I really hate having a job. I find myself envying some aspects of unemployment. Not the lack of food and shelter, but the freedom to sleep in every day. It makes me hate working all the more when I see happy homeless people. I know why they’re happy; it’s because they don’t have to get up at 6:00AM or be careful what they email to people, or even tuck in their shirt.
The most difficult job I’ve ever had was when I was an overnight warehouse worker. I worked at Target, unloading 18-wheelers from 2:00AM to 6:00AM. Then I’d finish the shift by stocking the shelves until noon. The majority of people can’t even do a jumping jack between 2:00 and 6:00. Can you imagine having to lift boxes and move pallets? It’s like having to move everything you own in one night. And that’s about half of what the truck would hold. And I really hate moving my own stuff. I even hate helping other people move. But I especially hate working from 2:00AM to noon everyday. It was absolute torture. Then one night, I figured something out. I found out that no matter what I did, I couldn’t get fired from that job. Target realized how hard it was to convince people to show up to work at 2:00 in the morning for 7 bucks an hour. So they always gave you a verbal warning. No matter what you did. If you started a race with your co-worker down the main aisle on a kid’s tricycle (which I won, by the way), you got a warning. If you announced over the PA system that all customers must report to the front for verification of dress code adherence (“Ma’am, that fringed vest is not gonna cut it. It clearly violates our policy on denim usage.”) You got a warning. And even if you used duct tape to spell the word “Security” on your back and stood by the entrance with dark sunglasses on (“Ma’am, your ugly son is not welcome here.”) you guessed it... you got a warning. So I spent that summer finding every way imaginable to bend, break, and demolish the rules. I even convinced my older brother to work there too. We raced on everything there that had wheels. We made absurd announcements on the PA system about once an hour. And we staged fights in the women’s shoe section, yelling things like “that’s not even your size” or “there’s no way I’m letting you have the last strappy pair again!” It finally got old, so when the back-to-school rush started we quit and got real jobs.
I moved on to a job at an electronics retailer. But my older brother started working as an umpire. He was still in high school, and he had to umpire little league girls’ softball. It was the worst. There's never been so much crying, feet stomping, and dirt kicking in little league. Worrying about the uniform getting dirty instead of focusing on the game, complaining about the heat. It was ridiculous. My older brother couldn’t handle all that. Plus, he realized he was setting a bad example for the girls when he was crying every inning and kicking dirt at middle-schoolers. So he quit that job too.