Shit jobs Mitt Romney never had

If you, like me, lacked the foresight to choose multimillionaire parents, you’ve probably experienced a series of shit jobs at some point in your life—low-paying, unpleasant employment for which you were nonetheless at least grudgingly grateful because, you know, food.

Mitt Romney chose his parents so wisely that he never had to worry about that sort of thing. The twaddle about fretting over a pink slip? A big fat lie: Romney had a no-risk deal at Bain. Probably the hardest thing Romney ever had to do was bicycle through Provence to pester the French about the Angel Moroni. Quelle horreur!

But Romney may be right about the envy thing. I for one would love to float through a privileged, risk-free existence where the skids are always greased and the only real worry is the possibility of exposing myself to jeers at the country club for using an oyster fork to attack a fruit salad.

Still, I don’t think it’s necessarily envy, but rather a desire to share my more plebeian experiences with the one-percent. So here, forthwith, are the three crappiest jobs I ever personally had (in descending order) with Mitt enjoying the character-building aspects of each:

Pizza Hut Server
This was back in the days when wait staff were required to sling pizza in scratchy, odor-absorbing brown polyester uniforms (images unavailable on the internet). My particular Pizza Hut was located next to an interstate highway and subject to mass invasions of retirees on their way to cruise ports.

The sight of those cheap bastards disembarking from the charter bus and shuffling toward the restaurant occasionally caused less hardy waitresses to chuck their brown visors into the trash and leave for more profitable ventures, like plasma donation. Enjoy your dollar tip on that ten-top, Willard!


Cucumber Picker
To this day I can’t stand fucking cucumbers! Did you know the phallic bastards grow on extremely prickly vines? And that they do it so close to the earth that it will make even a young woman’s back ache long before 10 AM?

Willard, the hard choice is whether to wear hot, sweaty gloves in the 100-degree heat or subject your exquisitely manicured, alabaster hands to merciless gouging by the vines. I recommend the latter. Oh, and screw you, Mount Olive Pickle Company.


Crab Sorter
Yes, this is an actual job that I performed for a couple of days, and despite the fact that it involved the crustaceans rather than the pubic lice, it sucked. The crabs I sorted were destined for a happier fate than Old Bay and boiling water; they were to become aquarium pets.

To perform the sorting ritual, you had to plunge your hands into a crab-infested tank, pull out a specimen and determine its size by fitting it into a little wooden frame, then sort it into the appropriate bucket. The thing to remember here, Willard, is that the crabs don’t enjoy this process. At all. They express their displeasure by pinching the ever-loving shit out of your fingers. And don’t even think about trying to wear gloves because the smaller ones will find their way inside. I still have nightmares.


So, what horrid job from your past would you assign to Willard?

[X-POSTED at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 01/19/12 at 09:16 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '12MittensSkull Hampers

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Lice comber, perhaps, although that would require Mittens to care whether he was pulling a child’s hair overmuch, and I’m not sure he has it in him.

I saw the ad on Craigslist, showed up at a tiny salon with a name very like LICEBENDERS, was issued a white lab coat with our proud moniker embroidered in red over the heart. For three days, I was “trained,” sans remuneration, on how to section, grease, powder, and comb the heads of lice-ridden Upper East Side children, many from circumstances similar to Mitt’s. All très hush-hush. Then the idea was that our properly trained, newly hatched “expert” lice-combing selves would go forth discretely amongst the well-heeled, including to summer camps and finishing schools, and delouse them in the name of our glorious organization, and sell them Product. Lots of expensive Product, the Product being ordinary shampoo with enough menthol in it to numb king crabs. But the Product wasn’t effective without the combing ritual, which was difficult, arduous, and was actually what removed the beasties, who turned out cheerfully resistant to tingly shampoo. There are dreadful insecticidal shampoos, of course, but people who shop at Whole Foods are not usually down with the idea of applying a year’s worth of crop-dusting chemicals to their child’s scalp.

I proved hopeless with hair-handling, anxious about hurting children, and wanting in the salesmanship department, and so I never made it past training. At least there was the one grateful parent whose child I was shamefacedly torturing, who impulsively stuffed a tip in my pocket, which turned out to be sixty dollars. She just couldn’t cope with the fact that little Schuyler was lousy.

Incidentally, lice can run backwards. They are tremendously fleet of foot. I think they are the transmogrified souls of politicians.

I think they are the transmogrified souls of politicians.

That is entirely possible, Mrs. P. I had to delouse my own child once, and neither of us enjoyed the experience one iota.

Plenty of tiresome jobs; none quite so spectacular as the picking of politician-precursors, Mrs. Polly.

I spent a couple of months working as a motel maid in Cedar City, Utah. It was mostly repetitive drudgery, cleaning toilets, changing sheets, collecting towels and washcloths that inexplicably tended to migrate into the bathtub, heavy and sodden.

Obviously, tips were rare. But we had our fun when we could. One of the older maids scampered up to us one morning, all excited: “You gals want to see some pecker tracks?” She herded us into the room vacated by some honeymooners so we could look at the sheets and the evidence of copulation. I think she meant to shock the younger Mormon girls.

But lice: I see an opportunity to make some money. How many people are going to be able to do that skillfully, or at all? Like being an ace Brazilian-bikini waxer or a household pest trapper, one could expect the competition to be kind of scarce, although any skill level below “amazingly competent” would quickly thin the herd.

Probably the hardest thing Romney ever had to do was bicycle through Provence to pester the French about the Angel Moroni.

I bet it’s been harder on him to realize that you can’t just walk up and buy the Presidency.

