Friday, May 24, 2013

The Worst Job

I was reminiscing on a job I had a few years ago when I was starving in Central NH. I was living at a halfway house where everyone had diabetes and more DUI convictions than teeth. The plan was to get a job at a surgical tool manufacturing factory. Or Gunstock ski slopes where I could help people get on the lift or teach kids to snowplow. These lofty goals all crashed down as I missed the application window for Gunstock and the surgical tool place took me on a tour that was like a visit to a hellish future of wearing all white clean room gowns and fighting with fine surgical tubing whilst my prostate throbbed in wounded indifference. It was bleak but I swallowed my pride and begged for the job...and eventually was discarded in favor of some old women who could knit like river powered sock mills.

I spent my last savings at Funspot Arcade playing Star Castle and Venture in a desperate attempt to go back in time to 1982.

That left me penniless in a half way house, surrounded by paroled Mcdonald's fry cooks, working off my rent by fixing the linoleum floor of the house madame, playing Gin Rummy for no stakes. This was a bleak time for Oggy. I pawned my ego for enough money to buy an anvil to drown myself in the frozen river...but I'm a coward and ended up drunk at an empty bar trying to play a Jackson Browne song for the pretty bartender...thinking she loved me because she bought me a White Russian but then she overcharged me for the next three and I couldn't pay the tab. An obese resident of the halfway house, a clown by trade, with swollen ulcerated legs, died around this time. An older man fell into the bathtub.

So, what happened next was an employment fair where 100 people interviewed for 10 jobs dealing with Aluminum heat sinks. It was that or the gig shredding paper for the IRS for 2 months. I took the aluminum heat sink job for $8 an hour and almost cried when I entered the factory at 6 am with my "valuemart" ham sandwich tucked inside a paper bag. It snowed so hard my first day I couldn't get the van out of the parking lot.
baking aluminum pizza

The job went from bad to worse as my duties included sliding these 100lb Toshiba Cell Phone tower heat sinks into a blast furnace that would bake the heat activated epoxy. 12 hour shifts assembling industrial heat sinks in conditions that resembled a medium security prison. I actually was thankful for the terrible Tinnitus that buzzes in my ears 24/7 because I couldn't hear the babbling of the employees talking about which Celebrity was caught drunk driving or who was fucking whom at the Lion's Club. Then back to the halfway house for a few minutes of fretful sleep. Then back to the heat sink factory where old employees wandered like pale ghosts. 15 minute break at 10 am. Then another at 3pm. A nice 30 minute break at noon to glimpse the frozen sun...and where the highlight of the Christmas party was getting a $25 gift certificate to Applebees in Concord and my asking a shy, purebred NH lass from the Deburring Department to dinner and having a sexual harassment file opened on me. There was a clash of egos between myself and some old women that almost got me arrested but ultimately got me fired three days before Christmas. I never got my final check and I figured it didn't matter. I had no money or job and my arthritic neck made my nights sleepless and my Mexican fantasy lover made my days a lonely hell. My father asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told him a gun with one bullet.

On Christmas Eve I was, freezing, digging through the trash behind a bar for aluminum to resell and a cement worker asked me if I wanted to smoke crack cocaine in his basement. And if you wonder what it takes for me to say yes to that kind of invitation then now you know.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.