In the past, when Henry has forwarded me Craigslist ads it’s been for such wholesome things like “BREASTFEEDING XXX VIDEOS! GET PAID FOR MEN TO JACK OFF TO UR SQUIRTING BREAST MILK!!!” and a myriad of other paid intimate encounters. Just let your imagination do the rest. So last Friday, when I saw that he had passed along another Craigslist ad, I was like, “Oh boy, what do we have now? Does he want me to pee in someone’s mouth for this month’s rent?” But it was a data entry job. Working from home.
Now, my red flag went up. It’s not often I’ve found a legit work-at-home gig, aside from medical transcriptioning. But I shrugged and replied. The only thing worse than being an artist is being a fake artist in a shitty economy which means I kind of need SOMETHING to happen financially.
An hour or so later, someone called me back. He sounded flustered, unprepared. He kept saying, “Hold on” while someone in what I hoped was an office and not a secret Chinatown warehouse with boarded windows and kidnapped women, could be hear speaking to him in muffled tones.
Five minutes and very little information later, I had found myself scheduled for a 1:00pm training session the next day.
The fact that this so-called company even has an office was enough to calm my paranoia. The fact that it was in a respectable area made me feel even better. Almost confident. Almost.
The guy I spoke with, Ken, came down to let and another girl in. He immediately apologized for the way he was on the phone, explaining that his boss had come into his office, tossed a bunch of replies on his desk and said, “Here, start calling these people.” That made me relax a bit too, the fact that he was aware of how unpolished he sounded on the phone.
He led us to a conference room where there was already an older woman and a guy waiting. As I pulled out a chair next to the woman, I kind of caught a vibe. One of those “Sit anywhere here, preferably find an entire separate room to sit in” vibe. And as soon as I shrugged out of my jacket, she turned to me and proceeded to tell me that her first apartment post-college was right down the street from there.
And the dam was broken.
She. Never. Stopped.
Her name is Gwendolyn but she goes by Wendy. Her fiance was waiting for her in the van. He was working on Word documents while he waited. He’s from Holland and they’re waiting for his social security card to come so they can get married. This is very exciting to her. She used to work for the GOV’T and sometimes she would have to talk to FBI.
She has 5 kids!
Her first son was baptized at Sacred Heart!
You know what she is? She’s a Tina-type. Anytime someone would say anything, she always found a way to piggy back the conversation. I could tell Ken was getting irritated, and we had a long wait ahead of us. Why can’t people just come on time? If you’re trying to get a job, COME ON TIME. Don’t make the rest of us responsible people waste time out of our SATURDAY because you failed to utilize the entire day’s notice you had to find a way to be on time. FOR A JOB.
And I’m glad Redd Foxx decided to rise from the grave in order to attend this training session, where he would repeatedly call the computer “the machine” and ask to have every minute direction repeated.
It’s data entry. 10-key. Work that is so simple, they didn’t even require us to submit our resumes. Within 45 minutes, we were trained, not only in the job we’d be doing from home, but in the auto-biography of Wendy.
At one point, she leaned over me while I was trying to covertly text from my lap and yelled, “OH THAT’S A NICE PHONE! WHAT IS IT, VERIZON?” Um, no? It’s an iPhone? And did you know she’s looking for a new phone? That hers can’t even use Bluetooth?
I wanted to leave. I was so ready to get the fuck out of there and enjoy the rest of my day but NO. Wendy wouldn’t stop. I had to wait behind her while she turned in her payroll info to the office manager, and it wouldn’t be my turn until she was done talking about EVERY SINGLE JOB SHE’S EVER HELD and how she’s done 10-key so often that she’ll be able to do this while watching TV and she already knows exactly what hours she’ll be working and STFU IT’S MY TURN.
After I managed to sully every form with crossed-out words, scribbles, and signatures on the wrong lines (I’m semi-retarded at filling out forms, which I guess is why my only options in life are burger-flipper and data entry clerk; I’m not even sure I could handle working on a farm), I retreated back to the conference room to collect my jacket and purse. And oh yay, Wendy was still there, talking to Ken about how even if job ads say “no phone calls,” she’ll Google the company and put in a call straight to HR. I laughed nervously along with Ken and tried to skirt out the door, but he held up a hand and said, “Wait, I’ll walk you guys out.”
FUCK. Fuck fuck fuck.
So there I am, in an elevator with Ken and Wendy, sucking anxiously on my bottom lip, trying not to explode, when Ken asked what our plans for the night.
“I’m watching the hockey game,” I somehow managed to get out before Wendy had a chance to capture the conversation and rape it anally.
“Who are they playing?” Ken asked. And we began to talk about hockey but it was cut short by Wendy’s Tourettes-like eruption of, “I’M MAKING BRUSCHETTA TONIGHT I’M A REALLY GOOD COOK I LOVE TO COOK BECAUSE I KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT THE HISTORY OF COOKING AND I INVENTED FOOD NETWORK.”
This was blurted out while Ken was still talking to me. Not during a pause or a lull. Over top of a conversation.
I cannot tolerate that. I just can’t. Being interrupted is one of the most appalling things a person can do in presence besides shitting on my coffee table or slitting Henry’s throat (although……). It’s so rude. When people do that, I always wonder how they were able to get so far in life without learning about how rude that is. There was a girl I was friends with briefly last year who was the queen of hijacking conversations, until it got to the point where I just stopped trying to talk to her. And this is how Wendy is.
And I started imagining what it would be like to have to work with her every day but then remembered, “Oh yeah, I get to do this shit FROM HOME.” If I had to physically work with that lady, that might have been a deal breaker. I might have had to cut off a leg and apply for disability. Or cut off Henry’s leg and have him apply for disability.
Still, I came home and nursed a stress headache, then drank lots of wine.
So yes, I’m half-employed right now. And if I’m lucky, a week’s salary might get me some bread and milk from the corner store!