Sunday, 14 October 2007

First Job, Worst Job, Dream Job

My first job was working as a "Saturday girl" in Boots the Chemist. I worked on the chemist counter and had to wear a white overall with attractive flowery bits on it, which only slightly detracted from the I'm-a-person-you-can-trust-with-your-embarrassing-symptoms look we were all aiming for. It was a lie. Each Saturday Ronnie and I would choose a product, usually something that smelt really bad or turned your skin a funny colour, with the aim of selling as many as possible that day. The winner got nothing except the satisfaction of knowing that somewhere somebody was rubbing their chest with haemorrhoid cream. Old people were the easiest to convince - anything that smelt that bad has to do you good! My favourite selling technique was to let them sniff the embrocation or linctus - one whiff would have them choking and gagging "Aye hen, that's guid and strong - gies twa of they wans."

Condoms were an endless source of entertainment. This was in the days before condoms were on public view and so anyone who wanted them had to ask for them. I had some very bizarre conversations, usually held in a whisper, as a result. There were requests for Aspirin accompanied by a lot of nodding and twitchy winking. I liked to torture these people (invariably men) by asking if they wanted them soluble etc. My favourite condom customer though was a slightly scatty looking woman I remember asking me "How much is it for a pack of 3 durex?" "39p madam" I replied perkily

"Acht, I'll just have a Caramac instead..."

I was 15. I thought that there was some fail safe way of using a Caramac as a contraceptive. Luckily I didn't try it out.


My worst job was working in a vegetable packing factory. In winter. Night shift. I had to watch Brussels sprouts going past on a conveyor belt and pick out the mushy ones. There were 4 of us and we were all students working in the holidays. We used to play eye-spy (Something beginning with B.S.!) and take the mickey out of the full time workers and their enthusiasm for the veg they happened to be packing. No wonder they hated us. I used to wear so many clothes I couldn't get my arms down to my sides but it didn't help, I was still freezing. Not only that but I smelt of Brussels Sprouts.


My dream job is to do something that made everyone I came into contact with have a better day, some extra joy in their life. Maybe to be the person who hands over the winners lottery cheque? That has the benefit of being very part time and I could carry on with my faffing around with other stuff for the rest of the time!

3 comments:

Betty C. said...

Hilarious post. You Brits do have the sense of humoUr, even if you just beat the French rugby team..I'll be looking forward to reading more of your Sunday Scribblings!

And did you know there is a town in France called Condom?

my backyard said...

This is very funny!

Jo said...

Hilarious........that caramac moment is pure gold (well melted chocolate and caramel at any rate). And no, I have no envy for the ambitious.......GRIN.