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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The Worst Job I Ever Had

After a three year stint in a cult known as the International Church of Christ (Boston Movement) I fled to Texas to live with my parents and get my life together. I was 29 and owed thousands or millions on my student loan. I was in the pit of depression. I was a loser.

Already beating myself up for allowing myself to be brainwashed by an evil cult, I promptly began a process of utter self-destruction that included taking a job as a "Credit Representative" for Target.

My "job" was to stand at the front of the store next to a table covered in a Target Red-Orange (tm) tablecloth and try to sucker people into signing up for a Target credit card (prestige not included) in exchange for a mini photo album (approximate retail value 99 cents) or a deluxe pen (worthless).

The job was nonsense. It was worse than my high school job at McDonalds when I fell flat on my back carrying a tray full of barbecue sauce-soaked McRibs, which flew up into the air and cascaded down onto my blue polyester uniform.

Target was a depressing place to work. I felt like the most evil used car salesman EVER as I stood by the door trying to give away incentives (ie., crappy shit) to people so they would apply for a Target credit card, which was the last thing they needed because if their credit was good they would not be shopping at Target in the first place and certainly wouldn't need a damn 99 cent photo album that looked like it was covered with floral contact paper.

You would think I could succeed at that sort of chimpanzee work, right? Well, you would be wrong. One day my feet got so tired I went over to the snack bar, where I was almost rendered unconscious by popcorn fumes, and I took a plastic chair and put it behind the table with the Target Orange-Red(tm) (or was it Target Red-Orange) tablecloth on it. I plopped down and enjoyed sitting there watching shoppers waddle by with tubs of popcorn in their chubby arms.

Lo and behold, The Target Manager (bow or curtsey as appropriate) strode over to my little corner of the Target universe and said, "Are you comfortable?" He reeked of sarcasm. Or was it Aqua Velva (tm)? Probably both. I had taken all I could handle. I answered him, "No, not really. And I'm sort of bored." Not quite sure how to take my lack of zeal for handing out mini photo albums and pens, he said, "I don't think you are supposed to be sitting down." I answered, "No. It's okay. I was told I could sit." Now this was not really a lie. Earlier, when I was over in the snack bar bathing in the pungent hot dog smell, I told myself it was okay to sit.

I defeated The Evil But Wise Target Manager with my quick thinking that time, but I knew that it wouldn't last. He was too cunning for me. Everyone knows that the vague and unproveable "I was told" defense only works once. For those not familiar with this system, which I have mastered, it is a useful argument in which one claims immunity because one was told by someone of obviously superior authority but unnamed identity that one could or could not do something.

Anyway - I never went back to that little Target Orange-Red (tm) table ever again. That was the end of my career at Target. Did I mention I graduated magna cum laude?

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