Couple years ago (six or so to be more exact) I was dirt broke. Never was much of a spender. The less charitable might have used the term miser. Still when you make zero dollars you can only ever go down. It was this point in time where I realized I would need a job. I shot high with my first few attempts. Gamestop seemed like a good fit. I had a friend who worked there, could always use a discount on games, I am knowledgeable about the subject. I had an interview (which is farther than some other people I knew got), but no call back. I moved on. I know some other people who worked at the local CVS and BJs. Got nothing back from my online CVS application so that was bust. Got an interview at BJs, but I seem to recall saying I preferred to work alone. Many people have called this a 'poor move' which seemed to be accurate as I never got a return call. I tried some local independent bookstores, but go no bites from them. It was this desperate state of affairs that forced me to consider the grocery store business. I had thought about this before, but I was admittedly unexcited about the idea. Here is a quick rundown of how I would have rated part time jobs back then:

1. Paid to do nothing

2. Gamestop

3. Bookstore


567. Test subject for radiation experiments

568. Live fire missile target

569. Grocery store

560. A life of destitution and poverty

Granted it is not at the bottom of the list, but it comes in pretty close. That said, bank account was trending toward zero and Anime Boston was coming up. Man has got to make ends meet yo. Why Market Basket? Why not the closer Shaws or Stop and Shop? No real particular reason, a person I knew who worked there suggested it to me. The thing to know about Market Basket is they are mad cheap. As in we do not run a website we are so cheap. As in we print half sized job applications because the full size application would cost to much. That is the kind of place they are. The kind of place I worked at for four years. The kind of place I wore a tire, a button up white shirt, fancy pants, and dress shoes. I remember cleaning up an oil spill once in my nice white shirt once. Half the difficulty is in staying clean for a day. So why do I miss it? What could there even be to miss? Long tedious hours, a pay slightly above the minimum, constant interaction with people. This is the place I got yelled at because a man wanted a few extra dollars off on a cooked chicken, a place where one day I cut my hand to pieces picking up shattered glass, a place where I spent all day sweating it out pushing carriages in that hot Bellingham summer. My job now is luxurious, a quiet uninterrupted climate controlled environment to play with digital legos. And to think they pay me to do it too. How could I even think to compare what I have now with what I had before? Yet it is true, my job now lacks what I had before: joyful communal torture.

I miss the struggle of trying to last through a day. The pure stress of not being sure if you can stand one more hour, but pulling through anyways. It is not just that however, I miss struggling together with everyone else like me. Market Basket was stratified into two classes of employees: long term lifers and short term teenagers. The split of about 200 employees was about 40% lifers and 60% teenagers. That is not the split where I work now. It is more of an even breakdown of ages. Back then it was thrilling to work with so many people like me. All at near about the same place in life, similar hopes and dreams. There is an inexpressible joy in struggling together with everyone. We were challenged together and did it together everyday. It sounds incredibly sappy to write that, but since leaving I have not found that feeling again. It is probably for the better too, I can only endure so many stressful days. But you cannot replace those frighteningly strong burst of comradery. It is what motivated me to fill in other people's shifts, what kept me sane, what kept me still working.

I work for myself now, but back then I worked for others.