I’ve been lucky enough to avoid the shittest of shit jobs, my low point being Radio Shack salesman back when minimum wage was $3.35.

Ditch-digger for landscape company; apprentice door-to-door meat seller (I lasted one day) and one time-fast food worker. Most of my older brothers and sisters had worked in fast food while in high school and for one 8-month period I did as well. I still can’t get the smell of grease out of my memory, particularly the coagulated-drain-clogging sort too 30 minutes of work to unclog. Blueberry picker in summer DelMarVa peninsula heat and humidity; junior camp counselor and a summer that ended with the supposed “mature” and older counselors buying a few cases of 16 oz. Old Milwaukee and nearly burning down two wooden cabins after one decided that pouring gasoline on the fireplace was a good way to get the fire going.

Most dangerous—working on an island about a mile wide and 2.5 miles long where the DOE and DOD was destroying WW1 era mustard gas shells along with WW2 nerve gas shells. Pay was awesome, location was truly a step from paradise, job as firefighter always interesting but there were a few drawbacks, like the constant gas-mask carrying and wearing, a man-to-woman ratio of approx 6 billion to 1 and a bunch of military reservists who thought they were on the front lines of another invasion of Iwo Jima.

Then again, I’ve also had some great jobs, I just haven’t made any money to speak of.

I had a job breaking rocks into smaller rocks, and then grinding them into fine powders so they could be assayed chemically. I liked the rock breaking better than the assaying part, especially after a beaker with hot acid and rock powder “bumped” and gave me a nasty acid burn on my right hand.  It healed with a very interesting series of colors, but it did heal.  At least the job paid pretty well, and the steel-toed boots weren’t too uncomfortable. 

Other than that, it’s been not too bad though ask me sometime about working in MS in the summer, walking in creekbeds with water moccassins, ticks, and quicksand.

(Sorry, commented this on Betty’s BJ post, not realising she’d put it here too.)

In college, cleaning male dormitory bathrooms on the weekends – beer and piss aren’t really too far away from each other on the smell-ometer, with a soupcon of black plastic bag whiff to complement.

Picking strawberries for five weeks one summer – couldn’t eat them for 10 years.

Working the 10 p.m.-6 a.m. shift at Sambo’s pancake house (yes, Sambo’s – it was a long time ago) in upstate NY. At a 2 a.m. bar rush, we seated a black man and his white girlfriend in the back dining room whereupon a group of husky white guys took umbrage and threw the man through the plate glass back window. A week later, my fellow waitress’s husband’s car was surrounded by black cars full of guys in sunglasses wearing earpieces; she dragged me into the staff room and told me to go to her house and take the guns, furs and money and take it to my house. (I didn’t.) Guys from the local branch of the American Nazi Party would come in after the track closed at 3 a.m. and wax lyrical about Aryan pussy, while ancient mobsters would ask us waitresses if we wanted to go home and watch dirty movies with them. I think I lasted 5 months, then went back to weekend dorm cleaning …

(Sorry, commented this on Betty’s BJ post, not realising she’d put it here too.)

Ooh, waiter at a Connecticut country club, that way he’d finally find out that “sir,” which he’s surely been called all his life, really means “you fuckin’ prick.”

No, wait, my current job. I don’t hate it, but I’d pay good money to see Romney administer fluid therapy to a fractious cat.

I had a summer job in college selling Great Books door to door.  I made it through 2 days, although I did sell a set and might have made it 3 days, except on the second evening, when I was waiting for the company van to pick me up, some guy walked by and exposed himself to me.  My mom threatened to sue the company if it happened again so we all agreed to termination and I got paid my full commission. 

I’d tell you about the TWAlet job (also known at the time as TWA Hostess) but that’d take a book instead of a comment.  ;-)

Oil rig worker.  Nasty, dirty, smelly, noisy, and incredibly dangerous; that I made it through several summers with all my fingers still amazes me.  Tripping 10,000 feet of pipe out a hole in the ground takes probably 12 hours, and you simply cannot stop, no matter rain, sleet, wind, lightning, nasty-chemical-laden water pouring out of said pipe all over you each time you break the connection between the strands of pipe, bugs crawling in your ears.  When your shift is over you wait until your replacement floor hand is standing right there and you hand the tongs to him and you go.  It doesn’t stop.

Spent a few weeks one summer scraping and sanding boat hulls. Pretty sure I still have fiberglass in my lungs, despite the surgical mask they gave me.

Bucking hay, picking cotton (very short lived job), paper routes (for a kid, the hours suck), phone solicitor (for, come to find out, ScamsAreUs, Inc.), gas station attendant, and a few more I won’t mention…

Hacking through thick brambles weeding out forestry plantations for a pittance was grueling and left me with a year-long fungal infection in both my hands, though the scenery and wildlife were fun.

Roadying in 80s punk venues exposed me to the spectacle of synchronized mass gobbing at the performers onstage. *pft* *pft* *pft* *pft* The audience were egged on to holler louder by persistent rumors that if they yelled loud enough for an encore the backing singers would get their kit off. Never happened.

One roadying exploit saw me form part of a two-man human crash barrier keeping a deathly illegally overpacked crowd from collapsing onto the stage and annihilating Johnny Kidd & The Pirates (aharr).

Rodding out our septic tank repeatedly has to rank up there, but that’s more of a hobby than a job.

The pits was working as a technical clerk under the so-called supervision of a functionally illiterate warped old alcoholic ex-Royal Navy chief petty officer who was supposed to be a technical writer. We didn’t get on. He was banned from going down to the technical drawing office as he kept making the draftswomen cry. My final bustgut confrontation with him was one of the few times in my life when I’ve literally seen red. It was bracing.

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