Happy Labor Day everybody. As a man who has a job, I can appreciate Labor Day more than most people. Labor is important, and it deserves to be celebrated. Before the extremely lucky chain of events that lead up to me getting hired by Barstool Sports, I worked a whole bunch of terrible jobs. I thought I would share some of my experiences
Golf Course Caddy
This was my very first "job" when I was in 7th grade. I say "job" because I wasn't actually "paid". I use the term "caddy" loosely too. I never carried anyone's clubs for them while they played. People would park their cars in the golf course parking lot, then I would accost them at their vehicles and ask if they wanted me to take their clubs to their cart. There was no reason for this course to have caddies who did that. It was a tiny 9-hole course, and the parking lot was about 20 feet from the carts. Anyone who let me carry their clubs was just doing it to be nice. I don't think ever made more than $10 in tips in a day.
The best part of the job was the free candy bar and soda pop I got during my shift. They kept their Reese's Cups in the fridge so they were always nice and cold. The second best part of the job was getting free golf. I would walk 9 holes almost every single night in the summer. I used to pick up discarded cigarettes off the ground and hit them. I didn't even have a lighter. I would just hit the cigarette dry to get the taste of it. I remember it gave me a rush to be doing something "bad". Pretty gross in hindsight.
I worked in sales for a company called Fastenal in Toledo, OH. We sold all sorts of screws, bolts, safety equipment, or anything a manufacturing plant might need. It wasn't a shitty job, but shitty things certainly happened. Sometimes I would have to deliver orders to the clients myself. One day I had to deliver someone 2 large pallets of water. They looked something like this.
This was the first time I had delivered a pallet of water. I used a forklift (I was allowed to drive the forklift) to load the water into the back of my Fastenal branded pick-up truck. I had never done this before, and I did not think the situation through.
After I loaded the water in the back of my truck, I did nothing to strap down or secure the load. It was just sliding around in the back of my truck. I made it about halfway to the client before I had to take a left. As I turned, the water went toppling out of the truck bed and all over the street. It was a disaster. The plastic packaging ripped, and there were 100+ bottles of water scattered about a very sketchy area of Toledo. I was holding up traffic, people were honking at me, it was a hell of a scene. I ran around the street in my blue Fastenal uniform gathering loose bottles of water and throwing them in the back of my Fastenal truck. Probably not the best look for the company.
It took me nearly an hour to get everything cleaned up. I drove back to the office in shame with a truck full of beat up water bottles. That was not a fun conversation to have with my boss.
Little League Umpire
I have always said that being a Little League Umpire is the best summer job for anyone in high school or college. It's a great job for anyone who is looking for a side gig. You make $50 dollars a game, and get paid in cash. There's been tournament weekends where I've done 15 games. It's a great way to make some quick cash. You just have to come to terms with that fact that you will get yelled at by asshole parents/coaches, and there's nothing you can do about it.
When you put on the umpire uniform, people have free rein to say whatever mean shit they want to you, and you just have to take it. Are there any other jobs where it's socially acceptable to loudly tell an employee that they fucking suck to their face and have no real threat of consequence? It's kind of hilarious. You can always eject someone from the game, but that usually ends up causing even more of a problem. 99% of the time you just have to ignore it.
You also need to come to terms with the fact that you are going to make bad calls. It's inevitable. There is nothing worse than making a call and immediately realizing that you're wrong. In some situations you can consult with your partner and overturn the call, but if you're calling balls & strikes, once you make the call it's over. You just have to eat it and move forward.
Bed Bug Exterminator
When I wasn't living in a van, I lived in a hostel in South Central, Los Angeles. If you were lucky, you could get a job working for the hostel. People who worked at the hostel got to live there for free. People would do things like cook, serve breakfast, clean the rooms, maintenance, landscaping, etc. For months I asked for a job, but they never had an opening for me. Until one day, we had a bed bug infestation. For a whole week, people were waking up covered in bed bug bites. It was horrible. To remedy the situation, the owner of the hostel hired me to exterminate the bed bugs. Obviously, I had no fucking clue what I was doing.
Here is the instruction I was given (paraphrased): "You have to find the bed bug eggs and kill them at the source. The eggs are small and black. You can kill them with heat, so here is a blowdryer. Take the mattresses off the bunk beds, then apply heat to all of the cracks & crevasses of the wooden frame. You can hear the eggs pop when you kill them."
