Tag Archives: casual labour

My worst boss

Boss Type: Old Yeller

When I was in university, I signed up for a “casual labour” agency. The idea was that I would wake up each day, sit by the phone, and wait for them to call. If they called, I would go and do whatever work they gave me. When I signed up, I foolishly thought that waking up early would be the hardest part.

One day, a clerk from the agency called and excitedly told me that I had the opportunity to work the day, and if it went well, it could turn into full time work.

“Sign me up!” I exclaimed. “What is the work?”

“It’s a car detailing shop,” she said. “And, it’s also a beauty salon.”

I’m not sure the ridiculousness of that statement made its way through my foggy, Jolt cola overdosed brain, until I arrived for work. There, in front of me, was a double-door car wash: grease-monkeys scrubbing cars on one side, and delicate ladies doing mani-pedis on the other. My new boss was a Married with Children Peggy Bundy look-a-like with a cigarette hanging from her lips and a tiny miniture poodle in her arms (photo credit: Flashbacks of an Idiot blog).

Peggy Bundy from "Married With Children"

What happened next amounted to one of the worst 8-hour shifts of work I have ever had in my life. Needless to say, I was sent over to the car-washing side of the business. After getting halfway through my first car, I was proud of my progress. That is, until my new boss came over and demonstrated her psychotic side. With doggie in hand, she sneered over my shoulder and said, “Is THAT all you have done? What the hell is wrong with you? I have cars lined up around the block waiting for your lazy ass!”

Then, turning to her little dog, she cooed, “Oh, yes, my little sweetheart. Mommy loves her precious. Yes, she does! Yes, she does! Now, get back to work and WASH THOSE CARS!!!”

It was like that all day, for eight straight hours. This insane lady, who, by the way, french kissed her dog like the older lady in the movie There’s Something About Mary, would walk around and yell at all the workers, interspersed with her love-ins with her dog.

I hit my breaking point  near the end of the day, when some male friend of my boss showed up with his disgustingly dirty cadillac. Inside, the seats were covered in cigar butts, candy wrappers, and half-eaten sandwiches. He stood there smoking a cigar over my shoulder and told me he wanted the interior spotless. While I scrubbed the inside of the car, my boss (dog in hand) and the cadillac owner stood behind me and alternated between yelling and laughing at my expense.

Finally, I figured that no amount of money was worth this. So, I “accidentally” sprayed the pressure washer onto the dashboard and driver’s seat of the cadillac. The cadillac owner’s face went beet red, and my boss stood there speechless. I chalked it up to inexperience, and happily took my day’s pay while my boss yelled that she never wanted to see me back. That’s okay, I thought. I never wanted to go back anyway.


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