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Book of Jobs Part 1


by Chris Auman

Yeah, I sold drugs, but I wasn’t a kingpin. I was just a runner. Small fry. Chump change. I was a clerk and stock/errand boy at Clingman’s Pharmacy on Main Street in Galena. This is the first job I had for any significant length of time. Two years of my life I gave to that drug store. It was a cake job, really. I remember almost every responsibility I had there like it was yesterday. It was only two hours after school, 4 to 6PM, Monday through Thursday, Friday was 4 to 8PM, Saturday was nine to five and Sunday was seven thirty to noon, but only every other Sunday. That seems like a lot and I remember once working twenty one days straight, but two hour shifts I can handle.

Saturdays I would arrive at nine sharp, grab a broom, sweep the front sidewalk, wind out the awning, wash the windows, filter the ashtrays in the store (you could smoke anywhere you damn well pleased back then and there was always an ashtray right there for your no matter where you were) then head to the back room to do the magazine and newspaper returns. By this time it was about eleven o’clock and it started getting a little busy so I would help out on the register and stock shelves between customers or break down boxes. Noon and it was home for lunch for a half hour then back to work the register until five o’clock. Deliveries were the best because I did them on foot so they ate up the clock and I could listen to my headphones while carrying those prescriptions of sugar pills and Depends adult diapers to leaky octogenarians.

I got paid a “student wage” which ended up being three fifteen an hour. I got a ten cent raise after a year and I still didn’t make minimum wage. That doesn’t seem right or even legal thinking back on it now... Hmmmm. Always the sucker. Always.

Stringer >>

Originally published in RW#22, 2014

RW #22

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