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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

You Gotta Work It - Part Two

In observation of my fifth anniversary with my employer, I'll continue my rundown of the many jobs I've held since college. Looking back, I feel I may have missed my calling. I should have become a pirate, but rum makes me sick to my stomach. So I had to find jobs that didn't involve raping and pillaging and plundering.

National Crime Prevention Council - Washington, DC
I was an editorial assistant and an annoying Bible bashing cult member during this period.

Why it Rocked: There was a good coffee place nearby. I liked working on K Street, which is a pretty happening part of town.

Why it Sucked: Because I was annoying and preached to people at work. I was in the throes of cultdom and brought my Bible to work with me. So, basically, I was a crime fighting religious superhero. Yuck.

Environmental Protection Agency - Annapolis, Maryland
The cult leaders asked me to move to Annapolis to help start another branch of the cult there. I obtained a temporary job assignment working for The EPA. No longer was I a crime fighting religious superhero. Now I was an environmental religious superhero.

Why it Rocked: I was trying to be a good Christian, but I remember having a lot of phone sex from my desk at this job. That rocked.

Why it Sucked: There were soil samples and jars of earth stuff everywhere. The office felt like a ranger's station. Not my scene.

Arthur Anderson - Baltimore, Maryland
This is the job where I was asked to use paper clips to scrape black ink marks off client proposals. They treated me like a trained monkey.

Why it Rocked: I didn't like the people who worked there, but I do remember there was free Advil available. That was helpful.

Why it Sucked: Everyone who worked there had a very high opinion of themselves. I don't think they ever called me by my name. I was just known as "The Temp".

IBM - Baltimore, Maryland
I was hired as an Inside Sales Representative, which meant I was supposed to sell products (the AS400, specifically) to IBM customers. When I began calling my customers in the database, I realized I'd been lied to. Most of my customers were sheriff's offices in West Virgina and North Carolina. I remember having to explain to one woman what IBM was.

Why it Rocked: The location, Inner Harbor in Baltimore, was a great place to work. I remember taking a lot of walks by the water on spring days. There was a fantastic sushi bar near the office, and I ate there a couple times a week. It was during my time working here that I decided to pack up and flee the cult.

Why it Sucked: I worked with someone else who was in the cult. Her name was Vera. She kept tabs on me, and I knew she would tell my brothers in the cult if I sinned in any way. The day I quit I had to wait to give notice until Vera went home so she wouldn't tell anyone in the cult I was leaving. I secretly left my resignation on my supervisor's desk, got into my car, and drove four days to Texas.

I'll continue with my list of jobs tomorrow. After I left Maryland, I moved home with my parents. I also changed my name and came out of the closet. The year was 1995, and I had only been out of college five years and had worked at least 12 different jobs.

Financially, I was bankrupt. According to my records, I made less than $5000 in 1995. I also know for a fact that I gave over $1500 to the International Church of Christ that year.

I pulled into my parents driveway that summer of 1995, and I was exhausted. I was so tired of being poor, being unhappy, being sexually frustrated. I was tired of trying to be straight, trying to be a disciple of Christ, trying to put off my creditors, and trying to be everything everyone else wanted me to be.

But freedom, sweet freedom, was just around the corner for me...

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