Being someone of high hopes and little follow through I have held a lot of jobs. Waitressing, retail, bookkeeping, reception, retail, childcare, bank teller, office/county council campaign manager. I may be a kept woman now but I’m no stranger to the crappy job. We all respect the soldier, the police officer, the teacher for the tough jobs they do. I want to take a few minutes to acknowledge the little guys. Here’s to the:
You deal with sick people who are tired, grouchy and standing in a long line. They cough, hack, wheeze and deposit God only knows what kind of bodily secretions on the cash they hand you. You handle old people who don’t know what medications they are supposed to be taking or how they will afford them. You serve the haggard mother with three sick kids in tow as she tries to get their medication. You have to tell the skeezer who wants his pain meds refilled a week early that you can’t do that. You liaison with insurance companies, doctors, and Medicaid and are the face that delivers the price of a medication to the bewildered customer. I can’t blame any of you if you’re slipping a few of those pills yourselves just to get through a shift.
Anyone is welcome in the library and then anyone has internet access. I salute you, librarian, who has to go politely ask the surly, 300 pound, aromatic gentleman to navigate away from the Hotties with Hula Hoops site. You must keep a straight face when checking out Divorce for Dummies to the neighbor or the Kama Sutra to the 87 year old church organist. You check in books with Cheeto dust, cat hair, and suspicious stains between the pages. You try not to cry when you find that little Johnny hid a booger in every flap of “Where Is Spot?”. I salute your cardigan encased nerves of steel.
The Daycare Teacher
Where to begin?! There’s the biter, the crier, the eternally runny nose kid all in your care for 8 hours a day. There’s the parent who’s upset because Bella #3 came home with paint on her freshly monogrammed smock dress. You have to remember that Jacob can only eat gluten free, organic rice cakes and then deal with it after his system processes it into an entirely new cake that smells only slightly worse than the original. You spend afternoons tracing, cutting, and planning for a project that becomes a glue dripping, glitter in the eye 10 minute blur. You are understandably unappreciated by the kids but also taken for granted by the parents and management. Then you go home to your own kids and husband for more of the same. There’s a special section of Heaven reserved for you.
And Finally…The Wal-Mart Cashier
Mainly I loathe you, Wal-Mart cashier but I realize that the you I see slinging my chicken breast across the scanner and into the same bag as the insecticide while barely managing not to out right growl at me, is probably not the original version of you. You may have had hopes, dreams and a love of people once upon a time. I imagine you donning that blue smock 5 1/2 months ago with a song in your heart, ready to roll back the prices, bring cheap home goods to the masses and make the world a brighter place. Alas, endless lines of rude people, kids screaming for candy, sketchy guys buying rope and vegetable oil, old ladies who insist on writing checks and expired coupons have crushed your spirit. We did this to you. You deserve a salute and a sincere apology.