Monday Dare: lessons of a temp of a temp of a temp

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Do, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please, feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the word “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: Think ahead.

Working a series of low-paying jobs taught me some useful skills. I learned how to pretend to give a shit. I learned how to not maim or kill get along with all types of people.

The year before I started dating my husband, I took a job as a gift wrapper to earn extra money for Cal’s birthday. I stood eight hours a day in a downtown warehouse wrapping expensive children’s toys for an online retailer.

Every morning, I made the 50-minute trek to downtown with my boyfriend. Each ride required a certain caution-to-the-wind mentality. The suspension on his car needed attention. The car, as a whole, needed attention. But, with my newfound success in getting this soon-to-be ex-boyfriend to brush his teeth before bed every night, I wasn’t going to press my luck by bringing up the sorry state of our transportation.

He genuinely enjoyed our new morning time commute together. As we inched along the freeway, he opened up about his childhood, his numerous experiences with incarceration and amoral women, and his love and respect for diamond jewelry. Every morning, he dropped me off with a warning to “keep my time card straight.”

A short-term hire, I arrived to replace the temp…of a temp. From what my keen ears gathered as they strained to hear the gossip, the original hire only lasted one day. She declared it was too damn cold in the warehouse and quit. That hire’s replacement only lasted two days. Something about boyfriend drama. Something about a broken car window. I don’t know. Even my ears have their limits.

I especially enjoyed wrapping the last-minute “shit, I forgot it’s my kid’s birthday again gifts. One such order requested six wooden vegetables, priced between $2.50 and $3.00, to be wrapped separately. Since the company charged $5.00 to wrap each item, this forgetful, yet repentant, parent paid $30 in wrapping plus $30 in expedited shipping to send out $16 in gifts.

I’m not judging. I refuse to think ahead on a regular basis. This shit gets uncomfortable, and worse, it leads to some unseemly short-term solutions.

Didn’t shower? Stick a dryer sheet in your underwear. Didn’t pick up the elderly shut-in for his weekly shopping trip? Say you did and stick to your story. Didn’t go grocery shopping? Try to convince your family that string cheese and Bagel Bites qualify as a hearty dinner.

Enough. I’m thinking ahead.
Up next: How working at a dry cleaners taught me to think ahead. 
Y’all had any odd jobs?

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