Saturday, March 26, 2011

Like riding a gorram bike

When I was in year 12 for some moronic reason I sentenced myself to a Saturday morning job. I rose at sparrows, rode my pushie into town, and worked from 7:30 am until about 1:30 pm in a fruit shop. My job, by and large, was two fold. The first part—opening up 50 kg sacks of potatoes and stuff two kilo bags with taters. The bag couldn't be more than 2.1 kg. Sometimes this would be livened up with other veg, like carrots, but for the most part it was potatoes.

It was a mind-blanking factory style job. Hour after hour of stuffing bags by hand. Rich soil would cake under my nails or give my puffy boy-man flesh a patina of grime. I'd even get a bath ring inside my nostrils from breathing in all the dirt.

As 1 pm came around it was time to put down the sacks and bags for part two—the clean up. I had to hose out the entire back area of the shop, sticking my finger over the nozzle to get a mist-jet and swish-swash wake the curves of dirt and muck down to the chuck hole. Given the amount crud on the floor, like off cuts of spoiled vegetable that had been pared from its parent because of ick and dropped onto the concrete slab, the chuck hole would have to be cleaned out by hand a couple of times during the process. The job ending out through the roller door as the last of the receiving bay / loading dock was cleaned. I earned about $4 an hour. I'd blow one third of it on a quarter chicken and chips from the local charcoal chicken shop (though I'd have to take money for that—I didn't get paid until the next Saturday).

The job was supposed to only go until 1 pm but I'd end up sometimes working back until 2 or 3 pm. I didn't get paid for that. It was only until I was doing TAFE and talking to someone who knew about salary awards that I mentioned I was grossly underpaid. I was let go two weeks after that.

But the skill—of washing crud off concrete and brick—was not lost. It all came back to me in a screaming hurry when I had to tag out with the wife to hose off the patio we had put in because we'd discovered half a rain forest had laid a bed down in our gutters which caused them to overflow when it rained. With a pergola roof going in we needed to fix it all now because they'd be harder to get at.

Pavers now sparkling clean. Mikey ... sodden. I ended up having to do that splayed stiff legged gun fighter calling you out walk of discomfort for the laundry door and strip off my soaked clothes in there before doing an undies run for the shower.

Lucky theBoy didn't see. Lately when I've been undies out he's run at me to give pay back and squeeze my tushie.

Damn pay back.

Still, I have that minor glow of having done something semi-worthwhile. Then went and did something utterly not—blogging this and wasting all your fucking time for recounting a memory of a crappy weekend job and a minor soddening of me in this adult life.

However you have to admit A minor soddening of me in this adult life is a terrific album title.


  1. I'd go with either "A Minor Soddening" or "In this Adult Life". The combination is a tad long...

  2. It's a double album...


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