure thing, dear.”

She leads him around by the nose and he goes willingly. I hope someday I can latch on to a stupid sucker (for a boyfriend) like Donna did with Jack. I’m watching and taking notes.

Enough already.

There’s always so much to explain, so let’s start at the beginning. If memory serves, I worked at Burger King for about a month. Maybe six weeks. You may recall there was an Incident With a Burger. I will go to my grave denying that.

It. Was. Not. Me.


Moving on. It did take forever to get that first paycheck and I was really getting annoyed. I think I was addressing the manager whose name was Clint when I wrote, “No dear, we don’t get paid once every two weeks. It’s once a week.”

I remember his name because the only other Clint I’d ever heard of at that time was Mr. Eastwood. So this guy was extremely anal retentive and he would pop into the restaurant during his vacation to see if we were slacking off. He was a career manager and had a family he was supporting so maybe he was looking for job security.

Regardless, he was pissing me off. And it appears that I was into using the word “dear” or “dearie” when I was pissed.

I have no idea how my brother knew I was turning down overtime. Obviously I must have blabbed about it, because he wasn’t psychic. And I do remember him constantly bitching about how much he had to work at McDonald’s when he was in high school. When he said “Dad would make me work overtime!” I should have replied, “That’s because Dad is a dick.”

In retrospect, I’m positive my dad made him work overtime during the summer. And I’m positive my dad was a dick.

I love that I was just tapped out after working five days in a row. I’m quite certain those were not eight-hour shifts. Possibly four hours. Yes, that’s right. Twenty hours behind the counter was extremely taxing and I just needed one day away.

I have no idea why my brother was not working at that time. He was 25 and worked as an engineer all of his adult life. It could be that he was laid off from Chrysler. I know there was a period of time when he was looking for a new job after being laid off. It must have been the summer of 1985.

Anyway, he was clearly living the life of Riley and did not have a leg to stand on, in my 17-year-old opinion. And his then-girlfriend was calling all the shots. Again, in my teenage opinion. He really did jump at her every whim. And obviously that pissed me off enough to refer to him as a “stupid sucker.” Strong language for a teenager, eh?

I also enjoy the fact that I was sarcastically making mental notes. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jack.

To be continued…

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26 VIPs have spoken

  • Natural says:

    ah, i love the flash backs. i could never handle working at a fast food joint, i would do it, but i really can’t deal with people and their attitudes, especially when i come with one.

    I hope someday I can latch on to a stupid sucker = that’s called being whipped. if i can push a man around, i don’t want him. it’s also called something else, but i won’t type it.

    • cardiogirl says:

      They really are funny to me. It really wasn’t that bad. I ended up moving on to Arby’s and I worked there from my senior year of high school til my junior year of college. I still enjoy a regular every once in a while with Arby’s sauce. No thanks to the horsey sauce.

      As an adult I agree. I don’t want a sycophant for a hubby.

  • Sandy says:

    I found in high school that the key to squelching a food addiction is to actually work some place where they make or serve it. In my case? Donut shop (believe it or not I came to detest donuts) and Wendy’s. These are the jobs that make you determined to get a college degree, and appreciate a workplace that does not leave the smell of grease in your hair.

    I did work in a bank too, but I strangely never got to the point where I hated money…

    • cardiogirl says:

      Ain’t that the truth, Sandy? You get so submerged in all of it that it becomes uninteresting. I’m quite sure I’ll never work in a chocolate factory. I need that vice in my life.

  • Hannah says:

    My first part time job was at a local supermarket – I worked the 10am-7pm shift so I got a little lay in but it meant that my lunch break was guaranteed – I’d either get it at 1 or like 3:30 (by which point I was past starving and had given up lol). I left there because I was struggling to work a Saturday job and get all my school work done (I didn’t do school work on Sundays because I went to church and did church stuff then – I’m not sure where this rule came from – I think it was something my parents instilled in me)

    My next job was for a builders merchant, I was here for three years and as much as I disliked some of the people I worked with I loved my job. (I’d go back if it wasn’t for the fact that the one evil person who made my life sucky is still there – she has a degree and could teach but still works in a builders merchant!)

    That paid for my driving lessons and my petrol and car maintence so that was all good – it then supported me through a bit of university (numerous times I’d stand on till while scribbling down essay notes while it was quiet! lol)

    • cardiogirl says:

      I always thought it would be fun to work at the supermarket although I never applied there. Isn’t that funny? I’m just realizing that. I think because all of my sisters and brother worked fast food that’s what I felt I had to do.

