When I graduated from high school, my expectation was that I would immediately enroll in college and study biology. Then, I would become a famous biologist. Seems oxymoronic in retrospect.
My old man's expectations were quite different.
Me: Dad, I need $300 to pay for my tuition.
Dad: Too bad, you should have worked harder and gotten a scholarship.
In fairness, my dad was unemployed at the time and had three other kids in the house to support. My mom was not able to work because according to my dad, "A man doesn't let his wife work." Besides, old Dad had a serious alcohol habit to support.
So, I got a job at Bob's Big Boy, as a dishwasher, $1.35 per hour. I saved my money with an eye on 2nd semester. Within a month I was bumped up to fry cook trainee and my pay increased to $1.45, with $1.55 guaranteed if I had what it took to be a full-fledged fry cook and didn't poison anyone.
Then, Dad and I had a conversation that went something like this;
Dad: how much money do you have saved?
Me: I'm not giving it to you.
Dad: You want your brothers and sister going hungry?
After a week or so of badgering, he wore me down and made me meet him at the bank to hand over my loot.
The positive side of Dad crushing my dreams, was that I met Mrs. Sneed at the restaurant.
I worked at Bob's for about 6 months, until I found a job with day hours in a grocery store, called AJ Bayless. I was a stocker/carryout boy, 44 hours a week at the princely sum of $1.65/hr.
The grocery was run by a guy named Glenn. Glenn had one goal in the grocery business and that was to cut costs. His bonus was based on his success in cutting costs, so nothing was off-limits to Glenn. He would even sell expired products because he said most people wouldn't bother to bring spoiled items back.
Glenn would literally lie, cheat or steal to increase his bonus.
Glenn mistakenly thought that I had potential in the grocery game and told me that he was putting me in for the management training program. I should have seen that as the beginning of the end, but my head was too swelled for me to see much of anything.
Also, in April Mrs. Sneed and I were married, so a steady job took on greater importance, even though she was knocking back a sweet $65 per week as a payroll clerk.
As a side note, Dad gave me this bit of advice;
Dad: You need to make your wife quit working.
Dad: Man man doesn't let his wife work.
Me: I'm not doing it.
Things went along pretty smoothly at AJ Bayless Market until Glenn scheduled me to work Memorial Day, May 30th, 1969. I was glad to work the holiday because it was time and a half, or so I thought.
The following Friday, my check didn't include any overtime and when I asked Glenn about it, he said that I was a part time worker and not eligible for holiday pay.
Even though I worked 44 hours a week, Glenn told me that being part time had nothing to do with hours worked. One of Glenn's many tricks to cut costs.
I called in sick the following Monday and applied at Hooterville Gas and Electric and at Tedious Systems. Tedious Systems offered me a job the following Friday and I told Glenn that I quit.
Glenn insisted that I was making a big mistake. Glenn was wrong.
Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky