DAY 10 as a Christmas Tree Salesman
I keep getting morning wake up calls asking me to come in on my days off. I see the beauty in asking me to work more shifts. They know I am here just for the sake of working during the holidays and need the dough to support my bar habit. Actually I am in some ways, a perfect candidate for a last minute substitution. I am just strong enough to lift a small tree on my own and do some amount of physical, menial labor, yet white enough with enough teeth to not scare the local natives (rich white people). I am smart enough to follow directions and articulate them to others, but don’t give a shit about agriculture, horticulture or any other type of culture involving plants, and thus am not a threat to establishment and work place pecking order.
Frankly, I bet most people would wonder why on earth is he willing to come into work on Sunday morning with such a raging hangover? Well, although only $9 an hour, someone’s got to support my Jack Daniels habit, and with Christmas season upon us, extra bar money is always in need. I ordered 4 JD cokes for me and friends the other night. So roughly $32 before tip, in other words, one day on the lot equates to one hour of bar time. I however was a little bit surprised today to see a sign on the wall about what all workers should know, noting that as of January 2011, Washington State minimum wage is $8.67 an hour. So at a generous $9 an hour, my employer is actually an exemplar of employee appreciation and servitude.
First paycheck, after 10 days of grueling labor, $230. My coworker Roberto most astutely dubbed this sum to be “bullzhit”. But hey, what it lacks in immediate financial reward will pay off big time in the long run when I have my Slumdog Millionaire moment.
“What is the difference between a Douglas fir and a Grand fir?”
Boom. Show me the money.
I actually found out last night that my family had a secret pool betting on how long I would survive. I was initially intrigued and delighted at their interest in my extra-curricular activities, however, this excitement came to a halt when I discovered that they had in fact bet on me for 1,2 and, the more benefit of the doubt giver of the family, giving me a 3 day survival window. Little did they know, I was born to hawk Xmas trees and holiday cheer.
Feliz Navidad Mothafuckas.