Friday, February 19, 2016

JobJobs 4: 90's Employment

Wait! You missed the 1980's (but I don't.)

Lisa, my partner in salad spinner crime, got me my next job, at Wildwood Natural Foods - the tofu people. My twice-a-week job was to wash hundreds of rubber gloves, shovel out the sewer drains of billions of stinky soybean hulls, and power wash the parking lot, cuz they were a bit obsessed about bacteria counts. It was, by far, the wettest job I've ever had.

What I remember most about that job is the music, which played constantly and at face-melting volumes to be heard over the machinery. The employees all brought their own CDs, but really since I could only hear the basslines, there was just 3:
         1) Nortena, which had an alternating bass line. High low high low High low high low (repeat until song ends, then pick up with next song)
         2) Vietnamese Disco, which just had one chord on the beat. Rather like listening to a turn signal for 45 minutes.
         3) And Legend, by Bob Marley, because he was the ONLY reggae artist and he ONLY wrote 14 songs and no white stoner ever wants to listen to anything else. (same bass line as #2, just on the off beats. So, somebody else's turn signal for 45 minutes.)

Triple Jobs (1989)

Wildwood was only twice a week though so I picked up two other jobs, making
Still buy 'em, still like 'em.
this the only time I worked 3 at one time. Budgeting was creative because I got a paycheck weekly, bimonthly AND Monthly)
  • Job #2 was delivering for a florist, up in the rural San Lorenzo valley, where you can roll down the windows and always hear the theme from Deliverance playing. Mixed in with this though was the constant echoes of a chainsaw or two, so the valley sounded like Dueling Banjos remixed by Trent Reznor.
  • Job #3 was delivering The Great Exchange shopping newspaper. I met my next girlfriend there; love at first sight. This was not a good thing, because I was almost 25 and she had just turned, um, 17.
And since we were both drivers, she REALLY liked doing it in the car. "Um, honey, nonononono.....let's go to your place. Or my place, or a motel! Anywhere where the cops couldn't cite.... Tell you what, I will happily make the beast with two backs with you in a car.......for your birthday. What say?! Just hold off till then, and I will rent a limo and we'll do it in a left hand turn lane, with the windows down, and we'll tie up the driver and fuck him too -

Impulse Couriers (1989 - 1996)

I drove this truck 400,000 miles over 4 years.
Note boombox wedged between the two headrests.
3 jobs wasn't a long term solution, and neither was dating my jailbait girlfriend. So I swapped all three jobs for 1 full time one, and moved "Statutory" into my house (although she still occasionally dragged me out to the driveway).

My new job capitalized on all of the driving I had been doing, and I became a Courier. I used a teeny company truck, and in those primeval ooze days before email and desktop publishing, our clients were mostly graphic artists and typesetters. I once hightailed it all the way to Napa just to deliver a single letter "T".

I loved being a courier, because I was part of a team, and yet there was a volume control between me and my co-workers. I wish ALL of my jobs had that feature.

I was also the drummer in a blues band that played 4 nights a week in my garage, and recorded every practice onto cassettes. So I got to listen and work out new parts on the job. Dashboard drumming for the win!

My most memorable run was late in 1989. I was late coming back from Salinas,
and I knew that Statutory was picking me up from the office downtown, and was
January, 1990. Looking from Cedar street across Pacific to
Front St. Behind the big scooper is where the old
Cooperhouse used to be, and upper right is the old jail, that
would soon become the Museum of Art and History.
taking me home to band practice, even though the World Series between the Giants and A's was on. Band practice before hoes, bros, coven, or anything else.

So I was doing about 80 mph on northbound 1. At 5:04 I was coming up on the State Park exit when Mother Nature remembered it was October 17th and unleashed the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

Which sounded like the Goddess had just squeezed a cane toad the size of Alabama.

I was about 3 miles from the epicenter when it became the epicenter. And Highway 1 turned into the Giant Dipper roller coaster. I was very lucky to be a professional driver. Perhaps the longest, most surreal 15 seconds of my life, watching the highway ripple away in both directions.

Statutory was very glad to see me, and my boss was very glad to see his truck. It took me 2 hours to drive the three miles home, because all of the roads had chimney bricks scattered all over.

But everyone in the band showed up for practice, goddamnit.

Quazimojo in 1990. I was 25.
You'll be very happy to hear that I kept the courier job for 7 years, which brings us all the way up to 1996. so only 20 years to go, gentle readers!

After 5 of those 7 years we co-opted the company and I became an independent contractor. I bought my first and last new vehicle, a Mitsubishi truck, and I had a gold plaque affixed to the dash that read "Employee of the year!" (two years running!)

But then my truck barfed its engine all over Highway 17, and I was suddenly vehicle-less AND unemployed again. I had a vacation coming up too - my first ever! - but thankfully it was all pre-paid.

13: Real Magick + Others (1996 - 1998)

I returned two weeks later, went to a building I had seen in a vision, knocked, spoke 5 words to the owner, and with no retail or magic experience whatsoever I got a job as the manager of witchy store.

So, the Goddess watches over those who run through their lives like a 3 year old with a spider web on her face.

