I now have a college graduate. DJ is pondering her future. She will land well.  She always does.

Her ponderance of job possibilities made me think back on my work history.  She has definitive ideas about what she does not want to do.  You gotta start somewhere, but I don’t blame her for being excited about sitting in a cubical all day.  That might drive me mad.

Perhaps the best job I had was collecting quarters from Pop-A-Shot basketball arcade machines.  I’d hit bars midday, fix any issues with the game, collect the quarters and go home and count the loot.  I’d bag the dough, keep 10% off the top – tax free, and haul the rest in a locked bag to the owner.  Some days I’d pull $400 leaving me a whopping $40 for about an hour’s worth of work.  That was a truck load of money back in 1986!  Like two weeks’ dinners at the K & W back then.

The job I hated most was working in the men’s department at Thalhimer’s Department Store at Cross Creek Mall in my hometown, Fayetteville, NC.  Yeah, I got a discount, purchased my first double breasted sports coat, it was white, but it wasn’t worth it.

Thalhimer’s sold about 50,000,000 sweaters over the Christmas holiday.  I folded each one three times a day in December.  What the heck?  Some folks would come in and unfold 15, 16 sweaters at a pop and then walk out the store empty handed, not buying a single one.  Rude.  That’s probably why I hate doing laundry today.

One time we had a hand written note on the cash register from management.  It described a woman who would come in the store and return used Members Only jackets.  They’d be obviously worn, but apparently employees would just blindly give her cash back.

Not on my watch.  Homegirl came in with a gray jacket that had Clorox stains on the sleeves.  I excused myself and called security.  She was escorted out at gunpoint.  The next day, Weezie, that’s what we called the head of HR, brought me a single rose in a vase for my bravery.  It was a nice gesture, but I would have preferred a couple of hour reprieve from the folding.

I didn’t much enjoy retail.  People were not grateful for my service, they were pigs in the dressing rooms, and there was always someone stealing.  I won’t suggest DJ go to work at the mall.  But, I might suggest Amazon.  The don’t have any dressing rooms.

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