Show Them Your Teeth

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

I missed out on a golden opportunity today. I could have been the hardware king of Arizona, part-time of course. They offered almost a basic minimum wage and no benefits at all. But, I’ve always been told that if you took the job, you can’t complain about the pay. They told you what they would pay you. The Bible tells us, it’s all up to the employer anyway. And so,  that’s one of the many reasons why we call it today, an ancient book of fairy tales.

Of course, it says that! Why one king was worth a hundred million of you peasants. And besides, he’s more likely to look kindly on a book that says he can do whatever he wants. Jesus doesn’t care. He loves you and all, but doesn’t get involved in employment law. If you’re a slave, be a good slave!

Ask no questions, do what you are told. “Oh, and by the way, todays your last day.” My sin was a cardinal one. I won’t take a drug test. I mean, I won’t take a drug test for a piss anty part-time job, selling plumbing fixtures. I’ve taken drug tests before, and for good jobs and passed them too. Hence, the validity of drug tests. I won’t take a drug test to work at McDonald’s either. I won’t pull out my penis on command and pee in a cup, so someone in a lab coat could do a simple drug test.

If you want to know what drugs I’m on, ask me. What is it that you are afraid of? What is it that they think a 65-year-old man might do? How little faith do they have in their current employees? That their employment choices must be chemically second guessed?

I got my first job at Ann Street Gulf, by being a friend of Jimmy’s. He’d worked there almost a month and they liked Jimmy. Hell, everybody liked Jimmy. So, I was hired. Fill out a form, here’s your shirt and baseball hat, you can change in the restroom.

Handling hundreds of dollars in cash every night and let loose amongst thousands of dollars of unsupervised inventory. Harold, the owner, trusted us and checked up accounts several times daily. If he thought you were stealing or came up short , he’d fire you.

Since Harold was a good guy and we wanted to continue working there, we didn’t steal anything. Mainly, because we weren’t thieves. And Harold assumed Jimmy was good judge of character, and what you did on your own time, was your own business. Just don’t bring it to work with you.

Drop your pants and bend over. We’ve got to check you for Preparation H. The boss doesn’t want no “H” er’s around here. His first wife ran off with an “H” er. And he doesn’t like diabetics or Catholics, much either. Mind, if we look in the back of your car? Could you open your trunk for us please? When was the last time you did an oil change? Is this the only car you’ve got? As a trusted team member; you’re just like family to us, only not our family.

You are a part of the corporate family, and we have high expectations for you. We love you and want you to feel a part of us. But won’t hesitate to make decisions that might adversely impact you without ever consulting you. You could perform miracles by the paint shaker, but you ain’t getting a raise Woody. Your value is determined by figuring the least legally possible to get away with then using an algorithm, performed in a foreign country far, far away.

There was one job ad, must be willing to stand for entire eight-hour shift. To pay homage when the store is empty to blind god of obedience. “I will stand for the entire eight hours, even though no one can see my obedience. And they wonder why service is so bad.

I did hirings and firings for over thirty years and never needed drug testing. If you do the right hiring, you don’t need much of the firing. I had a mechanic come to me, saying he wanted to go to rehab once. When he got back, he was much worse. The drugs and alcohol were only masking the anger problems forcing him to use drugs and alcohol in the first place. But he was good mechanic when medicated, cantankerous when not.

Being accused of getting all the “Good ones” my secret was simple. Show them the job and leave them alone. They are far more likely to use their own natural curiosity and creativity, without the fear of criticism. And even, if you don’t particularly like the way they did it, tell them that you do anyway. “it’s their job, leave them to it. Let them discover it doesn’t work well that way. Then smile and not frown. Trust, that they will learn well enough, without the benefit of your sage wisdom.

They are far more likely to do a good job, if they think that it’s their own idea. Far more likely to open up honestly, if you are a friend and not a boss. But requirements of standing obedience dictate never leaving a customer unattended, while he tries to make up his own mind.

It is not enough anymore to just to show up on time and do a good job. Until it becomes Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch. Or Steve Martin in “The Jerk.”  “Yes sir! I can see you are shopping for brake pads this fine day sir! Might I suggest some windshield washer fluid sir? We are running a special this month, on windshield wipers motors sir and Lithium Axle Grease and batteries sir! Our prices are so low, it’s shocking (Ha, ha!)

This week only, Radiator stop leak for only $9.95, a regular $10.49 value sir! No better time to change your wiper blades sir, than while doing the brakes.  Don’t get stuck on the side of the highway with a defective wiper motor sir! Those wiper blades sir, is that a four-wheel drive Prius sir? Do you know what axle it has? Could you get me the vin number sir?

We’re having a contest sir, and for every wiper blade I sell, I get a nickel. Now, that might not sound like much to a polished gentleman like yourself sir, but in two weeks it could add up to eight or nine dollars. All told, a commission of over $20.00 was possible. See? You’re not just working for the minimum wage here. Plus, if our store sells more wiper blades than store over in Pig Snout. We win the momentary distinction of winning “our” district. “Yeah! Let’s all sing the company song!”

Well, I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.

To drop my pants and pee on command, so they can inspect me.

And I’d gladly stand up for hours on end and wave that company flag.

Because they are all and I am none. God Bless the USA!

Back in slavery days, the slaves at auction were made to smile. So that the prospective buyers could examine the slave’s teeth to determine their proper age. The slave or slave owner, couldn’t be trusted to tell you their proper age. They might lie to get more money, or the slave might lie to avoid hard work. So, show them your teeth. Open wide and smile broadly. The boss wants to see your teeth. Come on, open up. Smile, that’s an order!

2 Thoughts

  1. Good for you David.
    What happened to your place on fb? Although I get your emails, I miss you in Snarky Snowflakes. Did the dreaded algorithm get you???

    Liked by 1 person

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