So every morning, I would wake up and get to killing. The "hostel" was actually a collection of 5 different houses in the same neighborhood. So I would walk around the neighborhood, go into each house, and blow dry the bed frames of every bunk bed. This was a low point in my life, so I was drunk the entire time. I would buy an $8 bottle of whiskey from the Food 4 Less and mix it with a bottle of Coca-Cola. Every day I would wander South Central with a bottle of whisky & coke and a blowdryer. I had no clue what I was doing. I'm not sure if I ever killed a single bed bug. Sometimes I would hear a pop and think I did something, but I didn't actually know. The bed bugs would go away for a while, then they'd come back, so I never really knew if what I did was working. It probably wasn't. I have a hard time believing that my drunken blowdrying had any effect, but who knows. After a couple months (if that) I left the hostel to go live in a van, if that gives you any idea of how shitty it was. I wonder if they ever ended up hiring a real exterminator.
Door to Door Canvassing
This job was out in Los Angeles as well. I did door to door canvassing for a company called House Next Door (HND). HND's business model was simple. Send a car full of people out to a neighborhood in a suburb of Los Angeles, and knock on every single door.
When we walked up to the homes, we would look for anything around the outside of the house that could use some work. If you noticed that they needed their house painted, we'd knock on the door and say that we paint houses. If their lawn was shitty, we'd tell them that we do landscaping. If their roof needed work, we fixed roofs. If everything looked fine, we'd tell them that we could install solar panels on the roof to lower their energy bill. We would say yes to literally anything the homeowner asked.
Once we booked the job, we would hire an outside company to do the work. We would then charge the homeowner more money than it cost us to hire the outside company, and that's how we made a profit. I was drunk for the duration of my employment at HND as well. I would drink Mad Dog 20/20 in the backseat of the car on the way out to the suburbs. We would always stop at a Costco to get waters and eat free samples on our way there. One of my co-workers would always be passed out asleep on the way to Costco. When we'd get there, he would do a hot rail of meth in the bathroom. He was an ENTIRELY different person for the rest of the workday.
The craziest thing about the company was how insanely racist they were. The people in charge fucking HATED Indian people. If I came back to the office with a client who had an Indian last name, they would refuse to work with them. It was super fucked up. I only worked there for about a month. Soon after I quit, the company went out of business. I'm not sure what happened, but I'm pretty sure they got in trouble for doing something shady.
When I wasn't killing bed bugs or canvassing for racists, I was driving Lyft. Somehow I don't have any horror stories from it. I was very lucky. Nobody was ever that mean to me, and nobody was ever so drunk that they threw up in my backseat. I did have one guy try to get me to smoke black tar heroin off of tin foil, but I politely declined. I let him go to town in my backseat. He was a super nice guy.
The coolest thing that happened was when I gave Snoop Dogg's son a ride. It was his son who played wide receiver at UCLA. I was driving in that area, he ordered a Lyft, and I was the one who picked him up. He was a super nice guy too. He ordered a shared Lyft, so there were already two people in the back when I picked him up. He sat in the passengers seat right next to me. I took him to an acting class in Hollywood. He told me about how he wanted to quit football and transfer to USC so he could use the new music studio that Dr. Dre was building on campus. Then out of nowhere, Snoop Dogg FaceTimed him. Snoop Dogg's son was FaceTiming with Snoop Dogg in the passenger seat of my car. They discussed the idea of him transferring to USC, and they talked about what cable package he should sign up for. At one point Snoop Dogg's son told him he was in a Lyft, and panned the camera over to me. I said "Hi Snoop Dogg."
I think those are all the jobs I've had that were somewhat interesting. I worked various other outside sales jobs as well, but nothing too crazy happened there. One time I accidentally walked into a pond when I was leaving a client's office. The pond was covered in a super thin layer of black ice. I thought the ice was concrete and took a step onto it. I fell about waist deep in freezing cold water. Another time, I called on a client who I had been in talks with for a while. When I called his number, a woman answered the phone and said, "Oh you didn't hear?". She went on to tell me that the guy who I'd been talking to killed his family then committed suicide. That was pretty fucked up too.
Happy Labor Day everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying a well deserved day off, unless you work at a bar or restaurant in Jersey City, because then I need your services.