Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hallelujah I'm a Bum

I finished my final day of work yesterday, but the momentousness of the occasion has yet to sink in. Maybe I'll be ready to celebrate when I fly out on the 23rd.

To my sorrow, I saw through the necessity of work at a very young age. I had gone with my parents to a Shoney's restaurant every Sunday for years, and the manager would always be there with his hellos and smiles. My sister once worked there as a waitress (where she developed her insatiable taste for maraschino cherries) and recommended me to the manager as a prospective busboy. I was all of fifteen, and I was hired practically on the spot and reported for work on a Saturday afternoon to find that I was the only busboy on hand for the night. Instead of smiles, the manager was suddenly a complete asshole to me - snapping his fingers when I didn't move fast enough, constantly telling me what I was doing wrong, and even accusing me of stealing the waitresses' tips. I quickly learned the lesson - the Golden Rule, who has the gold rules. I told the manager to fuck off and walked out.

This was the beginning of my very rocky job history that ended with a whimper yesterday. I don't have a red cent to show for 30-plus years of work. I spent nearly half of it in the military, which I wasn't cut out for either. The only time I even came close to being sold on the American Dream was when I was married (to a Filipina) and I wanted to have what everyone else wants. But I wasn't good at it. I suppose my heart wasn't in it. I simply could never forget the sight of that Shoney's manager bussing tables as I walked away from the restaurant on that fateful Saturday night.

I can still see him there, the poor asshole. I'll never work again. Hallelujah, I'm a bum.

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