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I made my first attempt to leave the nest and failed miserably.  However, I also started going to church with people close to my own age so, for once, I felt very much like I was someplace I belonged for a change.

While there, a friend of mine from Young Women’s, who had given me permission to call her Beaker, joined the branch as well.  Although she was younger than me by a few years, it was like she was my sister.  Her father, a close friend of my mother’s, but not a blood relation had become my Uncle B.  We spent a lot of time at her house playing roleplaying games and just talking about whatever came into our heads at the time.

One day right around Halloween, Beaker told me that Shopko®, where she worked as a cashier, was hiring.  They wanted to beef up their crew prior to the Christmas rush.  If I applied there for work, she would put in a good word for me.  I was nervous.  I’d never worked in a department store before.  However, Beaker encouraged me, so I went ahead and applied.  Lo and behold, I got the job. They put me in the lingerie/Women’s clothing department.  My job was to make sure that any clothing left on the floor or in the changing area was put away in its appropriate spot.  I was also responsible for replacing any and all lingerie that had been removed from bags and/or hangers.

Christmas turned Shopko into a zoo!  However, when Beaker told me that, typically, Shopko tended to lay off quite a few of its new hires when the Christmas rush ended, I was nervous all over again.  Beaker said, given my sterling work ethic, that I really didn’t have anything to worry about.  Thankfully, when winter layoffs came, I wasn’t among them.  Beaker had been right.  However, my supervisor was a demanding woman.  She didn’t agree with Beaker.  Especially when I was asked to come in one night for Restock Day and didn’t have the least clue what I was supposed to be doing (Uh, its my first Restock Day.  You’re supposed to tell me what to do the first time, genius).

After six months of working at Shopko, I gave it up as a lost cause.  Shortly after leaving Shopko, I happened to notice a newspaper ad asking for a live-in caregiver.  A woman was looking for someone to come live with her elderly mother and do “light housekeeping.”  I thought this would handily solve both problems I had: need of a job, need to have my own place.

From the minute I moved in to the house of this woman I will call Mrs. Crabby, nothing I did in her house or out of it was right.  NOTHING!  I didn’t decorate my room the way she thought an adult female should (I decorated my room with drawings I had copied from a comic book and drawn myself).  I didn’t do the housework I had been hired for properly.  I didn’t buy appropriate food for myself when I went shopping (I wasn’t required to shop for her, thank God).  I didn’t clean her or wash her hair the right way (she wanted me to scrub her scalp and dry her butt).  MOST IMPORTANTLY!  I didn’t have a job other than taking care of her and living in her house(I should mention that my dislike of opera, which she always watched on PBS every week, dates back solidly to Mrs. Crabby).  She PISSED ME OFF!

Finally, in outrage, I started going out for work outside of taking care of Mrs. Crabby.  I applied at the new Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant, and, given that I told the supervisor that I was available all day long, with the exception of Sunday, I was hired.  I come “home” to inform Mrs. Crabby that I found a job and wouldn’t be hanging around her house more often than I had to.  Mrs. Crabby was of the opinion that I wouldn’t manage to stay there longer than a month, at most.

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I made two phone calls.  One to Beaker and one to Mrs. Crabby’s daughter.  To Mrs. Crabby’s daughter, I said she needed to find someone else to watch her mother because I wasn’t going to stay ONE. MORE. DAY.  To Beaker, I said she needed to borrow her dad’s pickup and come and PICK. ME. UP.  I had lasted all of two weeks.  That’s the shortest amount of time I’ve ever held a job.

I packed up my things and hauled them out onto the lawn.  Beaker came and got me and I returned to my parents’ house, where I was ensconced in the self-same room Mr. X had lived in all those years ago.

Have you ever had a job you couldn’t keep for more than a year? Six months? One month? What’s the shortest span of time you’ve ever held a job? Talk to me! I really want to know!