Making Money pt. 1 My History
In high school, I had my oddjobs such as mowing lawns, fundraising, and as a Sandwich Artist at Subway. (yes that is what they are really called). By the time I got into college, my jobs had blossomed into things like being a math tutor and… well, that’s about it. I went to a small school were there weren’t many positions available, especially for underclassmen. I worked about 6 hours a week trying to convince college students that Algebra really isn’t all that hard when they have the formulas right under their nose and the problem clearly explains what number is what part of the formula.
Right before I was married, I almost got involved with Cutco, but after the first training session, I realized it was harder than it looked to get excited about kitchen knives.
When my son was born, I was a Junior in college. I worked as a student assistant for the football team and as a waiter for the nearby restaurant in town. Let’s just say that money was tight and my time was spent outside of the house. During the football season, I would wake up at 6, go to meetings to hand out papers filled with whatever, go to class, eat lunch on campus, do some homework, go to football practice, run straight to the restaurant, close it up, and go home to get showered and ready for bed. The few moments I would get to see my wife and son were when they would come watch practice or eat at the restaurant (and by eating I mean just sipping on water).
During the summers of grad school, I worked as an inventory counter for a company called RGIS. I was on the travel team which meant we would all meet at the office on Monday afternoon and drive anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to the area we would be working in. We counted for Walmart so we would hit one store everyday on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We would start at 6:30 every morning and count till we had finished every section in the store (including the back room!) The smallest store took in a limited number of people and they were done by 1:30. The longest day I was a part of had us leaving at 7:50 P.M. On average, 4:30 to 5:00 would be the normal quitting time. Pay was decent for a hourly position. The speed of your count was factored in so raises could happen at least every 6 weeks when evaluations rolled around. Also, if your were a squad leader, that’s another bonus. If the team finished on schedule or ahead of schedule there was another bonus. So there were plenty of opportunities to make the money and there were weeks that I was making a pretty decent paycheck.
There were a few drawbacks. I’ve already mentioned that I was gone Monday through Thursday night. I really developed an appreciation for my wife over that time as she had to raise our two babies alone in a low-income apartment building. I’ve also mentioned the start time of 6:30. Since we had to count 3 different Walmarts each week, we would stay at a hotel that is about pretty equal to where we were counting. That means we had to wake up around 5:30 each morning and that was sleeping in! If it was a week where a Walmart was within an hour and a half of the office, we would meet at the office at 3:30 A.M. The vans are so cramped that sleeping is not an option unless you’re really comfortable with who you’re rubbing legs with. My final con will sound a bit harsh on my coworkers, but oh well. As a grad student, not only was I the highest educated member of the team, I was the only one who had any sort of degree beyond high school. It was apparent a lot of them barely scraped by in English. Don’t get me wrong, I use slang and expressions all the time. You may have noticed how informally I write. But I believe there is a difference between being casual in conversation and not knowing how to spell “scanner.” That is what I was surrounded by for 3 and a half days. The sad thing is that the constant exposure actually affected my speech. I was unintentionally speaking in their dialects and inflating my voice at weird times. When my wife came to pick me up from the office, she immediately noticed the change and sat me down for a marathon of Top Gear since the UK sounds so proper.
The season ended at the end of October due to the Christmas holidays. With how fast merchandise was cycling through the store, taking a count of it all was just impossible. The stores didn’t close for it either. We were counting around customers and having to deal with their stupidity. Honestly, how dumb can you be to think these people work at a Walmart!?
A fun game we did play was “send the customer in the opposite direction.” If they came back mad, you had to get them to apologize for misunderstanding you and then point to a direction that was pretty much the exit. Yes it was mean, but our numbers counted on it and they were messing with our livelihoods!