The job that kept me in college.

I thought it would be nice to take a break from bitching about my gig at Mega Corporate Behemoth. I mean, it could be so much worse. I’ve had worse jobs.

I had a job where a new coworker took me out to lunch, then commented later in the day, “I get the feeling you don’t realize I’m your new boss.”

Uh, no, I didn’t.

I had a job where my boss – a rather lecherous man who drank beer out of his coffee mug – gave me a shoulder massage and invited me to come over and use his hot tub.

Uh, no, I didn’t.

But really? The worst?

Don’t hate me, but … I was a telemarketer.

It was the summer after my freshman year of college. I was supposed to go to summer school, but up and decided that a) I hated my degree program; and b) oh, I hated my college. So, I ended up back in my hometown, where all the summer jobs were long-since claimed.

A friend and I applied at the call center. The manager almost didn’t hire me because he said I was too nice. I should have taken this as a sign, but, uh, no, I didn’t.

The training class was filled with women who didn’t know any of the state postal abbreviations but obviously knew their way around a Toni Home Perm. One woman in particular said she was excited to work there because she had her eye on a double-wide.

Our job was to call people with Conoco credit cards and offer them life insurance. I was terrified. It was only after I was faced with picking up the phone that I remembered that I hate making cold calls of any sort. And this place was old-school, so we had real phones … real phones that had been abused and were occasionally very difficult to hear.

My very first call? I made a sale. It was almost too easy! I gave my spiel, and the woman said, “Well, I expect we’d better sign up.” I couldn’t believe it! And my supervisor couldn’t either – she let me go get a pop. Except that after this taste of sweet, sweet success, I couldn’t wait to get back on the phone and be my usual overachieving self.

That sale was the only sale of my 6-hour shift.

It was 1 of 3 sales from my 30-hour work week. And yes, that averages to 1 sale every 10 hours. Ten hours of people telling me to go to hell, followed by 1 elderly or non-English speaker who said yes.

It was horrible. I felt terrible. I got reprimanded for being too nice.

As a former theatre major, I tried to have fun with it. I made most of my calls with a southern accent as I tried to channel my inner Julia Sugarbaker. That only lasted so long.

One guy gave me hope that maybe I was just in the wrong kind of phone solicitation. After he told me no and was moving to hang up, I heard him tell his friend, “Dang, she sounded hot!”

I visited with a man from Muskogee, Oklahoma, about country music and Merle Haggard. He was lonely. I guess I was, too.

I knew that I couldn’t continue living Where Dreams Go To Die. I mean, all of my coworkers had basically given up on life. And, because I’m a bit of a brat? I had trouble respecting my supervisor with the torn pants that were safety-pinned together – even if he was wearing a leather tie.

I got a new job going door-to-door for the city directory. It also sucked, but not really. I just verified who lived where, and was at the pool by 4:00 every afternoon. I was, however, the first person in the history of ever who gave a full 2-weeks notice at a telemarketing job.

Yes. I did. Because that job sucked, but I do have a little something called class.

Also? I’m stubborn as hell.

What was your worst job ever?

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