It's hard to top a job where you get paid to evaluate strains, so we thought we'd take it the other direction: Here's our team's Worst Day On A Job stories
By Chad Raymond
I’m going to take you back to the 80’s.
I was fourteen years old and there were only two things on my mind – girls and skateboarding. I was skateboarding 24/7 and I’d go through boards/parts every 3-4 weeks. My relationships were never serious and lasted about the same amount of time (c’mon, I was fourteen!). Yet both were quite expensive for a 14 year-old with no income.
My parents wanted nothing to do with skateboarding. Like most parents of that era, they weren’t fond of the skateboard culture, it’s music or clothing style. To them we were a bunch of alcoholic, drug-smoking punks out wrecking public property on a daily basis. So no source of funding from mom and dad.
It was time to get a job.
This brings me to White Oaks Mall, my then favourite skate spot where all the kids in the neighborhood hung out. Here, I would get my very first job, have the worst day on a job and get fired, all in one place.
I had my eye on the new Jeff Kendall, Tracker Ultra-Lites and some OJ2’s and needed cash desperately. White Oaks Mall was a 5-minute skate from my house and seemed like the closest place to find work.
This job also needed to be hidden from public view because the odds were excellent that I'd end up wearing some hideous uniform. My circle of friends drew the line at being seen in anything but the style of my choice. I found my benefactor at Gold Chin, a Chinese restaurant that needed a dishwasher. Perfect. Anyone can wash dishes and I’d be hidden in the back where no one could see me.
I quickly realized that “dishwasher” was just a title. Yeah, I washed dishes (by hand) but I also had to clean up every spill, replenish all food in the steam bar, keep the washrooms tidy, mop the floors, take out the garbage, keep the shelves stocked – basically all the jobs that no one else wanted to do.
Stocking the shelves meant leaving the backroom in my disgustingly wet, dirty Gold Chin polo shirt and red foam visor, and walking to the storage room on the other side of the mall, fully exposed to public scrutiny. It was one of these missions that would lead to my final day and my worst day on the job.
As my shift was coming to a close, we ran out of flour and I was asked to get a bag from the storage room. No problem. I had been to the storage room many times and now had a strategy: a jacket or hoody to cover up the Gold Chin shirt and lose the shitty foam visor as I turned the corner.
I got to the storage room and realized that the bag of flour wasn’t a little bag you’d buy from a grocery store but a bag that was almost as tall as me. I was a 4-foot tall toothpick dragging this fucking bag of flour through the entire mall.
As I turned the corner, I put my visor back on before spotting a group of my friends who were waiting for me to get off work. Now I had them as an audience as well as the rest of the food court. I propped the restaurant door wide open to make room for the immense bag of flour. The boss immediately asked me to cut it open and empty the contents into a large plastic bin.
I lifted the bag up, rested the opening on the edge of the bin and at the last second realized the bin was on wheels. The bag came crashing down. A huge cloud of flour filled the small hallway. As the flour settled, I heard a huge roar of laughter from the food court. I still remember vividly standing in the hallway, facing the food court, covered head-to-toe in flour as my boss screamed at me, firing me on the spot, in Chinese.
Let’s just say I’m glad to be working at AHLOT because if I’m ever asked to get “flour” from the backroom, I know it will have a whole different outcome :)