Saturday, July 23

I like money

As some of you may already know, I got a job a month and a half ago. Please, save your applause until I'm done. A little explanation is in order here.

Last year I took Computer Science at Dawson College. I was pretty psyched to be going to college for three years to study computers after putting up with the five years of bullshit and bare minimum academic self-application known throughout the world as "high school". Pretty psyched until I realized it was more or less a more complex version of high school but with many more people and that computer science was, in fact, really fucking boring.

Sure, I might enjoy playing videogames and browsing the internet a little more than the average person. Sure, I've been to around a dozen or so LAN parties, in which anywhere from dozens to hundreds of like-minded geeks gather for a weekend to play network games and swap porn while keeping their personal hygiene to a bare minumum. Sure, I'd probably throw myself out of the nearest window if I was ever forced to live without a computer. Imagine my surprise when my computer lab becomes one of the last places I want to be. Sometime during exams in December I get the brilliant idea to just stop going to school. No calling the school to let them know. No backup plans. No bothering to go in and at least finish the semester so if ever I decide to return I have some credits already accounted for. Just no more school.

Looking back on it now it was probably the most immature and unprepared way of dealing with things I could have chosen, but I'll be damned if I can do anything about it now. Anyway, from December up until June I pretty much laid around the house, occasionally going outside to confirm that there still was an outside. I told a lot of people I was looking for a job but in reality I was hoping that a job was looking for me while I took it easy.

Just over a month ago I got really tired of not having any money, which as we all know, implies not having any fun. I handed out a bunch of CVs in my neighborhood and lo and behold, I'm now an official employee of Dollarama Inc. In case you don't know, Dollarama is a large chain of dollarstores in Canada. Of course, being a multi-million dollar corporation and all, they pay us minimum wage to do the work that nobody in their right mind would ever want to do if they really had a choice. But seeing as how I'm a seventeen-year-old dropout with just enough French to get by at a retail job and very little motivation to make the world a better place or stay in school long enough to learn how to do so, I can't really complain.

Wait. Yes I can.

First complaint: customers. Working at a dollarstore in Verdun (residential, relatively low-class, mainly French neighborhood in Montreal) has made me the slightest bit jealous of corporate slaves who sit in a cubicle all day long. I mean, sure, they're essentially trapped in a prison designed to look like an office, but at least they don't have to interact with the general public. Whether it's the crazy-looking hippie type that asks me where a certain item is, then complains to me that we don't have it until I apologize and make a run for it, then walks up and down the aisles muttering to herself under her breath, or the fat, slightly inbred-looking forty-something year old man wearing a wifebeater and cutoff shorts that cut off somewhere near where the top of my boxers would be that reeks of alcohol and cigarettes no matter what time he's in the store, the customers at a dollarstore aren't exactly the kind of people you enjoy interacting with. To be fair, not everyone that shops at dollarstores are crazy or stinky or scary, but the normal ones are the ones that don't need any help finding what they're there for. The only way I can deal with the customers is by convincing myself that the more of them that I have to put up with, the happier I will be when I eventually get a job somewhere where the average IQ of the clientele is higher than the tax rate.

In addition to the crazies that speak French or English, there's the customers that barely speak a word of either. They might be crazy as well for all I know, but I have enough trouble trying to figure out what they're saying let alone judging their IQ. I don't hold it against them that they don't know very much English or French, but when they get frustrated that I can't understand what they're saying, I start to get annoyed. The sounds coming out of their mouths barely resemble a language to me, let alone one I understand, and they get visibly angry when I can't keep up. Like the old couple that, after I had to figure out how to explain to them that the store was closed (pointing to your wrist seems to be universal for this), starts trying to have a conversation with me in Colombian. Unfortunately I don't know how to say "Please leave me alone and never speak to me again" in Colombian, so I was limited to fake smiles and nodding my head, followed soon after by walking in the immediate direction of "away".

I'm usually the one who sweeps the floors before closing up, which I don't mind that much. Sweeping by itself is no big deal, but seeing how much garbage people leave on the floor is. Apparently the floor of the store resembles a garbage can to most people, hence the tons of receipts and empty coffee cups and chocolate bar wrappers and cigarette butts all over the place at the end of the day. Just once I'd like to meet someone whose idea of cleaning up after themselves isn't limited to "put your garbage where it's someone else's problem as opposed to yours". And not only do they empty their own pockets onto the floor, they come in and take items off the shelves, then decide they don't want to spend their hard-earned dollar on it and put it back somewhere else in the store. Is it that fucking hard to walk back to wherever you picked it up and put it back? Why must you take chocolate bars from the food aisle and put them in the candle aisle? Spoons in the school aisle? Batteries next to the tuna fish? Don't you realize this takes away from the amount of time I have to help you find your spray bottle or curtain rod or video cassette or whateverthefuck it is you're too busy to just look for yourself?

When I'm not being harassed by customers or cleaning up after them, I'm either in the back doing inventory or placing boxes in the aisles so the other employees can place the items in them on the shelves. At all times, Dollarama plays the radio over the store's PA system to help soothe our nerves and give us something to listen to while we slave away. Did I say soothe our nerves? Because I meant to say drive us absolutely fucking insane by playing the same five or six songs over and over and over and over and over until Jacob slashes his wrists with his exacto knife and welcomes the sweet embrace of death.

Two days ago I did the improbable and went out and got myself a second job on the weekends. Now after reading this blog you might be asking yourself, why on Earth would I do such a thing? Why would I purposely go out and get another job which will just exhaust myself even further and take away the few free hours I still have per week? What possible good could that serve? Am I a fucking idiot or somethi-