How I Got Here

It was a Monday.  Of course.  And it was a meeting day.  Three hours in a conference room and the only thing that kept me awake were the hard plastic chairs and the thermostat set at sixty.  Supervisors droned on and on.  They enjoyed the spotlight of their captive audience as we shifted in our seats from one numb butt cheek to the other, I could tell by the gleam in their eyes.  All I could think about was the stack of work on my desk, the mess in my cubicle, the messages piling up on my voicemail and in my inbox.  It was all I could ever think about.  Even when I was at home, or the gym, or on vacation.

And when I got back to my desk, after that pointless meeting, before I could even look at the stacks and piles and to do lists and check any of my messages, the receptionist was at my side.  “There you are,” she said in a condescending, reproachful tone, “I’ve been looking everywhere for you.  You have a client waiting…”

Breathe.  It was all I could do to keep myself from jumping up on my desk and screaming.  Just breathe.  Hard.  And then I wrote my letter of resignation.  I didn’t turn it in yet, of course.  I had to find another job first.  I was done, I hated my job, I couldn’t stand it for another minute, I was probably going to choke out the next person to talk to me, but I wasn’t stupid.

So what does someone with a useless liberal arts degree do when they decide to leave their nine to five career?  Other boring office jobs aside, there was always retail.  Or fast food.  At that point even a job as a gas jockey sounded better than one more day in my current position.  But I didn’t just want a job I wouldn’t hate, I wanted one I would love!  I thought back on college, when I had the greatest job ever at a campus bar.  That was it!  I renewed my liquor license and trolled craigslist for “bar maid wanted” ads.

What I find isn’t exactly like I remembered, but it has to be better than my desk job.  The first, and last, bar that I walk into, resume in hand, is as dark as night compared to the sunlight outside.  All of the windows are boarded up so that no light can get in and nothing can be seen from outside.  Beer ads cover the walls, most of them showcase chicks in bikinis.  Some have the year printed on them.  2012.  2009.  I even spot one from 2004.  It is faded and yellowed from when smoking was allowed in bars.  The whole place smells like stale beer mixed with something rotten and almost dead.  As my heels scrape against the indoor/outdoor carpet I almost trip on a dull piece of duct tape that has peeled up from where it holds a split in the fibers together.  Classy.  The owner is behind the bar.  He wears a plain white undershirt as his only top.  Various grease and sweat stains are visible under the bar lights.  The thin cotton stretches over his belly, which in turn folds over his belt.  He gawks at me from the moment I walk in, his gaze rests steadily on my cleavage as I make the trek from the door, past three pool tables and some seating, to the bar.  He smiles wide, his eyes scrunched into small blue slits, his missing front tooth exposed, like he has never seen a pretty girl before. 

And landing the job is as easy as that.  The only resume I need are my partially exposed tits.  I’m pretty sure the Human Resources Department will breathe a collective sigh of relief when I turn in my two week notice.  I have never been able to keep my mouth quiet about injustice around the office, or anything that pisses me off really.  They will be glad to see me go and the feeling is mutual.

It probably seems crazy; leaving a secure nine to five with benefits for a minimum wage night job that, looking at the place, probably won’t bring much in tips and doesn’t even have health insurance, let alone a 401k.  But I have to do it.  I have to or I am going to be one of those people on the news who opens fire in the lobby or climbs the roof with a sniper rifle just after taking off all of their clothes and running through the executive offices with “kiss it” written on their ass . 




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