I lost count how many jobs I’ve had between the age of sixteen till I reached my thirty-first birthday . Lets see. I was a stock boy at Associated Drug store when I was living in the group home back in 1979 and a daycare counselor as well for Saint Lucy’s Day Camp during that same summer. I was a drivers helper for Coca-Cola, worked as a full-time dishwasher and busboy doing 12 hour shifts at The Bread Shop Café on Duane street in New York City and going to school for my G.E.D.
I worked as a delivery boy for Kramer’s Flowers on Church street, which ironically, a stone throw away from the World Trade Center. I worked as a skate guard for a roller skating rink on Staten Island. A security guard for Path Mark. Pumping gas at two gas stations and a car wash. Did I mention Burger King for just 20 minutes? Yep. My first day working there and I lasted twenty minutes. Not that I didn’t want to flip burgers or clean the bathrooms either. But get this.
Policy required that all employees wear black shoes. Well, I didn’t own black shoes. I was homeless living out of a frigging beat up grey suitcase. where was I going to get the money for black shoes? So I asked for an advancement to buy shoes across the street. He said no and I quit. While walking out the door, and spitting out every profanity I could think of, even in Spanish, I took off one of my sneakers and threw it like an angry pitcher looking to take off the batter’s head and walked out.
Now let me just say. It gets better. I am now standing across the street wearing only one sneaker. The manager didn’t even give it back to me. What was I to do? You guessed it. After 15 minutes and with pure humiliation, I walked back to Burger King, approached the counter, and asked the manager if I can have my sneaker back. He said sure, no problem. But I had to dig into the garbage pail by the front door to retrieve it. Did I learn any lesson from this experience? Sure did. I’ve should have taken the manager’s shoes and applied at the McDonald down the street. Live and Learn.
Now you have to understand, these are just a few of the jobs I held before I even get to 1982. Throughout the 80’s, I held at least…..hummm….thinking….maybe about twelve more, not including my own lawn care business with my wife’s cousin Tony for about one season. But that’s a whole story by its self. At twenty-seven, I worked as a part-time bouncer at the biggest dance club on Staten Island called On Stage for about three years.
Just Fridays and Saturdays. I also pimped myself out to other bars and clubs as well if we were slow. During the week, I worked as a full-time truck driver for a company out in Port Reading New Jersey. FOUR YEARS STRAIGHT…A RECORD FOR ME! I couldn’t afford to keep jumping job to job anymore. It was time to be responsible for a change. Time to get my shit together. Time to show my wife I wasn’t a mistake that she married me. To prove to my father-in-law I wasn’t a loser. It’s now 1993. A letter came in the mail…