For all my breathless bravado, I had a steep learning curve ahead of me. In two months I  had to open this retail business whilst learning:
  • Spellwork,
    13: Real Magick in 1997. Jewelry and counter on
    left, Stinky Shack on right.
  • Management,
  • Divination,
  • Accounting,
  • Herbology,
  • Payroll,
  • Talismans,
  • Taxes,
  • and creating festive window displays.
I had the time of my life. It was like being paid to go to the sexiest church, ever.

Some pay though: Since I was the manager I got the boost all the way up to $5.50 an hour, meaning I had to rent out my own room and move into a tent in my backyard.

For two years. Dating was......difficult.

So I got a second job, as a courier again. But this time, on a bicycle. In my 3,000 pound truck I used to deliver type that weighed less than an ounce. But now on my 25 pound bike I was dragging around 200 pound trailers up and down the hills of Santa Cruz.

I cancelled my gym membership.

I left Ped-Ex after two years, because the co-op wouldn't give ourselves a raise up to $6.00 an hour, even though we had thousands piling up in the bank. At the end of a spirited 3 hour debate nobody could tell me who were oppressing by giving ourselves the money we had earned by our own muscle.

If it makes noise when whapped, I'll whap it.
And they resented the fact that I thought it was hilarious that we were storing all of this cash in Bank of America, where it was being used to fund Apartheid.

No more co-ops. And I aint buying a freakin' salad spinner, either!

But I still needed another job to augment the sofa change I was making by running the Witchy Store.

Let's see, what other useless skills can I use to get me a job doing something I am completely unqualified for?

Well, I am a drummer! Yay! So I got a job at Rhythm Fusion, a world music drum store - as their Shipper/Receiver? Sure. What could be more fun than that?

Well, lots of things, as it turned out. First off, just because you sell world-class instruments doesn't mean that you are selling to world-class musicians. And there is the age-old axiom "the lower the talent level the higher the volume level" - especially when he's 'showing off' for his girlfriend. 

And I would have daily tasks like "move this truckload of gongs down a spiral staircase and into the basement".

I cancelled my gym membership again.

I lasted 8 months, which as it turns out was some sort of record, because I
Employee discount, baby!
worked for a boss who would literally stand over me and question the cost of every single cardboard box I was re-using.

The boxes were the best thing about Rhythm Fusion. I opened boxes from all over the world. 
  • I opened wooden xylophones from India, and the air in the box smelled like cinnamon. 
  • I opened boxes of djembes from villages in Nigeria, with a bit of African dirt mixed in and packed in newspapers from all over the world, the margins of which would be full of scores of lunchtime card games. 
  • I opened boxes from Bolivia that were full of goat toe rattles...........and excuse me while I barf all over my keyboard. Again. Good God goats smell baa-aa-ad.
So. Spiritually this was the apex of my job history. Mornings full of music, afternoons full of Magick.......and a wallet full of I.O.U.s - I was paying my landlord in loose change, lawn mowings and oral sex.

No-Tell Motel (1999-2000)

My time as a front desk clerk at a suburban motel is well documented in my blog post "Tales from No-Tell Motel" - one of the most read pieces on Angus-land, and some of the Google searches that lead people to the piece are quite eye searing. Man, we're a bunch of sleazeballs.

But even with all of the tales of Hotel Hook-ups in the post, there were a couple of facts that I deemed too spicy to include.

AND THEY ARE:
Pancho Villa, hotel hook-up specialist.
One of the busiest little buck funnies was my Supervisor. She was the morning and I was the swing shift, but she was the Swinger. Hours after she "clocked out" she would suddenly call me from one of the occupied rooms - and ask me to make a reservation for two at some swanky restaurant. Always under the name "Pancho Villa", cause she was total Class like that.

She loved me, because I was discreet, and she wanted me to earn more money so she showed me how to run the following scam:
If somebody pays cash, don't run the transaction or give the guests a receipt, unless they ask for one. Instead just give them the key and a map. After they leave run the transaction with the AAA discount, and put in that amount of cash, and pocket the difference.

Thanks boss, and where shall Pancho Villa be dining this evening?

Did I ever score at Motel Sex? Why thank you, I did, and I think you are all total sleazeballs as well.
Quick quiz!
  1. Standard room or suite? *
  2. Drug of choice? **
  3. Number of partners? ***
  4. Male or female? ****
Before the schtooping we spent some time in the suites Jacuzzi hot tub, reading aloud from the only book we could find. Which was, the Gideon Bible - what else!?

And what part were we reading to each other? The Song of Solomon, baby! (insert funky bass line) Thank you, God! You're a total sleazeball too!

"His legs are as pillars of marble. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste." (Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, verse 3)
Buuut....."Fear leads to Anger. Anger leads to Hate.
Hate leads to suffering." I much prefer Gods whom
I am not directed to fear, and who rejoice when
we get down and dirty in apple orchards.

Hey, Christians! Parts of your Old Testament are super pervy! We approve!

On! On to the NAUGHTIES!

Angus McMahan
angusmcmahan@gmail.com
@AngusMcMahan

* Suite, of COURSE.
** Chocolate
*** 3, including me.
**** Both female. (I am hopelessly straight) 

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