Over Spring Break, I paid a visit to my
personal financial advisor, Klaus. I asked him how the rebounding
economy was affecting my stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and
properties. He then reminded me that I have none of those things.
He also informed me that in order to acquire them, one must have
money, and he suggested that I find a job. His words, enhanced by a
brisk East German accent, plunged me into an ice-bath unlike any I
had ever known.

Andrew Kula

Since then, every Help Wanted sign I’ve seen has issued an
intense blast of terror to my very soul. The thought of employment
nearly drives me to tears. It’s not that I think of myself as
above work; the problem is that I’ve spent a majority of my
life employed in one form or another. Over the years, I’ve
accumulated many bad experiences, and I dread the thought of
returning to any sort of workforce.

My first job was as a paperboy. It was a good source of income
for a young child, especially because I had friends who were
willing to assist me in my efforts. Unfortunately, winter weather
in Michigan can be treacherous, and from time to time, it can claim
the lives of young children who collapse under the weight of their
bags. I lost three close friends to the blizzard of ’97
alone, and having to explain to the parents how their sons died
under my watch was unbearable.

I also worked for a few summers as a Little League umpire. If
you’re ever inclined to witness unbridled insanity in its
purest form, watch a child’s mother being shocked and
appalled to see that little Tommy was called out for throwing his
bat. Sometimes, after being frustrated by their insolence or lack
of understanding of the infield fly rule, I would physically attack
them. Strangely, this is not why I was fired. Nor when I would dust
off home plate and then pause to enjoy a private moment with my
dear friend the whiskey flask. I was fired when I asked for a
raise. I accidentally called my boss Terry, though his name is
actually Larry. He did not give me the raise I desired. What he did
do, was beat me within an inch of my life — ironically, with
a baseball bat.

During my high school years, I worked at a theater. My employers
did not like me, especially after they discovered that every ticket
I sold was at the discounted senior rate. Evidently they
didn’t believe that all 300 people seeing Lilo and Stitch
were over the age of 65, so I was transferred to concessions. One
day, while replacing boxes of syrup for the soda machines in the
break room, I tried to retuck my shirt. I lost control, my pants
fell around my ankles, and I spilled Hawaiian Punch on the floor. I
tried to clean it up and my hands were stained red by the delicious
drink. Suddenly, the door burst open, and there stood my boss,
amazed. After a moment of awkwardness, she fired me — with
good reason. I stood up and laughed, knowing she had caught me both
with my pants down and red-handed. I can only imagine what would
have happened had there been a cookie jar in the room.

I got me a job one time busing tables at a country club, so I
could case all these rich pricks that come in. So I pick out this
guy, go in one night, and do his place. He wakes up — gives
me shit — so I killed him. Him and his tasty bitch he was
with!

Last summer, I worked in a packaging factory. With my renegade
approach to box-making, it was no secret that I got into open
conflict with my managers. One day, I noticed one hovering over my
shoulder as I worked on an assembly line. He scoffed and began
walking away. I asked him what his problem was and he replied,
“You’re everybody’s problem. That’s because
every time you come into the factory, you’re unsafe. I
don’t like you because you’re dangerous.” I
smiled, brushed off his shoulder and said, “That’s
right! Box … man. I am dangerous.” I was fired on the
spot.

Please, learn from my mistakes. Don’t sentence yourself to
employment you’ll end up hating, and make sure you know what
you’re getting into. When looking for work this summer,
don’t turn in applications at any establishment that catches
your eye, because being a promiscuous applicant like that is
exactly what caused my troubles.

 

— Andy is having a little trouble securing work for the
summer, so he’d appreciate any spare change you could send
his way. Contact him at
“mailto:ajkula@umich.edu”>ajkula@umich.edu.

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