Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I have no picture to post because my camera's cradle has mysteriously lost power and, after trying to diagnose the problem, my trackball quit working as well.  I have been reduced to using the laptop since my husband is out of town and doesn't think these issues warrant an emergency flight home.  I know, I know . . . his priorities are out of order.  So Chadrick and I were having an interesting conversation at dinner about my teenage employment in a small town.  Since this blog is also like a journal for me, I'll share a little story with you.  I don't remember ever wanting a job because I was quite content with my allowance, but my daddy strongly suggested that I go to work.  My first job was at Rintz's 5 and 10 (that's cents--not dollars).  It was an old store with old stuff.  I don't mean antiques . . . just old-looking things that had probably been there for ages.  Mrs. Rintz, the owner, had an office upstairs with a glass front so she could watch the store.  Of course, I found areas to "park" where I couldn't be seen, but I always had the feeling that I was being watched--and that she knew I was purposely trying to get in a blind spot.  The best thing about the store was the big Brach's candy counter, although I always dreaded someone would expect me to weigh less than a pound of candy because I wasn't quite sure how to read the scale!  There weren't a lot of shoppers at the dime store (that's what everyone in town called it).  On one boring day, these two mature ladies came in and went to the table where baby stuff was on display.  They were digging around on the table, so I asked if I could help them.  One of them said she couldn't find an "ought."  A what????  I know my face didn't hide the fact that I didn't know if an ought was a color, a style, or maybe slang for "I dropped my dentures and can't find them," and I knew the lady was speaking English.  I was way too shy to ask what in the world an ought was, so I proceeded to dig through the baby stuff on the table, hoping I might unearth an ought and one of those ladies would spot it.  At closing time, I couldn't wait to get home and ask my mother about an ought.  I had that word on my mind all day long--I may have even written it on register tape so I wouldn't forget.  When I asked my mother, she went into cover-your-mouth-try-not-to-wet-your-pants laughter and explained that's what older people say for zero.  [eyes rolling]  On another occasion, a "mature" farmer came in the store (I know he was a farmer because he was wearing overalls), and he went to what I referred to as the hardware section of the store.  I went to see if I could help him, and he was looking for something related to canning.  When I gave him one of my blank stares, he said, "You don't know what that is, do you?"  When I told him that I did not know, he said, "Well, then, I don't guess you can help me, can you?"  I just turned and walked back to the blind spot and, once again, asked myself WHY AM I WORKING HERE and is it time to leave??????  I think one of the worst things about being an employed teenager is that you think you know a lot, you know you're not stupid, and yet I worked from 9 to 5 in a store where I felt like an idiot with an inferiority complex.  To make matters worse, this guy who wasn't quite right (had sustained a head injury in a car accident when he was younger) walked the streets ALL DAY LONG, and his greeting to everyone was, "Hey cat!"  I know that he was partially paralyzed but, when he looked at me, I just felt like I wanted to cover up.  [shudder]  Rumor had it that he sometimes tried to greet the ladies with his hands so, when I'd see him coming my way, I made sure I was ready to knock the crap out of him if I had to.  He'd walk by the store, and I'd think, "Keep on walking, PLEASE!!!!"   At the dime store, I was off each Thursday and used that time (every single Thursday) to go to the belt plant to ask about a job.  My sister worked there and LOVED it, so I thought it must not be too bad.  I'll have to tell you about that job another time.

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