Posts by tag
dead end jobs
Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #8 Muzak
A voyage into the world of unintentional music today. Maybe you don’t notice the music, or muzak, that plays away while you shop. Why would you? Well, the workers do, believe you me. Retail tales with Brian Brehmer is back. It’s time for ‘Retail Tales’.
Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #7 The Break Room
Eager to escape from the drudgery of the floor, Brian Brehmer heads for the supposed sanctuary of the break room, only to be greeted with anything but the tranquility he desired.
The Job Interview
Skint but with the mouth-watering prospect of working as a potwash in the local pub, famous for its aroma of old farts, Holly Watson reluctantly goes to a job interview.
Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #6 The Award
Don’t you hate the corporate drivel? They give you an award for all the time you have spent earning very little while making the company so much richer. When they take your time and your dignity to boot, then it’s time for Brian Brehmer.
Dole Life Part One: What you have to do for £50 a week
What you have to do for £50 a week in Britain. This is British life on the dole. Steven Bradbury gives Talking Soup the inside scoop on a life of Job Seeker’s Allowance.
Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #5 Dumpster Divers
The day to day machinations of the retail industry as told by insider, Brian Brehmer. In the latest in his series, Brian recalls some of the brilliantly bogus refund claims brought about by the infamous ‘Dumpster Divers’.
Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #4 Employee of the Month
In an attempt to appease the downtrodden workers, management tries to push the ‘Employee of the Month’ scheme with limited success. Welcome to ‘Brian Brehmer’s Retail Tales’.
Talking Soup Talks #2: Leah Mueller
Our editors sit down with writer and performer, Leah Mueller, to discuss her plethora of life experiences. Inspired by the likes of Don Marquis, Charles Bukowski and many more commentators of the underside of the American dream, Leah brings a great wealth of tales, from the crazy to the tragic. From working as a ‘sales clown’ in 1980s Chicago, to a short lived stint as a topless dancer in New Orleans, Leah’s writing takes in all aspects of American daily life, from the dead-end jobs to the humanity in mundanity.
Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #3 Stealing
Apart from the obvious crime of stealing employee time, Brian Brehmer, retail worker extraordinaire, talks about the weird and wonderful acts of theft that he has seen while working in retail.
Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #2 Returning Condoms
Brian Brehmer is back with another crazy tale from the world of retail. In this episode, a female customer attempts to breach store policy by returning some condoms.
The Joys of Field Testing Agricultural Equipment
Our resident factotum, Brian Brehmer, opens up the oeuvre of his work experience. This time he recounts the inherent joys of working as a field tester for agricultural machinery firm, Briggs and Stratton.
Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #1 Eleven Years of Selling Shoes at Kmart
Brian Brehmer tells the inside story of 11 years of selling shoes in that most American of institutions, Kmart. Expect exploitation, pointless management, poor pay and a nod to the death of an American ideal.
The Battle of the Heart Over the Mind
Life is full of changes, and with younger folk are ever-more trapped in a cycle of work and rent, Fulvio Milesi joins us to give us his take on leaving a job that appealed to the mind, but not the heart.
Stupidly, I Knowingly Broke Quarantine in Spain and was Instantly Apprehended by Police
Robert Locke, a temporarily unemployed travel company representative, woefully disregards government quarantine regulations and takes to the streets in his adopted home of Malaga, only to be arrested almost immediately.
Ice Cream, Whiskey, and Rain
My vacation condo’s washer/dryer combination is tiny and inefficient, so I launder my comforters ten miles away at the decrepit Maple Fuels Wash-a-Ton. The old-school machines don’t take credit cards, only quarters. It takes a lot of quarters to wash a pile of gamey comforters. Since my mortgage and HOA fees are high, I have to rent my place to overnighters through Air Bnb. The guests are often careless, spilling wine and body fluids willy-nilly on the bedclothes.
Inside the Canine Head
But the metamorphosis deepened, and I became the most frightening apparition of all: the man who really was a dog. All human perspective was gone now. I was a tall dog standing on its hind legs, teetering close to traffic. This was serious. I could bolt into an oncoming car, or nip a passerby in my confusion. I looked around me at the world of people, orderly for them but incomprehensible to me.
Storm the Palace and Louis Rive talk about music
I guess they’re the kind of lyrics most songwriters would use as a place-holder before coming up with something more universal and generic. Apparently the Beatles song ‘Yesterday’ was originally about bacon and eggs, but obviously McCartney decided to change the words to something more commercially viable. Thankfully commercial viability isn’t something I need to worry about. And for me, at least, I still find the lyrics quite meaningful as they are.
I sit up in bed with my hand over my eyes. The shards of sunlight, shining through the open window and the scream of a scooter from the street below make me wince. Through my fingers the black and white poster of the singer Morrissey looks down on me with pity from the bedroom wall. I return the look with remorse and regret.
Greece: There and Back on the Magic Bus. Part 1
Lesson learned. When dealing with the Island Greeks, they’re lovely people, but they’ll take you to the cleaners given half a chance. This deflated our egos for a few nanoseconds. We saw a family out back refilling plastic water bottles from a well. If the silly tourists want bottled water, we’ll sell them bottled water. This was the Greek idea of keeping the tourists happy.
Confessions of a Bad Waitress
I am a bad server. A very bad server. And I do not enjoy my job at all. But I make money and I won’t be doing this forever.
The Soothsayer’s Gift
In an hour, I will go across the street to Subway for a six-inch vegetarian sandwich. I’ve heard the buns are made from the same chemicals as yoga mats. However, this could be an urban legend. I’m hungry and inclined to take chances with my health. Also, I’m an optimist. There is no way a pessimist could be out on this highway.
Do You Remember Friday?
Do you remember Fridays? The indescribable feeling of utter joy that signified that thankfully school was over for another two days. The misery of sitting in a classroom against your will was to be alleviated and replaced with the respite of resentment from parents who didn’t know what to do with you. Yes, Friday was a fine time. Friday represented hope a brief, fleeting window in which anything was possible and the misery of school, with its press-gang style education was exposed for what it was, finite.
No one ever plans to end up as a dancer on Bourbon Street. It’s an employment choice born of pure desperation. I worked at a unisex joint called Sweet Mama’s. After only two weeks on the job, I despised every minute of my interminable shifts. I lurched around the club in stilettos like an awkward stork, as songs like “Strokin’” and “My Prerogative” pounded in the background.
The Last Day of Term
Last week David pulled his pants down in the class and farted in another boy’s face. David farts all the time. He loves the smell and sound of his own farts as do the rest of the class, chortling away when he breaks wind for the tenth time in the hour. David is also a racist, making Chinese eyes or calling the Latin-Americans dirty monkeys. David is 13 years old. There’s not much of a positive spin you can put on that ergo the utter bollocks above.