Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My summer job

Just reading Amy Poehler's article in the New Yorker on her summer job. Cute. It reminded me of my summer job. I got a job with the Board of Ed. I had the lowly job, that first summer, of scraping gum out of desks. It sucked, but the pay wasn't that bad ($2.50 an hour). It took a political connection to get me the job. 

For years a man we will call Dick lived behind us in Hackensack. He liked to cut through my parent's driveway on the way to O'Neals tavern and he often stopped by and visited with dear old Dad. Years later my father admitted he never cared much for Dick but he put up with him for the sake of my summer job. 
The things my father did for his children. 

7:30 AM was starting time. That was the most painful part of the job I think. I was assigned to the high school, the same place from which I had just graduated. When I arrived, they looked my skinny frame up and down. I would not be helping carry sheet rock for the construction crew. I would not be carrying the boards to repair the seats in the football field. I was assigned to the janitresses (lady custodians), given a putty knife, and told that my job was to scrape gum out of the bottom of desks for all the desks in the school. One of the teachers recognized me and wanted to hijack me. He wanted me to take his car for inspection. He was told where to get off. 

I got along with the janitresses. I didn't fib on them when they snuck into the girls rooms for smokes. I kept to myself and my gum. I scraped a lot of gum out of desks that summer. The last two weeks I got to clean desks, and as a reward, go to help put the liquid finish on them. By Labor Day the desks were ready for a new group of scholars. And I was ready for college. 

In the Senatorial debates, Lonegan talked about how he, unlike Cory Booker, worked when he went to college. I guess I can run for Senate, if that is the requirement. 

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