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Manual labor
8.29.2003 by Adam.


How many people does it take to screw up a lightbulb?

Seriously.

Flashback: 2 weeks ago Monday. This is my first day of management training at your friendly neighborhood movie rental store, whose name would rhyme with "Blockbuster" only that's exactly what it's called. Training takes place at the same store for everyone in the district, which is not my home store. It is, in fact, about 3 times larger than my home store. Regardless, it has it’s share of home employees, which are charged with the extra task of teaching us what we need to know before we venture off to our own private stores, clutching our “Starmaker” books with a crazed, rabid look in our eyes and frothing at the mouth.

Actually, that was only me with the frothing.

The days go by monotonously enough, however, there is a small thing that grows deep inside my heart as we progress. It’s a little seed that by the end of two weeks has become a huge tree, rife with horrible things that can only be found in the “outdoors“. Like bears. Bears with lasers. My trainers were all either cynical or depressed, which made me feel right at home, but now I see why.

I have, in all honesty, begun to hate every trainee on the planet Earth. If there are trainees anywhere else, I’m sure I hate them too.

I, myself, only did so well in school. I found the lack of motivation too much for my will, the standardized testing a perfect target to become my enemy, and the teachers either defeatist or pure evil. I, however, never had any retention problems with the information I was given. I may have gotten a crappy grade for playing the latest edition of “Final Fantasy” instead of doing homework, but it sure wasn’t because I screwed the proverbial pooch on the tests.

Mostly, my lack of motivation came from school being so easy. It seemed to me that every year was the same material, only the last quarter of school held any new information. New information that would be presented to me again and again over the course of the next 8 years. I knew the reason for this was that our public schools had to gear their curriculum towards the least intelligent, in order to look good. That way, they don’t have to take the trouble of teaching the children what they need to know for the real world.

I now realize why they gave up on us.

I have not met people before that had a problem remembering the simplest of commands. Ones that are used every single day dozens of times, and they still ask me how it works. It’s like asking how you flip a lightswitch. When you’re 27. It makes you say “What the crap? You know how to do this.” And when they say “No I don’t”, you just want to set them on fire.

Ah, well. In a few days I’ll be back to my old store, where people don’t fake incompetence. Instead, they just call off.

The joys of working retail.




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