      What’s a builder’s merchant? Is it like a home improvement store like Lowe’s or Home Depot? That’s a great idea — working on homework during the down times. I never thought to do that but hated standing around when work was slow.

  • Lin says:

    One of my early jobs took over a month for a paycheck and for a teen, that is like 10 years! I kept getting the corporate run around saying there was a mix-up and I finally had the nerve to say that I was not coming in until I got some money. I’m surprised they didn’t tell me to take a hike, but amazingly, there was a check ready the next day. Hmmmm……

    I love early CG.

    • cardiogirl says:

      I am majorly impressed with your chutzpah as a teen, Lin. I’m also sort of surprised they wrote up the check immediately.

  • Si says:

    After leaving University and in a desperate need for cash at a time of extreme broke-ness I applied for a job at MacD’s. I went through all their training crap, passed with flying colours (as I’m pretty sure even Yang Yang the giant Panda could do) and was cleared for my first day of actual work. By noon on the first day I’d realised there are far worse things than being broke, and being there was definitely one of them. By 4pm I was no longer working there and was on the bus back home. I had three days of training and worked there 7 hours! Go me…

    • cardiogirl says:

      I love that! Three times the amount of energy spent on training compared to the amount working that one day! Awesome!

  • Elizabeth A. says:

    I worked in fast good, kinda. It was a Subway-like shop (Jimmy John’s) that delivered. I worked two weekends 9-4am, and I was out. That job sucked donkey balls, but I still love their sandwiches. It may have been better if I had a sense of direction and wasn’t driving a stick. I lasted about 3 weeks as I remember. I wouldn’t say it was the scum pit of the world though. That must have been a truly horrifying experience. I definitely thought my high school was, still do in a way.

    Oh, the sense of teenage drama. And I can assure you, my journal had far worse language in high school. But my boyfriend was like such a shetbag, ya know?

    • cardiogirl says:

      That would be a major drag having to deliver food. I really didn’t mind working in the kitchen, though. Or behind the counter for that matter. Rushes after football games were sort of stressful, but really not too bad.

      It is so funny to see my response to stress or anger. It really makes me smile reading this old stuff.

    • Si says:

      I have to say that the phrase ‘That job sucked donkey balls’ just made me snort coffee in an attempt not to asphyxiate. Well done on phrase of the day, Elizabeth! Permission to re-use in my own blog?

      • Elizabeth A. says:

        @ CG, yeah the making of the sandwiches didn’t bother me nearly as much. I learned the joy of salami, capicola, provolone, mayo and oregano. We had the bars closing, hungry drunk kids rush. That was annoying.

        @ Si, Re-use away! Glad to provide amusement.

  • Solomon says:

    It’s not the time you spend behind the counter, it’s the intensity of the shifts… ;)

    Also, Clint? I guess this guy’s hard lot in life started young.

    • cardiogirl says:

      (laughs) Occasionally I think about people like Clint who had minor roles in my life and I wonder where they are today –20 or 25 years later. His kids must be adults by now. Wow, maybe he’s retired. I think he was about 30 or 35 at the time.

  • I love this post and I love the dear and dearie comments.

    Thanks for such nice compliments you left on my blog. Just so you know, I think you are a way better writer than me (and I’m not just trying to flatter you, I really do mean it).

    • cardiogirl says:

      I know! The sarcasm isn’t quite as honed as it is today and the insults are pretty tame — compared to today.

      Oh thanks, sw. Blogging really is a great way to meet people and to stick your toe in the water of new adventures, isn’t it? It really does give my hope seeing so many other people living “real” life (day to day work, children, etc.) but still pounding away on The Book.

      Man doesn’t every blogger have The Book floating inside his or her head? Mine are creating a library up there. Time to let some of them out. One page at a time.

  • Just so you know, we older siblings ALWAYS think the younger ones have it better. This is genetically hard-wired. We can’t help it. Plus, it’s true.

    The other day my SIL called to whine about how she had just had a 46! Hour! Work! Week!

    My husband has worked that many hours than that by Wednesday afternoon. I wasn’t very sympathetic.

    But she is 35. It’s totally different when you’re a teenager. I remember working full-time during summers and being SO tired. Plus completely bummed that I never got to do anything fun. I worked in a Dairy Queen as my first ‘real’ job – hey, I lived in a small town! – and thinking that maybe I was going to smell like a Taco Salad for the rest of my life.

    • Elizabeth A. says:

      6 whole hours of overtime? Oh, the horror!!!

      I worked at Carrabba’s, you left smelling like a garlic bonfire every evening. Sexy.

      • And by the time you have worked there for about 6 months, you can never eat there again. Even if the food is awesome, you’ve just looked at it TOO MANY TIMES.

