Bite Size Memoir: First Jobs
Although I can laugh about it now, it is with slight trepidation that I reveal my response to Lisa Reiter’s Bite Size Memoir Prompt for this week. For years, I was so ashamed of this incident. After all, I didn’t just get fired from my first job, I also got arrested for the first (and only!) time:
1. I remember the smell of fresh donuts, and wearing shirts with sleeves I could roll down when bagging fresh-baked French bread, which would scratch up my arms, otherwise.
2. I remember my boss wearing a suit and sitting at his desk, with a stack of porno mags in front of him, all featuring women with enormous breasts.
3. I remember losing a small Band-aid in a 50 pound tub of potato salad I’d just made, frantically searching for it when the deli manager wasn’t looking, and *phew* finding it just in time!
4. I remember customers asking me for wine advice, and how I made up crazy stories about why this wine would pair with that food, because – at 15 years of age – I knew nothing about wine, and couldn’t believe they were asking me.
5. I remember my boss remarking that, “I don’t understand why you bother with a bra when all you’ve got are those mosquito bites,” then slapping me on the back and guffawing, as if expecting me to laugh along with him, and how scrutinized, ugly, and ashamed the exchange made me feel, and how the deli manager said, “He was only teasing you,” and that I should “quit being so uptight.”
6. I remember how I was the only employee who never once got cut while using the meat slicer, how slicing head cheese made me queasy, and how I innocently handed a Russian exchange student a glass of water after misunderstanding his accent when he had actually asked for vodka.
7. I remember my boss calling my Indian friend a “camel jockey” and my pretty blond friend a “big-boobed slut,” yet he’d also make disparaging comments about women who were anything less than a D cup.
8. I remember being arrested, handcuffed, fingerprinted, and locked in a cell as we were caught on our way to throw eggs at our boss’ house because vandalism seemed like the only possible revenge, and hearing him bellow, “Lock up those hoodlums and throw away the key!” at the police station.
9. I remember that when my parents found out, they called me a criminal, told me how ashamed they were, and said I would “never amount to anything.”
10. I remember thinking that if I ever parented a teenager, I would do my best to keep the communication open so that my child would always feel safe enough to tell me their problems.
Still not laughing at my boss!
I want to clarify that when I mentioned how I can now laugh about this incident, I am in no way condoning my boss’ behavior. If only I had understood how grossly out of line he was. But… in my mind he was a “grown up” so he called the shots. I must say, writing this bite size memoir snapped me back to my teen-aged mindset.
What is Bite Size Memoir?
Bite Size Memoir is a weekly writing prompt created by Lisa Reiter. Here’s how she describes it:
Bite size memoir is designed to help anyone record some personal memoir in small manageable bites. There’s a prompt every week and some constraints to keep it small… Feel free to dip in and out each week without commitment.
Participants are given a prompt each week, then asked to respond with either a 150 word prose/poem, or 10 statements starting with “I remember” that are triggered by the prompt. I chose the “I remember” route this week.
Play along with us – it’s fun!
If you would like to play along, check out Lisa’s blog Introducing the Bite Size Memoir Challenge. She posts a new memoir prompt every Friday.
Also, if you’re on Twitter, you can find other people’s posts for this week via the hashtag #bitesizememoir, and be sure to follow @Lisa_Reiter, too.
Do you write Non-fiction, Travel and/or Memoir? Hop along with us & use #NFTM on Twitter:
If you write non-fiction of any sort, including travel and memoir, I invite you to add your link to the blog hop below. Also, if you are on Twitter, please use the hashtag #NFTM to find other non-fiction writers and blogs to read: