The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Flashback Friday!

Land o' Goshen, it's Friday again! I swear, I totally forgot I was supposed to be working on a Flashback Friday! for today. And today's here and I haven't a clue what to write about! I stuck up (FINALLY) that post on global warming that I'd been meaning to put up there for days and then it occurred to me that some of my rabid regular readers would probably be coming by sometime today looking for a little Flash! And me with nothing to show!

It doesn't help that I've been swamped not only in my personal life, but also in my professional life. What that means is you'll end up with a Flashback Friday! that you will be able to read in half the time it usually takes.

Maybe something about my first job. Not terribly exciting, I know, but there are a few funny things I can share. You'll all have to cut me some slack and I'll promise a better one next week. Is it a deal?

While I had plenty of babysitting jobs when I was younger, my first "official" know, where they take out taxes and make you punch a timeclock...was working for a fast food chain here in River City. I was 17, and one of my very best friends (and her boyfriend) was already working at Big Bob's Burger Emporium (BBBE), and they were able to get me an interview. From there, I was on my way to bigger and better things in the lucrative and fast-paced food industry. Or something like that.

Working at BBBE was, I suppose, like ANY fast food type job, a job. Mindless and, far too often, disgusting. The smells of hot fat and special sauce, along with the sights and sounds of customers drooling over putrid four pound burgers (and a small diet coke), well, it'd get to anyone, I think.

So, when, within days after I started, I was offered the opportunity to work with the marketing team, I leapt at the chance. Danced, even. Which only prompted them to make the following suggestion.

"Gee, Tammy, we are going to start offering a new menu item and think you'd be ideal to help us promote it!"

Did I mention I was 17? I did, huh. Just wanted to make sure.

See, when they pulled out the chicken suit...


I said 'chicken suit'.

When they pulled out the chicken suit, I still thought it was gonna be a gas. I'm a little odd-natured. Heh. Nobody's noticed that, right? You were waiting for the admission, huh? But, I still figured goofing around in a costume had to be better than working the counter or the grill. And, actually, looking back, I think I was right on with my initial judgment.

Where that fell apart was when they had me standing out by the side of the road, in a chicken suit, handing out coupons to slow moving vehicles and pedestrians. Now, leaving aside the fact that there are downsides to dressing in a chicken suit and going the sweltering summer heat of River City and the occasional lame-feeling moments that go with it, it wasn't a terrible gig.

The occasional carload of teenaged boys shouting "We want a little leg!", or "I like breasts!", was an interesting side effect that I hadn't considered. And after more than a few summer days of virtually any combination of remarks about legs and breasts you can imagine (and believe me, as MANY as you can imagine), it just wasn't nearly as much fun as I'd originally thought it would be. So, I had a little talk with the manager.

"But we NEED you out there, Tammy! You're doing such a great job!" Uh, huh. I know what it is. They're all inside in the air conditioning, laughing at me and no one else wants to do it. I hates them. I hates them all. And I really hate it when I'm gullible.

Weeks went by and we were at the end of August, which you'd think meant it was starting to cool down. Heh. Anyone who is familiar with River City knows better. Oh, we've still got a good 2-3 weeks of scorch left at that point. But the chicken sandwich promo, she was over. My brain dared to whisper, "Hooray!". Damn my brain. Damn it all to Hell.

Because the chicken suit went away and was replaced with another suit. Another suit that made absolutely no know, because the chicken suit did. It was...are you ready?...

A panda suit.

Quit laughing.

98 degree heat and I'm out standing in the blazing sun, not a tree or even a blade of grass for a mile in any direction, wearing a big fur panda suit. No coupons. No special panda burgers. No goofy little song and dance. Not even a lame social statement. Just stand outside and wave at cars. What the fuck?!?!?

I longed for the smell of hot grease and special sauce. In my heat-stroke induced hazes I would dream of cleaning up spilled milk shakes and mopping floors. Oh, how I longed to be inside working the horrible, nasty jobs I had been so eager to escape. My how green that grass looked in there.

It was only after I finally threatened to quit, that I was allowed back on the sacred tile floors of Big Bob's Burger Emporium. But even the joy of that only lasted another few months. The shine had definitely worn off of that whole experience and I had to move on to other things. The chicken suit and panda suit both hung, as a constant reminder, in the employee break room. And I knew, just as soon as another promo came up or things got slow, I'd be the one suiting up again.



Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

Oh, I'm still laughing...

"Chicken suit" in general are two words that should never go together.

My first "real" job was pretty boring - at a copy shop. No chicken suits. No panda heads. A lot of idiots, including the owners. Two brothers-in-law from Southie. One of them sat me down one day just around quitting time to explain the finer points of sales.

"See, the customer is like a cow," he said. "And you have to milk the cow for all it's worth."

This was made all the worse because as he's explaining, he's pantomiming the action. I thanked him for his kind advice and then beat it the hell home.

5/19/2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger AaA said...

Cows and chickens and pandas, oh my.

Sometimes short and sweet is just fine.

Maybe this is the entry where we all respond with a vignette about how one job we had was made memorable by the involvement of animals.

Seems like I already did this entry. Y'all remember the one with the 'Howl Along with Whitney' story?

5/20/2006 8:21 PM  
Blogger Your Girl Friday said...

This post had me howling with laughter!!!!

And remembering a time when, myself and a few friends were going on a road trip to the coast. I saw a big chicken (suit) on the strip in the middle of the highway, wiggling around and waving, pointing to the fluro pink sign around it's neck.... Then I noticed the poor chook get a bit wobbly and finally fall to the ground. Everyone thought it was hilarious. Luckily I made the driver pull over and I ran over to help Mr Chicken. It was 42 C outside. Not sure what that is in F's, but it was damn HOT!!... we ended up bundling him into the back of our car and driving the 1/2 a block to the hospital. Imagine the look on peoples faces as we carried a passed out chook into the emergency room!!!! :)

Mr Chicken was ok... and joined us for a beer the next night in the pub around the corner!!!

5/22/2006 1:32 AM  
Blogger SuperFiancee said...

Opus -

I'm impressed that you remember details like the pantomiming. I don't know if I could. That's hysterical, though.

Nate -

Yeah, no problem. I'll make a note that you turned in your assignment early.


Glad I could make you laugh today. From the sound of your last, you needed it about as much as I did!

And, on behalf of chickens everywhere, we owe you one for helping Mr. Chicken in his hour of need. I know I had a few days that were rough, too. Nice to know there are people like you out there!

5/22/2006 12:04 PM  

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