The Great Abyss of Adulthood

Nothing’s better than the thrill of your first ever paycheque. You’re on your way to becoming an adult! Which is good and bad, but mostly bad (speaking from experience). My first job was as a janitor for my parents, and I hated every minute of it. Emma (my sister) and I had to clean their dental fabricating office (they made dental implants, bridges, crowns, etc). It was the WORST; we’d spend hours sweeping, scrubbing sinks, and washing dishes. EVERY SUNDAY was spent toiling away until we finished, exhausted and stinking of Pine Sol. For all our sweat and tears, we were paid fifty dollars…….. PER MONTH. We were breaking our backs for less than minimum wage! On top of that, Emma would often slack off and stay home, so I had to do EVERYTHING! (To their credit, our parents paid me her share when this occurred).

One day, my sister stayed home, so I took the dog for company. I was mopping when the power went out in the entire building! It was pitch black and eerily quiet, and I was terrified. There was a flashlight in my mother’s desk drawer, so I grabbed the dog and headed down the hallway, but Buddy, a ninety-pound freight train, was more scared than I was! He refused to move, so I dragged him forward with his legs sticking straight out, looney-tunes style. I found the flashlight, grabbed the phone and called home. “Mom? The power’s out! What do I do? The dog is scared!” there was a pause at the end of the line, then she said “………… can you still clean?”

Despite such a great support system, I eventually moved on. My next job was equally glamorous: I washed dishes in a restaurant — an upgrade, right? The floor in the dish pit was always wet, and I kept stabbing myself on steak knives. But…. The pay was pretty good! Minimum wage was $8.50/hr, and I was making a cool NINE. Talk about rolling in cash! I spent my first cheque on butterfly hair clips and a mini disco ball (money well spent). I received one meal per shift, and usually had a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. I remember one of the owners eyeing me closely while I made my meal. My next shift, she coldly informed me that SHE would make my sandwich, and gave me two of the thinnest, blackest bacon strips ever. I guess bacon was expensive!

My hat’s off to anyone in the service industry because I know how back-breaking it can be. I’m glad I had those jobs when I was younger, because I wouldn’t last a day there now! My body can’t take it; I woke up this morning with a sore shoulder from sleeping the wrong way. If I had to spend my days mopping floors, scrubbing dishes, and cleaning toilets, I….wait. WAIT!! As a stay-at-home mom, I’m doing that stuff for FREE!!