Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Glasses half full - days of our youth.

I met a friend for lunch recently and we got to discussing really crappy jobs we had when we were young. She's a bit older than I, but many of the jobs available to teens and college students didn't change much from when we were both young. Her most disastrous job was at was a popular fast food restaurant at $1.69 an hour. Turned out she was allergic to one of the food ingredients and not only bloated up terribly but ended up covered in little spots. I said "did you look like one of those sesame seed buns" and she started choking on her drink (she knows better than to tell me these stories when we're eating).


I worked as an elf.

And got fired.  Yes, that's on my author's bio for The Book of Barkley, but is not a tale I've told most of you.

You see, in college there was a company that hired students and homemakers looking for part time work to do "product demos". You know, those annoying smiling people who try and assault you with a spray of Calvin Klein "Narcissist" as you walk through the cosmetics section at Macy's. Or those friendly people with food at grocery stores. "Sure I'll try your hickory smoked bacon but be advised I'm shopping with my identical twin so she'll probably be by for some too."

The pay was much better than minimum wage so it was a popular job and not everyone got hired. I applied. The choices though, for my first job assignment weren't great. A Mr. Peanut Costume, handing out nuts (oh please please please dear god no), more of the perfume thing (I LIKE rejection) or wait, this is perfect! An elf at Santa's Workshop at the fancy department store! All I had to do was wear the elf costume and help keep the kiddies organized while they lined up to sit on Santa's lap for a photo. I got picked for one reason only. Flaming red hair and bright green eyes. Elf material if there ever was one. Plus it was double minimum wage. Woo Hoo!!

The problem was the costume. Scooped neck Elf Dress, Elf shoes, plastic Elf Ears. All too small, especially the dress. We found bigger shoes, probably boy elf ones, but I was stuck with the dress. They usually hired petite students to be the elves, but there were a sucker for the hair and eyes, overlooking the fact that I'm tall, with a generous bustline and Scot. But I squeezed into it. Some parts didn't exactly squeeze into it well and were sort of on display and being tall, the skirt was rather short.

Don't picture a female Herbie the elf.

Picture a green hooters waitress with really pointy shoes.


But I really needed the extra cash for college and flight lessons. So off I went, having fun with the kids, chatting with Santa (who was VERY jolly that day). It was all kinds of fun, and I collected enough money to pay for more education.

Until I got fired.

For you see, I was called to come in the next morning and canned as an elf, with an abject apology "It just wasn't suited for you, we've got an even BETTER position for the rest of the week, we're so sorry, here's your apron".

Apparently some of the Mom's complained that
(1) I was distracting Santa
(2) (and I quote) Elves do NOT have bosoms!!

So much for my elfin career.

The next day I was standing in a grocery store handing out hot dogs wearing an apron that said on it, in big letters "Have I Got a Wiener for YOU !"
Today, I have Dr. in front of my name and a paycheck that is more than my needs.  It took a lot of years, of sweat and blood to get there.  But when I'm out and about and see some kid dressed like
(1) The Statue of Liberty
(2) A Slice of Pizza or
(3) An Egg (yes, last weekend at a local new restaurant)

standing by a business in the cold, dancing or holding a sign. .

I give them a friendly wave, a kind word, or if I can, go inside and give that place my business, AFTER I tell them what a great job their employee was going out there, wishing they were anything but a dancing egg, but while they had to be - they were going to be the best dancing egg on the planet.

Because that's what becoming an adult is all about, doing the job that needs to get done for you or your family.

Still I wish I had the weiner apron now.


  1. Ha! I had boring but still lousy jobs. Oops, I mean mom did . . .

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  2. WE chuckled with this story, mom remembers days gone by of very low pay also.....and funny ass not so funny jobs.........stella rose

  3. BOL the jobs that build character.

    Aroo to you,

  4. Omg I died laughing!! Hahaha. Yup anytime I wear a costume for cosplay or Halloween, we got a boob overage problem. To be a small girl, I got the blessings so to speak. One year I was Dorothy for Halloween and like your situation, moms were like uhhh Dorothy doesn't have big boobs. Lmao

  5. I worked as an elf with Santa too. We had 'slutty' elf costumes (skin tight, mega short) until someone complained and then we could wear street clothes.

  6. Thanks fur telling the elf story. Those moms who complained to Santa about how pawsome u looked in your costume were probably on the naughty list that year.

  7. BOL!!! OMD, that is a FABulous story! I thinks they had Ma in mind for that elf costume...she probably would have to have stuffed it! BOL!!!! Then again, her arse probably would have bulged out, and she would have gotten fired too! (note: Kim K like arse wasn't 'in' back then! ☺) Ma has to admit, she never had to wear a costume..just sticky IScream all overs her. AND, she gained like five pounds eatin' the merchandise!! Anyhu, she wishes she had a cool apron with wieners on it! that's just the kind of gal she is! hehehehe
    Ruby ♥

  8. LOL I used to be an Elf for Santa's breakfast at the Mall. My Mom worked for Mall Management so I had all sorts of fun odd jobs. Good times ;)

    Ginger, Matt & Matilda's Mom

  9. I want such an apron too :o) I once was snow white at a toy fair... and I lost this job after 3 hours together with two of the dwarfs... the kids there were shocked that snow white and the dwarfs smoke cigarettes :o)

  10. BOL! Oh dear. I'm sure you were a fabulous elf, but an even better weiner pusher!

  11. This post really made me smile...and laugh! Thank You!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  12. Ghostwriter and Dad have had a number of jobs like that! Haha! Grampa Bill (Dad's Dad) was a mining engineer and always reserved the crappiest job for his son so it didn't look like he was playing favorites. He had to dig snow off the roof of the plant, chip ice off the coal cars in winter, run the big grinders in the gypsum plant (good thing Dad was already hard of hearing!) Ghostwriter has worked for convenience stores that no longer exist, waited on tables at a golf course restaurant, was a nurse's aid in a nursing home, etc. It's always funny to remember and be thankful for how long you've come since then.


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab, who we adopted in 2014.

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