When I graduated from college, I pictured myself in a vaguely defined job where I had a big office and an assistant and lots of meetings. I never saw anything like that in the want ads, so I settled for the next best thing and went to work for an employment agency. Oh boy. Now that was the worst job of my life. The agency was owned by an old grumpy couple who were suspicious of everyone and assumed the worst about all of their employees. The thing is, there was a bookkeeper who was actually robbing them blind, and I kept trying to tell them about it but they decided that I was trying to avert attention from my own thieving ways. Just using a little common sense, they might have asked themselves who had the actual cash box…in a locked office, while I sat in a big room with Mrs. Meany McCrabby.
I suppose I should be grateful to them for helping me with business school because the job was so horrible that going back to school seemed like heaven. As a grad student I landed a lucrative job as a teaching assistant, with a whopping salary of $500 per month. At first it wasn’t a bad gig; I proctored exams and did research when my academic schedule allowed. But then came the scariest task ever…The Scantron Machine. Someone had to run those cards with the carefully filled in circles through for scoring. It looked deceptively simple—load a pack of cards and hit start.
As you know, my life has been a series of mishaps akin to the famous I Love Lucy candy factory episode, and this was no exception. I slid the cards in the machine, pressed start, and watched as the cards crumpled, tore and flew around the room in rapid fire spurts. I couldn’t figure out how to turn the damn thing off so I was crawling around under a table trying to unplug it when the department secretary wandered in and started laughing hysterically.
At least when she finished laughing she helped me retrieve and hand grade the cards. By the time I brought the cards back to the Professor, not only were they crumpled and held together with scotch tape, they were also covered in coffee stains and blobs of (in-date) salad dressing. He had a different assistant run the test cards after that, so all’s well that ends well.
After 3 years of grad school, I embarked on my “real” career. Nah, I’m just kidding; I don’t know when I’ll kick off my real career, but admittedly time is ticking.
Does anyone know what I want to be when I grow up? I definitely don’t.