Summer Job Blues


I have been very annoyed and cheated about updating my classes, reworking my online materials, and basically working for free all summer.  It makes me cranky, and seriously critique my lack of tan…and it reminds me of the ton of miserable jobs I held as a student during the summer. My family was very much a “make-your-own-way-or-starve” sort, so my first summer out of college I drive back to NoWhere in the midwest where my family lived and landed at a temp agency.

I could type 75 words a minute.  I was well spoken, had office experience.  What did I land?  A job as a proofreader…of barcodes.

That’s right, I spent an entire mind-numbing summer in a freezing cold warehouse that printed up label barcodes for companies.  All companies.  But someone has to check that A) the barcodes actually don’t skip a page or number and;
B) there’s no ink dots in the barcode that would mess up the scanning.

Thats all I did.  I read numbers and looked for tiny dots of ink.  8 hours a day.  There was some physical labor to it–you had to pick up boxes of paper, which can be heavy, but plenty of time was spent hunched on a bench with 4 other lonely souls, flipping through sheet after sheet of labels.  I’ve had other craptastic jobs, too: late night shift at Taco Bell (sleepy + fry stations is baaaad) , copy girl (paper jams every 3 minutes can lead to hair loss and eye twitching), vet assistant (aka kennel poop cleaner), classified ad writer (nauseatingly boring)…


So when I feel a bit disgruntled with how much work I’ve done during my summer off (which is a FURLOUGH, people, I DON’T GET PAID, NO TEACHER DOES!) I remind myself of that warehouse of horrors and I instantly feel better…


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