When I graduated college, I believed that the world was my oyster.
What I later found out was that the world was my oyster, but only in the sense that I needed to find the pearl ASAP, so I could sell it in order make my next student loan payment.
Upon graduation, I honestly believed I was going to get a job at the Smithsonian. Obviously, reality checks weren’t in surplus back then.
Instead what I got was a brutal blow to my ego and a job at the local Planet Fitness.
Once a month, the gym offered free pizza to its members.
While this might seem unethical, let me be the first to tell you that it actually worked.
Hell hath no fury like a Planet Fitness on pizza night. I couldn’t help but stare in awe as people quickly formed a line outside and demanded slices of free pizza like they were picketing for fair wages during the height of the Great Depression.
After working there for all but maybe three weeks, I had seen enough.
I opted for what sounded like a better gig and applied for a strange job that I found on Craigslist. After an extensive interview process at Taco Casa, I ended up becoming a paid friend to a gold digger and her 100-year-old husband.
Since my boss didn’t want to spend time with something that now resembled a tortoise from the Galapagos Islands, she steadily began putting me on babysitting duty.
Basically, all I had to do was keep an eye on him and make sure he didn’t drive his golf cart off a cliff or fall down, which ended up being a lot harder than it sounds.
Honestly, looking back, the job wasn’t that bad. A lot of my afternoons were spent dipping my toes in their infinity pool, while Mr. Winkler* bobbled around in the water like a lifeless fishing lure.
Occasionally, his rusty old voice would croak out a sexual harassment or two, which helped me determine that he was still alive and well.
“Hell, he’s harmless. His mind’s gone,” his assistant of 30 years told me one day after we both heard him casually telling a 19-year-old and her mother to “take their tops off.”
While his brain told him differently, he was no longer a head honcho living in the smoke-filled executive board rooms of the 50s anymore.
“At that age, he can get away with whatever he wants to say. They ain’t gonna lock that old man up. He’s always askin’ women to take their tops off. Ain’t nothing new there, My mother used to work for him before I did. She said they only built that hotel over there, so that he could keep all his women in one place,” he continued, not making his escapades any more redeemable.
Little did I know, his flirtatious nature would be put to the test the day the maid didn’t come to work.
Guess who was the only person with him.
“Where’s Amy? I need her to rub my cream on my skin for me,” his froggy voice complained from his bathroom.
Apparently, this special cream helped his skin from cracking. It was part of his morning routine that I was thankfully not involved in.
“I’m sorry, she’s not here, sir. It’s just me,” I yelled back from the hallway, which featured a Sistine Chapel-esque ceiling.
“Well… I need someone to help me. If she’s not here, you’re going to have to do it,” he replied from behind the door.
Ah, the moment of truth.
While hospice care is certainly not my area of expertise, I made my way down the hall to meet my fate. You can’t just tell a struggling old person to f*ck off.
He opened the bathroom door.
Without any clothes on, I couldn’t help but notice that his 6’4 frame was shriveled with age. There he stood in a pair of the longest tighty whities that anyone’s ever laid eyes on.
It’s funny how at 97, he looked like a naked baby: vulnerable, helpless, and in need of someone to tend to his demands.
I internally screamed as he handed me his medicated cream in a manner that suggested I better get to work if I wanted to get this done by the end of the day.
This was a moment where you know there is no other possible outcome than sucking it up, and sticking your hand into a wet pile of shit with a smile on your face.
So, that’s what I did. In 9.2 nano seconds, I managed to cover his body in a thick coat of cream, which he helped rub in.
When I was finished, I awkwardly bowed, not knowing what else to do, and left the bathroom.
We never spoke of it again.
When I worked for the Winklers my life was sort of like a full season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, except it was all real and had no written punchlines.
It was so sad and morbid that it had to be funny.
For instance: The Diary.
I often worked from their house when they went on vacation, which meant that I was given an ample amount of time to sift through the pages of a diary that I accidentally found one day.
A strict code of ethics would have probably suggested that I shouldn’t have opened the diary in the first place, but who are we kidding?
Things like this make up the evil core of my being.
“I just can’t believe my son is a pizza delivery boy,” the author confessed.
I knew she had a son, who was a stock broker, but she had never mentioned her other son, the pizza delivery boy.
“I mean, I’ve given him everything in the world, and he becomes a pizza delivery boy?” I read deeper into her soul.
I put the diary face down.
I had to take a mental break.
After I was done zoning out for a solid five minutes and had fully processed the gold mine I just found, I picked it back up and continued.
“He could’ve been anything. We’re millionaires and he is actively choosing to be a pizza delivery boy,” she whined.
“He’s rejected the lifestyle we live. What do I tell my friends? I don’t know what I did to deserve this,” the frantic cursive handwriting read.
My boss’s sons had long moved out of the house by then, so I didn’t personally know her pizza delivery boy son.
But Mr. Winkler’s assistant did.
“Pizza delivery boy! No, no, no. Jesus help her. We gotta pray for her,” he said, with tears streaming down his face.
He was laughing so hard that he couldn’t speak.
“Pizza delivery boy! God help the b*tch. Oh, she has it coming!” he continued laughing, as he walked away, shaking his head.
It was no secret he couldn’t stand her.
While this job was entertaining, it started to become stressful. At times, it felt like managing a pack of insecure Ozzy Osbournes.
I knew I had to figure something else out.
I decided to apply for graduate school way past the deadline, since more school seemed like my only choice.
Two more years of college would be a breeze, and it would give me time to think about what I wanted to do with my life.
LOL, yeah right.
To be continued…