Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Illustrious Career...Part Nine

It was late fall in 1977-I was now 21 years old.
One the one hand, as I think back, I was quite the loser...
Imagine that most of the people who were my age were
probably at least half-way through college, pursuing an
academic career...and here I was working in the stockroom
at Toys R Us.

But I also think that on another level, who am I to question my
economic status in life? I may think that in comparison to the
general population I was several levels below the norm, but I
was eating every day. I wasn't making much money, but I had 3
roomies, and with 4 of us pooling our money, we could pay rent
and utilities.

I have to compare my life with someone who sleeps in a
cardboard box every night, or goes hungry every day. But be that
as it may, if I am going to compare my working career with my
peers, I did consider myself as being inferior...and to a certain
extent I still do today...since, as you will find if you continue to
read my upcoming posts, this pattern of hopping from job to job
has continued all my life. You ain't seen nothin' yet!

But, I digress. The job itself was not bad. I worked weekends
and late hours, it was the busy Christmas season. I worked in
the stock room receiving shipments from the warehouse. We
unloaded the semi's, stacked the merchandise on the second-
level mezzanine, and then assembled many of the floor displays.

We built the bicycles and other odd toys, and then carried them
out to the floor. Occasionally, I was called out to the cash
registers to work checkout when it got real busy, so I got some
of that experience as well.

We had a good time when it was not real busy. The upstairs
mezzanine, as you may know, is normally just a second floor
storage area with a pretty cheap plywood floor. This area was
above the normal sales floor, so if we made a lot of noise while
doing our bicycle races up there, customers shopping on the
sales floor could hear it, and would look up quizzically!

There were also slight gaps in on the floor, which would
translate to a gap in the ceiling for the customers. These gaps
were small enough to not be noticeable, but just wide enough for
us to slip little things through them to annoy the shoppers

I am referring to the thin yellow nylon straps that are used to
tie boxes together on pallets...we would slip them through the
cracks, and the shopper would suddenly see this yellow
snake-looking thing dropping down out of the ceiling above them,
only to be yanked back up again when they tried to investigate.

I then found out from a friend of my dad that there was an
opening in a construction company, and at the beginning of 1978,
I began working as an insulation installer. Part Ten will begin
with this job.

Peace be with you.


  1. Did you ever wake up and forget which job to go to?

  2. Oh I would so have done that too..slip little things through the cracks on unknowing customers. This is very funny!!

  3. how could you even joke that you were a "loser" ... a loser isn't a hard worker. a loser isn't living on his own. so there! you go, joe! it also sounds like you kinda had a fun time growing up so whatever for the college boys.

  4. Love the fact you could drop the yellow things down! I am afraid that would have occupied all my time at work!

  5. I have to so badly get back in the swing of things and read this entire story. I already emailed myself all the links thus far. It will happen my friend, it will :) Keep up the great work!

  6. Well, for starters, you are NOT A LOSER. Don't ever say that again. I thought it was so funny the way you played practical jokes on the customers!! Good job ;)

  7. A variety of jobs! Awesome!
    And I'm with sarah; You're definitely not a loser.
    Hope you're having a great day!

  8. Well, we are about one-third the way done counting, today I am working about my 30'th...and LAST job.
    It has been pretty amazing for me, now that I have started documenting all this for the first time, and trying to remember them all. What strikes me, I could NEVER go through all that today, at my age!
    Hope these are not boring, because it has been very good for ME to bring all this up...

  9. Nothing inferior about working my Friend even if it involves a lot of job hopping at least you wernt running from work as a lot of folks seem to do.

    This ride has been very interesting Thanks for taking us along.