When I was fourteen or fifteen, I worked at the Trap N Skeet Club outside of Elko, Nevada. My job was to sit underground in this terrible little bunker about the size of a telephone booth.
I sat with a giant greasy machine between my legs. A blade revolved from the base of the machine, zooming in near my chest with each pass. And each time it passed, I had to put a clay pigeon on the blade, then get my fingers out of the way before someone pushed the button outside.
When a shooter yelled “Pull!” a luckier employee would push a button and they’d all fire their shotguns. The buckshot would scatter against the wall behind my head and I’d wonder just how safe I was.
Drinks and Ammo
It was a strange setup. A woman I’ll call Janice ran the club and sold the shotgun shells. She also tended the bar. So everyone would pour in and drink for two or three hours before loading up on fresh ammunition. After they were all done proposing to Janice they’d stumble outside and wave their loaded shotguns around like lethal baton twirlers.
I did the job because I wanted the money and I was in love with Janice. I figured that if I spent enough time underground for her, she’d totally come down there in the bunker and do me…or something.
She never noticed me. But the shooters did. At least, they did when I wasn’t doing my job fast enough for them.
A Rough Crowd
Most of the men were interchangeable. Few were agreeable. The only one who really stood out was an Arab man who only had one leg. The other one got chopped off by an outboard motor on a boat. We never felt too bad for him because he was very good-natured, liked to joke, and he owned a couple of jets. I believe he would have resented anyone’s pity.
But again, they were all interchangeable once they were slobbering drunk and armed to the crooked teeth.
Tourette’s In The Bunker
One symptom of my Tourette’s that you haven’t heard about yet is my need to touch hot or sharp things. Show me an open, burning light bulb and I’ll tap it with my fingers, lean my forehead against it, and any other number of foolish activities. Same thing goes with knives. I have a hard time visiting the dentist because I’m always biting down on sharp things when I shouldn’t be.
That blade in the bunker was hell for me. I couldn’t figure out how to bite it, but I would push on it with my fingers, daring it to go off and break my hand apart. I’d be underground for over an hour. Sometimes closer to two. When I’d get done, someone would knock on the roof–my signal to finally get out.
Sometimes they forgot to knock and I’d sit there with the empty blade whirring around to keep me company.
But I figured it would be worth it. One day the knock on the roof would come, and Janice would grab my hand and take my gangly fourteen year old body inside the bar and really let me have it, fierce-like.
It never happened, and that is one of the reasons that the Trap N Skeet was my worst job.
Now…I know you have had at least one job and I know there are things you didn’t like about it. Tell us about your worst job in the comments section.
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