[Think of the worst job you have ever held in your entire life. Now put it on a boring scale of 1-10. Remember that number.]
I can’t recall if I answered an ad, or someone told me about it. It was the graveyard shift so maybe the thought of sleeping late and having most of the day to myself was a positive. It was another one of my summer jobs between college years, and I managed to somehow keep my sanity until about two weeks before I left for school again. It was a typical summer evening at the job in a big room with bright fluorescent lights seemingly everywhere and the background hum of circulating fans. Tonight I was determined to teach my antagonistic bully a lesson. He had been on my case from the time I began a couple of months earlier as a college part-timer. He was a full-time employee who had been performing this awlful job since apparently before Moses and he didn’t like college know-it-alls and didn’t try to sugar-coat his daily verbal opinions. He had no idea I actually did know it all when I was in high school, and was just then beginning to grasp how much of the world I didn’t know.
Tonight was the night all right. He would soon know what pain was, what humilation was, what defeat felt like. I chose my weapon of bully destruction and hid it in my work area until the moment he least expected had arrived. Soon. It would be soon.
No full-timer liked the college kid part-timers. We were faster and more accurate that they were; their resentment towards us was only barely disguised. My revenge would not be served cold, but quick and painful if the plan worked. Mr. Bully would remember Mr. Billingsley for a long time and not soley for what I was about to do, but because of the generation of workers to follow over the years that would tell and re-tell the story of this night.
It was time. I reached into my desk, quietly pulled it out, looked for any imperfections that might rip it apart in flight and finding none, held it below my waist and out of anyone’s sight. Slowly the biggest, fattest rubber band in the building was stretched over the top of my 12 inch ruler, poised and ready to fly across the ten feet where Mr. “I Don’t Have A Clue To What’s About To Happen” had his face looking downward at his assigned work papers. “C’mon, look up you jerk…Look up will you?!” After a few seconds the bain of my summer job existence did look up and coincidentally, directly at me. My brain instantly sent the “commence firing” action to my thumb, and pushing the rubber missile up ever-so-slightly, it shot off straight and true for it’s intended target.
Unfortunately for me, my perIpheral vision did not notice the night supervior walking across the floor at just that moment about one second before his path intersected with my ABRB (Alan Billingsley’s rubber band). “WHAP”, dead center of the bosses’ forehead. Tears were running down his checks as he looked at me and pointed towards the door. It would be my last night ever for being a telephone book proofreader. As I gathered my belongings and started to leave, this time my peripheral vision did see Mr JerkFace giving me the finger as I slumped on by. When you are a telephone book proofreader, being defeated and fired on the same night is not totally a bad thing.