Tales from real life
|There’s something about the first day on the job that just seems to invite disaster. We’re overeager, self-conscious, and feeling lost in unfamiliar surroundings. Is it any wonder that we manage to find new and novel ways to embarrass ourselves?
Growing up doing chores on the ranch taught me about hard work, and as a high school Senior, I felt ready to get paid for doing a ‘real job’. My academic record was in good shape, so I arranged to spend mornings in class and afternoons at the two-register Mission Mart grocery store. My position as bagboy, stocker, and third checker paid the princely sum of $2 an hour.
The store was mostly empty when I arrived for my first shift, so the boss handed me a broom and sent me outside to sweep the sidewalk. I went at it ferociously, determined to make a good first impression. But, as I swept briskly along the edge, the head of the broom caught against the curb and the wooden handle snapped in half. My face burned red as I contemplated just giving up and going home. I’ll never forget the amused and exasperated look on the boss’s face when I sheepishly brought the pieces back into the store. To his credit, all he said was “I guess you better grab another broom.”