Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crappy Job #3: Gas Station Attendant

WaitressShoe saleswoman.  Gas station attendant.  Clearly, I was a woman of ambition.

I purposely avoided working for one of those deluxe gas stations that also sold hot dogs, Slurpees, and lottery tickets.  I could only be bothered to sell gas and cigarettes.

My father initially objected to his 18-year-old daughter working the night shift by herself, until he found out that the owner of the gas station was the son of Johnny Unitas, one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time.  Apparently, free oil changes from the offspring of a football legend were worth the risk that his only child would be slain in a robbery.

Despite the obvious risk involved, it was probably the best minimum-wage job I ever had.  Look, the pros almost outweigh the cons!

  • My shift began at 4am and ended at 11am, so work never interfered with anything except for sleep.  At the time, I had a very demanding social schedule, so I needed to be available both day and night for spontaneous get-togethers.
  • There was a lot of downtime.  I would lay my head on the counter and “rest my eyes” until a customer came in.
  • By the end of the summer, I could name at least 40 brands of cigarettes!  Whenever my friends and I played Kings, it was my go-to category.

  • There was no bulletproof glass.  Just me and a cash register.  When I wasn’t sleeping on the job, I was constantly on the lookout for men in ski masks.
  • At the beginning of every shift, I had to count all of the cigarette packs.  It was supposed to deter employee theft.  The next time you’re sleep-deprived, try counting to 400 without losing track.
  • When questioned about my unusual sleep schedule, I would tell people that I worked the night shift.  Little did I know, Night Shift was the name of a strip club in nearby Baltimore.  I got the occasional strange look and had no idea why.  You can imagine my surprise when someone finally asked, “Oh, are you a stripper?”

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