Thursday, January 13, 2011

My First Job.

I'm bored. Now I have a plan. Please just go with it....

My first job. I was 16 and my friend Judy was a year older. Maybe more. She could have literally been 25 and a junior in high school. Or it could have just been the drugs and alcohol. Anyhoo, Judy worked at a local drug store called Thrifty. She was an ice cream scooper and had high ambitions. Since I had just turned 16 and she wanted to be a manager, she said I should come in and fill out an application. So I did.

I got the job!! I was a working girl. I got the brown smock and put on my good tennies and went to work. I was being trained by Judy to be the best ice cream scooper Thrifty had ever seen. She taught me all the ins and outs of being the best ics (ice cream scooper). She gave me some store ins and outs too. Like how to get the most from your break time. And that family members of the ics get a discount. Awesome.

Now here is where real life sets in. Please remember, I was only 16.

When ice cream was slow I would stock shelves. Normally it wasn't a problem. I was good at it. But on one occasion I restocked next to the pharmacy. I restocked c*ndoms. And it was a very busy day at the pharmacy. The line, right next to where I was stocking, never seemed to get smaller. For some reason that scarred me. On another day I was restocking stuff from registers and just all over the store. I saw a gal from our ward who was just baptized and engaged to our previous Bishop's son. She was picking something off a shelf. It was a box of Adv*l PM. Scandalous!!

There was a guy that would come in all the time for ice cream. But only when I was there. When I got my friend Jason, a stocker, to go up and scoop for me, the guy looked in the window and saw Jason then kept on going. I knew he was watching for me. So I had Jason stay in the front with me as often as possible. He was a big guy and a bit scary looking. I just thought he was a giant teddy bear. He also stayed after work or came back after getting off to walk me to my car. One day that guy came in and wouldn't stop bugging me. Once I left the ice cream station, he followed me. He kept asking for my name. I finally said that as Thrifty employees we weren't allowed to give out our names. Then Jason came and told the guy to leave. Luckily I didn't have my name tag yet!

Speaking of Jason, we got to talking one day about a manager there. We both had been s*xually harassed by him. He thought the manager was gay, but when I said he'd done it to me we figured he was just a disgusting kind of guy. We reported him and stuck together. We talked to corporate people and gave written statements and such. We would never work with that manager on the same shift. He eventually went to another store.

For my break I always bought myself a 3 Musketeers and a diet Coke. (they cancel each other out) Then I'd sit in the break room and chill. There were some undercover cops in the store. They were really nice and one always wore a Hawaiian shirt. All I could think of when they came in was Hawaii Five 0. Book 'em Dano. They would always say hi and talk to me and get ice cream and then when they were watching someone, they would wink at me and walk away. One night they caught someone shoplifting. They called me back to the break room. Can I tell you how weird it is to be called on the loudspeaker to the break room by an undercover cop?! I went back and lo and behold! There was Kevin. A very large and very short kid from school. He also happened to have one of the best Afros I've ever seen. Dang! They wanted me to sit with him while they did the paperwork and called his parents. That was an uncomfortable evening.

Now here's the rub on scooping ice cream. You smell like spoiled milk. For the rest of your life. Or at least until you take a shower. I always had ice cream up my right arm. My right arm muscles bulged, too. Scooping was hard work. I never understood the need for pistachio ice cream. But it was a big seller. So was black cherry. I don't get it. But it was mostly adults. Old people have strange tastes. One day my sisters came in. I gave them each a double scoop and charged them for a single. Family discount. Remember? I did. My boss was standing close by and scribbling something on her note pad. I then went off to stock shelves. Then my name was called over the loud speaker. To come to the office. So I went up thinking it was about the sicko manager. Nope. She pulled out the receipt reel from my register and began to rehearse the ice cream I just sold. 3 double scoops and I charged for 3 single scoops. "Oh!" I told her. "Those were my sisters." She waited.... "They get a discount." (Duh!!) She then told me we don't give anyone a discount and then told me to leave and not come back until she could talk to corporate. I was stunned. Not even a warning? Not even a “Who told you we gave a discount and I'll take it up with them”. Not even an "Oh it's just ice cream and just three scoops. Just don't do it again and let's let bygones be bygones." Just. Leave.

So I left and since I was home early my mom asked what happened. Oh yeah, and I was crying. I told her what happened and went to my room. When my dad got home and was told what happened he called miss manager lady and told her what for. She said she still needed to contact corporate. Well do it already!!! Sheesh!

Over the next few days I thought about my job. Gosh! Did I still have a job? I really didn't want it anymore. I didn't like smelling like spoiled milk. I didn't like weirdos coming in to buy ice cream. I didn't like icky managers. When she called me back she said that I still had my job and she'd like me to come in later that week. She was really nice, too! Weird. This is what I said, “I have thought it over and don't want to work for you anymore, so I won't be coming back in.” I think she was a bit shocked. Especially after my dad's phone call.

So that was my first job. Like it or not, I learned a lot. Maybe more than I needed. But it was character building. To say the least. If I were to have that job now, as an almost 40 year old mom, I would have told that gal from my ward that Adv*l PM isn't as good as .... And I would have stocked those co*doms with more flare. And I would have given that greasy manager a left knee in the wazoo, and if you don't know what a wazoo is, that's okay. It would have stopped him dead in his tracks. And I would have officially reported the weird guy who liked ice cream. And I would have talked to Kevin about the evils of turning to a life of crime...go back, it's a trap! And I would have given all children a double scoop for the price of a single and if I were told to leave for doing it I would just quit. And I would ask for a pistachio and black cherry double scoop cone for the walk home.

I definitely have the best job ever. Right. Now.


Sarah Junsay said...

Jennie...this is Sarah Barnum. I'm a silent stalker on your blog cause you're funny and feel like family to me :)
I remember you working at Thrifty and wanting your family discount...but you had high morals! This post was so funny! I thought at the time that being an ice cream scooper at Thrifty would be the best, but now I know to stop fantasizing about that! :)

Kates said...

That is hilarious!!! My favorite flavor was the butter something or other. I can't remember the name of it. Maybe you'll remember. And pistachio is now MY FAVORITE flavor of ice cream! Maybe I'm just getting old.

And I didn't know Kevin with the 'fro was a shoplifter!!! I need to go look him up in my yearbook now just to look at his hair!

Kim said...

Isn't it funny how time changes our perception of things?! That would freak me out to have a guy stalk me at work. Glad you had the courage to ask for help. Good for you for quitting!! BTW-I loooove pistacio ice cream!