It’s pretty much universally accepted that we all learn valuable lessons at our first job. I certainly did.
My first real job was at a burger joint in Connecticut called The Big Toppe. It was modeled around a circus in that there was one picture on the wall of a clown. And right from the start I learned important things.
That first day, I was guided by a “counter girl” named Barbara, who really took me under her wing in those early days. And she taught me many of the rules that I’m sure she still lives by.
First, at head counter girl Lisa’s insistence because I was the new girl, Barbara took me out back to show me how to clean the restaurant’s restroom. Taking the key from the hook, Barbara grabbed the spray bottle of ammonia and water, walked me to the restroom, opened the door and led me in.
“All you have to do is stand here for 2-3 minutes. Then spray ammonia into the air and leave. Nobody will ever know the difference.”
Lesson number two was important, but only while I worked there.
“Make sure to talk to Frank (the manager) when you wipe down anything. That way he’ll think you are a good worker. Otherwise, don’t bother wiping.”
My next and most important lesson came one day when she wasn’t working but I was. Barbara stopped by The Big Toppe with her friend Mary to get some (free — if Frank wasn’t looking) carryout to take to the beach. Barbara’s friend was horribly ugly, and I saw her picking her nose when she was in line. “Yuck!” I thought.
Unfortunately for them, Frank was around and was making sure that nobody got free food that day. So, while Barbara chatted with me, Mary went back out to their car to get lunch money.
“She’s really ugly isn’t she?” Barbara said.
I tried to be nice and said “I’m sure she’s really nice.”
“Oh, no,” said Barbara. “She’s a real jerk. But I try to always hang around jerks. They make me look good.”
That was Barbara’s third bit of lifelong advice. Always hang around assholes so you look good.
I realized last night that Barbara is now working for the GOP. How else can you explain the fact that House Republicans invited this asshole to the President’s State of the Union Address?
Remind me never to go into restroom on the House controlled side of the U.S. Capitol.