Originally I had thought of writing a list about people who have impacted my life, and I still would like to do that eventually. But I’m feeling sort of feisty today, and would rather do this. The scale is 1-10, with 10 being I’d-rather-stab-myself-in-the-eye-than-do-that-again.

1. Telemarketing

In high school a couple girlfriends and I worked for a slimeball where we called customers who had used local dealerships for repair work on their cars. Those calls were either great or painful, depending on customer satisfaction. I mean, imagine how excited you’d be if you’d paid stupid amounts of money for poor work, and then had someone call you to ask how you felt about it! Huzzah! Ugh.

Rating: 5 – For being not worth the whopping $6 an hour we richly earned then.

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2. Baskin Robbins

My first job was at an ice-cream shop where you basically just put scoops in a cone, and yet I still managed to forget the banana in a lady’s split once. Our owner was a total jerk, and while working there I met the guy I’d go on to date for years – the one who really screwed me up for a long time.

Rating: 7 – For long-term relationship effects.

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3. Working as a temp in a candle factory

You know how good candles smell? Yeah, the smell ain’t so hot when it’s all mixed together in some obliterating olfactory version of a suicide pop you make at the gas station. The young accounts receivable gal was having an affair with the VP, and was drunk when she came back from lunch every day. The Pres sent email porn around and my jacket had an everlasting reek to it, such that after months I finally just threw it away. I worked there for ONE WEEK.

Rating: 8 – For being the genesis of my migraines, surely.

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4. Tech Writing

The last tech writing job I had was contracting for a local title company that had many other mortgage-related companies under its umbrella. The company had a whole lot of money and a coincidingly evil CTO. They had historically turned all the contract workers from my firm into full-time employees until I got pregnant with Jack. Then one day I was brought in and told that they loved me but were letting me go b/c they didn’t want to pay maternity leave. Sadly, even the EEOC inquiry told me that as a contract-employee you gots no protection. Keep that in mind if you’re ever in that position, folks.

Rating: 9 – For cruel loophole illegalities.

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5. Carlos O’Kelly’s

One of my serving jobs in college was at a crappy Mexican restaurant. After working for a few years (re: gained seniority), I fell on water from the leaky ice machine and re-injured the knee I had just been cleared to work on. So, knowing I didn’t have the money for an MRI or more PT, it was suggested I file for Workers Comp. Thus my pariah status was solidified and attempts to get me to quit were full-on. But I refused, until the day came when two wenches came in and decided for reasons only girls can really understand that they instantly didn’t like me. They left their checks with no tips included, and wrote a note to my manager with impossible lies. And hear me clearly: I’m a good server and enjoy socializing with people, so believe my narration when I say it was bullshit. But more drama ensued with my manager, and I was so frustrated by the time I left that I happened to write an anonymously scathing and awesomely written letter to those stupid girls, and sent it to the addresses I ganked off the checks.

Yes, I know. It was childish and volatile. Obviously the job was lost when they showed up again three weeks later, and poor Cyndi felt the effects of having been my friend herself, but years later I still don’t regret doing it. I was mad as hell and couldn’t take it anymore. And when I called my parents to tell them, my mom was furious (rightfully so), but my dad, after Mom hung up, whispered ‘Good for you for sticking up for yourself’. Damn straight.

Best scene that could be recreated for a movie? The patronizing GM, while debating with me on whether they were firing me or I was quitting, told me that if someone cuts me off in traffic, I can’t just go ’round blowing up their houses.

I told him no, but you can give them the finger. Then I walked out.

Rating: 10 – For overall ridiculousness.

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