        • Elizabeth A. says:

          I did work there for two years and it did take a good while to get over it, especially since I depended on the bread and house dressing for 50% of my diet at the time, but I will love that marsala sauce forever unfortunately.

          • cardiogirl says:

            @Dom Yeah, and we last borns know the first borns get to do everything first and are adored by the parents. Potato, potahto, right?

            46 grueling hours,eh? I didn’t know DQ served taco salads. You must have worked in the sit down restaurant. Most of the ones we have here are stand alone shacks that only serve ice cream.

            @Liz I do love the smell of garlic, but I think I would have learned to hate it if I experienced it that often. Isn’t it crazy how food smells will permeate you when you’re around them constantly?

            It’s not like that when I actually cook at home.

            • Oooohhhhh! You live north of the Mason-Dixon, then. Hubby said the DQ’s around Chicago (where he graduated from high school) were seasonal summer ice cream shacks. In the south they are serious burger joints.

              My daughter was comparing her $50 galleria pedicure to going to get ice cream at DQ, and said the trip to DQ was more fun as a girls’ day out. Alright! NO PROBLEM, Dolly!

              It’s fifteen years later and I can still make the most beautiful ice cream dishes of anyone at the self-serve machines.

          • cardiogirl says:

            That’s affirmative, Dom, I am just outside the Murder Capital of cities with more than 500,000 residents — also known as Doo-twah (Detroit.)

            I think I’ve only seen two actual DQ restaurants here and I’ve never walked inside one.

  • LaTonya says:

    You have been crazy all of your life~!~ (Do you like how I used it?)

    Some times I wish my job as wifey, mom, doctor, house keeper… came with a limited number of hours. My full time job outside of the house seems to be the easiest, by far!

    • cardiogirl says:

      YES! I love how you used that new punctuation mark LaTonya!

      That is a feature of parenthood that no one talks about — how relentless it can be. Um, but in a good way, right?

  • Heather says:

    Cardiogirl, the best part about you reviving these journal entries is that your tone changes completely when you comment on them. It’s like I’m reading the words of a teenager. I hope that doesn’t offend! I like it a lot!

    • cardiogirl says:

      No offense taken at all, Heather. I always feel like I could never write in the voice of a teenager now that I’m 41 and I always laugh when I read the stuff I wrote back then.

      It’s so dramatic, you know?

  • Les says:

    I laughed so hard at your “I hope someday I can latch on to a stupid sucker”… I could hear Mr. C’s voice, clear as a bell, asking, “How high? Is that good enough, Dear?”

  • Wendy says:

    I can’t share any fast-food employment stories. Never been there (although my brothers did work at Ponderosa and said the same thing about not wanting to eat there again).

    However, I do remember that the hours I logged during high school were mostly for babysitting. Plus, I remember that the best perk to the baby-sitting gig was that I almost always had a job for New Year’s Eve.

    Now to most people, that would seem like a downer; however, if I didn’t go babysit (and ring in the New Year listening to Casey Casum and the countdown of the year’s popular songs) then I had to attend my father’s New Year’s Eve church service where they had a long meeting, then a fellowship and snacks, followed by about an hour of praying in the New Year around the altar.

    Sad to say, but I would still take a babysitting job over that other option.

    • cardiogirl says:

      I have to say, Wendy, working fast food seems so much better to me than babysitting. I really can’t stand watching other people’s kids.

      But I did find the reasoning behind working New Year’s Eve hilarious. Given those choices I would have babysat also.

  • [...] Yesterday I gave you part one of my journal entry from 1985. I was feeling very long-winded that day [...]

  • Buf says:

    Another Wendy’s person here. I worked there during the summers for most of high school and the first 2 years of college. It wasn’t too bad and I definitely had my eyes opened to the real world that first summer…lol (I worked the closing shift and the conversations and antics after we closed were quite educational for this rather sheltered, catholic school girl). In regards to getting sick of the foods, I never really had that problem. However, I would defintiely go in streaks with my eating patterns. For a few weeks it was all baked potatoes with cheese, then taco salads for awhile, then cheeseburgers, and on and on. The one thing I never did grow tired of (and still haven’t) is the frosty!! YUM!!

    • cardiogirl says:

      The frosty will never, ever lose its appeal. How can you go wrong with chocolate soft-serve ice cream?

      The answer: You can’t.

      It’s almost like a different culture working fast food, isn’t it?

      • Buf says:

        Yes it truly is a different culture. Luckily when they tried to get me to drink the kool-aid and stay there to become a manager, I was smart enough to say see ya later and headed off to engineering school…lol

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