J is for…


To be honest, cost I was having a hard time thinking up something for J so I asked the Mister and he thought these two were very appropriate for me: jam and jobs. Now, buy more about jam may not sound very exciting but the truth is I really, really like jam. In fact, when I got pregnant the Mister vetoed the “tea, toast and jam” diet I was on and said I had to eat some protein if I was carrying his child. What a stick in the mud! He also wanted me to mention how I can go through a whole jar of jam before he even gets a chance to try it but it isn’t my fault he isn’t more proactive about it. Anyway, when we go to the store I make sure I buy jam that is low in sugar because of the amount I eat. Homemade jam is my favourite and one of these days, when we have space to store things, I am going to make my own.


Image by Philo

A random sampling of some of the funnier jobs I have had:

Cashier at Safeway – 19 years old, complete with white polyester dress and white shoes (remember that?) – the old men loved me and would come back every day to say hi.

Cashier at Canadian Tire – they were proudly the lowest paying Canadian Tire in the country! Also, Canadian Tire customers are crazy – they will show up an hour before the store opens and get angry that they have to wait. Or, they run in at five minutes to close and get angry when you try and shut the store down for the night.

Lackey at a bakery – from about 8 am to 4 pm, I got paid minimum wage and the baker didn’t understand that I needed to take a break (like sitting or peeing) during the day from the hard cement floor – the first day I worked 9 hours with no break. I got terrible shin splints. I ran the place from noon until the baker came back to close it down, all for $5/hr. I thought it sucked that I had to be there by myself all day until the baker and his wife got in a fight and he spent two weeks sleeping on the bags of flour in the back and had no where to go. He once yelled at me for throwing out a bag of rotting carrots and said they could be salvaged so I had to take them out of the garbage and clean the white maggoty bits off of them (don’t know if they were maggots but they looked like they were going to be soon). I stole baguettes as I left the store at night to help subsidize my wages.

Book shelver at the library – where I was told “even if the book they are looking for is above your shoulder (librarian condescendingly points to the book above her shoulder in case I don’t understand) you have to bring the customer to the librarian because most of the time people don’t really know what they are looking for.” Um, right. The people who worked at that library – in Cote St. Luc Montreal – were crazy. The library opened at 10 a.m. but we all started at 8:30 and for that hour and a half (straight) the woman in charge of the library would scream like a banshee at everyone for any reason and then at 10 a.m., when the doors opened, everything would be silent. But the old people who frequented the library were great and would come to me about books even though I told them I wasn’t allowed to tell them anything. They would hide behind the stacks and wave me over so the librarian wouldn’t see them talking to me. I remember one old lady saying “I can’t stand that librarian, she is always bringing me to the romance section – I’m done with romance! I like a good mystery.” Many of these old people were Jewish and had numbers tattooed on their arms. Now, this may be stereotyping on my part but if you have survived the Holocaust and tell me you are looking for Barbara Taylor Bradford, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you know what you want and take you to the shelf with Barbara Taylor Bradford on it.

Bank Tellerwould you like a high interest Visa with your withdrawal today? I knew I had made a bad job choice while still in training but it took me six months to leave. Actually, at one of my reviews I told them I was going back to school in the fall and the manager was very relieved because she said if I didn’t start making them more money they were going to have to fire me. I’m great at customer services but I can’t up-sell a muffin let alone go through people’s accounts and try and get them to give more money to the bank. Also – be nice to your teller. If you were nice to me I would put your cheques through without holding them. $200,000? No problem. But ignore me, throw your cheque at me and then talk on your cell phone in Spanish for 10 minutes while I stand there and wait for you to get out your bank card and I will hold your $200 cheque for three weeks – and not tell you.

Barista at Starbucks – where does one even begin? My four years there deserves a post of its own – or, as my friend Melinda insists, a musical: Annie Get Your Grande!

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