Many people view their first job as an important, yet unfortunate milestone that one must step on and over on the road to adulthood.
Whether bagging groceries in high school or waiting tables in college, the experience is usually memorable for its tedious boredom and remarkably low pay. But one thing that tends to make it all worth it, besides that miniscule bit of pocket change that eventually is deposited in your liver, is some of the wild folks and creatures who populate your circle of co-workers.
From the fresh-faced and wide-eyed to the townies and full timers, we’ll be going into five of the characters you’ll likely meet on your first job, or even your next job.
The Ultra-Conservative Redneck
He usually works in the back, preferably frequenting the damp, chemically imbalanced dish room, where he occasionally scarfs down someone’s leftovers. Somehow he had a “Make America Great Again” hat before they were really on the market. Some of his teeth are blacker than his pupils, yet this guy is a Southern gentlemen who will smile at you with all three of his remaining chompers. When his stench causes an uproar in your nostrils remember it’s not called body odor, but chronic alcohol abuse.
The Baby’s Momma
She’s a family woman who somehow wised up to the seriousness of life right after giving birth to a new one herself. Getting knocked up managed to knock some sense into her, and a baby out of her simultaneously. She works hard, takes her job seriously, and is totally devoted to her kid who is probably destined to be a statistic anyways. If you listen closely she’ll drop the occasional gem of street knowledge, but often her advice on sexual protection is scientifically incorrect, because doubling up doesn’t work and neither do sandwich bags.
She’s kept the pounds off and the drug habit on. The bags under her eyes are bigger than the knock off designer bags in the passenger seat of her rusty sedan that smells like cigarettes and borderline prostitution. Truth be told, she aged out of the strip game. She could never dance, and the c-section scars couldn’t hide behind any amount of makeup. It may seem like she’s making sexual advances towards you, but that’s just how strippers make conversation.
The Closet Intellectual
Like all surprisingly beautiful acts of nature, you never seem to see this one take place in real time, although you may hear about it from others, or occasionally see what your brain confuses for a glimpse. But don’t be fooled. The closet intellectual will never crack a book or otherwise devour new bits of knowledge in front of others. He or she may shun basic cable, Netflix, and the like, but will likely have a library that doubles as a bedroom.
His or her book collection is full of Russian surnames, Greek Philosophers, and 19th Century politicians. The closest intellectual wouldn’t go to school for a decent paying job, or to hobble on some career path. No, they’d go for the humanities. Oh, the humanity.
The Vietnam Vet
He’s seen some shit, and he’ll tell you about some of it while you hope he’s making up most of it. His eye’s wander as he looks through you to engage in a staring contest with your deepest fears. He definitely wears his shell-shocked heart on his sleeve, but he also might literally wear camouflage from the surplus store, or from his actual tour of duty. America has been in so many godforsaken wars that the “Vietnam vet” need not have actually assaulted the Deltas of the Southeast Asian country.
Regardless of where his shots were rattled, he’ll refer to the enemy by an extremely disparaging name, like “krouts” or “japs” or “gooks” or “dinks” or “hadjis.” It’s very possible he smoked pot out of gun barrels to sooth his trench foot, which he may or may have not had amputated. He had PTSD before anyone knew it was called PTSD.