The horrors that follow are true. Nothing here is fictitious, or even exaggerated in the least. For anyone who has worked in a McDonald's, a T.J. Maxx, or a Kmart knows how it changes you. It starts with a small rash, hardly noticeable at first, then it grows...until it covers your face and hands and genitalia with bleeding yellow calluses that burn when water touches them... Umm, anyway, here's the story.
I used to be a good kid. I went to bed every day by 9 pm and I woke up by 7. There wasn't much wrong in the world, everything was pretty darn good. I had a paper route, and it was fun. I didn't make much money but I did a lot of work(at least it felt like I did), and I liked my work. I felt that delivering papers was my calling. It was the job for me. I couldn't really support myself on twenty bucks a week, so I had a plan. When I turned sixteen I was gonna drop outta school, get a few more routes and turn it into a full time operation.
But it wasn't meant to be. I was horrible at my job. The problem was, after school I liked to hang out with my 'boyz' but it was at that very same time that I was supposed to be delivering papers. The complications grew and grew- all the elderly people were starting to complain, so finally I gave up my goal and watched the mythical Empire of Paper Deliverance dissolve into the transparent nothingness that deferred dreams are made of. *sniff*.
Anyway, I was faced with the very real problem of no money. I must have done something horrible in a past life, because Kmart was hiring. Turns out that my local Kmart was shedding its early 70's decor for a more modern taste. *I* for one always thought the dull orange signs were mildly whimsical, but what do I know, hey?
The next day I ran down there to pick up an application. Now I don't know if any of you have ever seen a Kmart application, but this was my first clue that Kmart was a scarier thing to join than Al Capone's gang. Now a normal job application asks questions. Kmart's was a pale blue thing, maybe a third of the size of a normal piece of paper. It said stuff like, "NAME, ADDRESS, TODAY'S DATE" and that was IT, man. I wanted to fill it out in pale blue crayon but all I had on me was a pen, so I signed my life away and threw it at the receptionist(freaky lot, Kmart receptionists are). I hoped to forget about this ugly occurrence and move on with my free, untainted life, but that was not to be.
That same afternoon I hung out with my friends for a few hours afterwards, then came home. My mom said someone from Kmart called about a job. Unfortunately, my mother acquired the Twisted Establishment's phone number so I called them up, and would I like to come in for an interview? Like right now?
I threw on a tie and zipped down there. Young children may want to skip this description of my employer: Laurie was her name, and I can now only equate her name with EVIL. She had more purple eyeshadow above her saggy eyelids than Tammy Faye Baker. She frightened me. To the core of my innocent soul. She handed me a questionnaire and sent me off to some room. The questionnaire was filled with such difficult theological questions as: "Can you count to fifty?" "Do you consider stealing from Kmart a crime?" After the trying exam, I was escorted back to the office where Laurie asked me: "Jim, have you ever been convicted of a major crime?" I said 'not really' and she shook me hand- I was hired!
Little did I know the horrors, the absolute horrors, that awaited me. Click on an icon to go to one of my 'experiences' as I like to call them...
Glen L. Roberts Commentary