Uncle Hersch says hello

October 31, 2004

There’s no real point to this post other than to bitch and moan and give some insight into the process of being hired at Cracker Barrel, since I know there are throngs of you who have been aspiring to work there all of your lives. Fair warning.

All work sucks, of course, but I just filled out paperwork for 6 hours. 6 fucking hours. I’m supposed to be a dishwasher, people. There was no washing of dishes. There was merely paperwork and scant talk of dishwashing. I was orientated with everything but the actual dishes. And the washing.

Had I known such an extensive list of chemicals were to be introduced to me, and that I would have to sign my social security number 50 god damn times, and if I knew I’d have to watch 3 videos about Uncle Herschel, some old guy who really seemed to have no definitive link to Cracker Barrel other than that he used to hang around in their stores in his over-alls while telling odd stories, I might have waited for another job to come along. But as things stand now, after putting that many hours into paperwork, all you can really do is go back in there and see how shitty the rest of the job is before you quit. I think you owe yourself that much.

I love how I was introduced to the group I spent the day with, though. I got there at 3 pm because I was late finding my passport (an option as identification) and once I got in and found someone to ask about the orientation I’m sure I must have been 5 minutes late or so. I walked through the busy kitchen in my crappy blue Oxford shirt and navy blue pants, looking like a convict out of Shawshank Redemption, and I eventually reached the door. The door was locked. So I pulled once, twice, and then thrice, and then I narrated to myself, “Am I retarded?” before making an awkward little laugh. I sent the people inside strange looks through the window in the door and they just stared back at me. I guess I was sort of frantic about it, actually. My spastic pulling and giggling must have alarmed them that the weirdo had showed up — THAT guy — and they weren’t yet prepared for him. All they could do was stare in amazement. I mean, I figured the door was just stuck or something, and I was being dumb… because things like that happen on your first day, at least to me. Something always goes wrong.

The manager insinuated that I should just leave, because I was late and the door was now locked. She looked at me through the window and then finally opened the door after I had finished with my jack assery. All to teach me a lesson, of course! After all, it’s not enough that it’s your first day of work in years and that you’re already incredibly worried about being late.

I replied that I had to get my passport and she responded with something like “Why, are you traveling somewhere?” Yes, I could have brought my social security card, but I couldn’t find it. So sue me. Or um…lock me out of the class and make fun of me. Whatever. Anyhow, I managed to utter something about it being required before trailing off sheepishly and just giving up. I didn’t get the joke at the moment because my face was reddening and everyone was looking at the dipshit who couldn’t open a door and who couldn’t get to his first day on-the-job on time. I sat down at the table where 4 others were already seated, shifted around nervously, and focused on the walls of the little room. Fabulous start.

After that I managed to destroy some of the paperwork I was supposed to fill out. I guess the perforation machine in dumbfuckville wasn’t working the day they made those booklets, because I was forced to tear the pages out myself, which resulted in me ripping them in half. The girls across the table tried to help me (“it helps if you turn it over and pull”), but it was all to no avail. Much laughter was had, of course. It was at this point that I was thinking to myself that maybe I should pretend I’m mentally disabled, so I would actually have an excuse for being such a dildo.

And on a final note, apparently the outstanding group of waitresses and waiters being orientated (6 in total) had concluded by the end of the day that I was clinically depressed. Why, I don’t know. Aside from the girl in the group who flat out told everyone I was “depressive” there was the manager who joked about disgruntled employees shooting up the Cracker Barrel and how there was a support line to call if you were feeling down.. and she said all of this to me. That was kind of awkward.

I just love first impressions and how I manage to butcher them every time. I suppose my darty eyes, sweaty palms, and fidgeting just gave it all away. Oh, and that when asked to describe my life, I used the word “useless.” I was joking, of course. “I’m pretty useless, I was told to cut my hair and get a job.” But I guess nobody got that one…. Yep. Good day, good day.

I did get $5.50 an hour, though.

2 Responses to “Uncle Hersch says hello”

  1. Josh Says:

    Sucks, dude. I hated my first day of working at Burger King. I watched tapes all day that showed me how not to give the customers e-coli or the finger. At least I was alone, though.

    Worse than that was training on the power forklift at Kroger. I damn near took a water fountain off the wall. It was sort of hanging by like two bolts after I pased by. And I kept letting the damn thing run into me so that the emergency horn went off. It was really loud… and apparently funny to all the other employees.

    God, work sucks.

  2. Drew Says:

    haha. well, that makes me feel a little bit better. and yeah, work does suck. this shit’ll get old quick

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