Ever worked at a job that you knew, without a doubt, that you were “above”? You know, like you have a college degree, but due to circumstance, bad credit, and a minor mishap with tequila and an on-duty police officer, you’re doomed to working the drive-through at Jack In The Box or the men’s department in Wal-Mart? I’m not talking about people who enjoy that job, and have decided to work it and try to ascend to the higher elevations of retail management – I’m talking about “I just have to do this for 6 months until I can get a REAL job” people. These people are bad eggs.

Let’s not get confused here, though. There are differing levels of disgruntlement, ranging from “this place sucks” to “I’mma kill ALL you motherfuckers!!!”. I’m not talking about the extreme range of that psychosis…I can’t even begin to understand the rationale behind walking into your workplace and shooting people. Hell, if it’s that fucking bad, just quit. Or – and here’s a novel idea – just kill yourself. Just you, not the 15 people just trying to get to their desk or check their bank accounts or see how much porn they have. Just your crazy ass. Do it in the garage with a running car and a hose pipe to make it easier to clean up your punk ass. Or OD on something. Either way, keep your problems to your damn self.

No, I’m speaking of a more relaxed type of disgruntled, along the lines of “I don’t need this bullshit”. Those people are fun for their coworkers (the cool ones, at least), and hell for management. Especially if they’re really good at their job, or it’s an undesirable job like working at the Exxon station at 3am. These are the bad eggs, the people who become occupational sociopaths with little regard for consequence or personal feelings. These people rock. These are the people who may slide you an extra burger in your BK bag and say “Shit, it ain’t MY burger. I don’t care.” These are the people who will take your 3 dresses, 2 pairs of shoes, a new belt, and a matching purse, and just ring up the belt. In their minds, they are <span style=”font-style: italic;font-family:arial;” >better than their place of business; it is beneath them to even consider treating the job with any amount of respect. I know this because I’ve been this person on more than one occasion.

I’ve written a couple of blog entries about the time I worked in the mall. If you haven’t read them, go do it now – there’s a test later. <a  href=”http://darkdamian.blogspot.com/2004/10/tales-from-mall.html”>Tales From The Mall</a>
I was not a nice employee, and I didn’t even attempt to be. I hated working there, the pay was lousy, the hours unreasonable, and my manager was dumber than Anna Nicole Smith at a MENSA convention. It sucked – but it was the only thing I could find. To offset my disdain for working there, I became indispensible – learning every job in the whole place, being willing to work overtime at short notice, coming in on my days off – anything I could do to make me unfireable. And it worked. Once I got to a point where I knew my manager would sooner gangbang a herd of Shetland ponies than fire me, I had it made. I could let my disdain for the job show more and more. I gave out more free food than the Red Cross. Duke and I would have deals worked out with other disgruntled employees from the other stores in the mall: Eats for Treats. Eats for Treats meant that if I give you a free meal, you give me a free something from your store sometime. We’d get shoes, clothes, CDs, books, free arcade games, frozen lemonade, toys…you name it. It was awesome, and none of us ever got caught, except for one girl who foolishly let her friend walk out with $250 worth of clothes, while only charging her for socks. That was just plain stupid.

Later I worked for GE, after graduating from college. Sounds great, right? Nay. I couldn’t find a job in my field, so I took a 3rd shift job in a fucking tool crib. A tool crib is a large caged area where tools and other factory supplies are stored. People came up and said “I need a 2″ bolt with a hex head”, and I had to go find it. Here I was, B.A. in English, fresh outta college, working 3rd shift in a TOOL CRIB! It was located on the 2nd floor, where I could have a clear view of the entire factory. I can’t tell you how many times I saw welders jerking off at 4am behind a piece of machinery. Being the only black face in the plant didn’t win me any friends in the 40-and-over white male demographic there, either. So I shirked my duties. Hard. My boss once went on vacation for a week, and told me to organize the motor parts or whatever. I did nothing of the sort. I sat on my ass and read the newspaper for 5 days. When he returned, he asked me if I’d done it, and I point-blank said “No.” He asked why, and I replied “I didn’t feel like it. They’re heavy.” This didn’t go over well, but I was just depleted by then, and did not care one iota. He said this, and it actually changed my attitude a hair: “Damian, I know you don’t want to work here. Hell, I don’t wanna work here. But we do. And if you had a better option than this, you’d take it. So please, try to remember that I’m the one standing between you and unemployment, ok?” It sunk in, and I became a model employee – until I quit 4 days later.

Since then, I’ve modified my view on work. I now use the IAPTS model of working, otherwise known as It All Pays The Same. I don’t get paid any less to do different aspects of my job, so I don’t bitch about having to do something I don’t like. It works, actually. Try it – you may find that your own job satisfaction will increase, without even having to reload a weapon.