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Fired From My First Job

July 26, 2013
At the end of my senior year at Wilcox High I landed my first real job. Like many kids in the Santa Clara Valley, I’d spent several summers picking pears and apricots, often eating nearly as much as I picked. But this was a real job. I was going to spend my summer as the janitor’s assistant at one of the local department stores—S.H.Kress & Co. 


Best friend Ricky Delgado wasn’t impressed when I told him. “Shit, I never heard of anyone being a janitor’s assistant. What kind of ass-wipe job is that? You mean you’re not even going to be a regular janitor?”


I noticed he never burned the pavement looking for a job, yet he always seemed to have spending money. I was determined to be the best damn janitor’s assistant I could be and let his lack of enthusiasm roll off my back.


“And why Kress? It’s a shitty store.” Ricky had been thrown out of Kress several years back when he was still perfecting his pinching technique. The manager had promised to press charges if Ricky returned, but that manager had been transferred to another store. A different manager had hired me so Ricky was free to return.


I learned on my first day that Mr. Martinez, the janitor, had recently slipped and broken his leg in an unfortunate clean-up mishap on Aisle 12. He had a plaster cast on his right leg from ankle to mid-thigh but he scurried about on his crutches so quickly I had a hard time keeping up with him when he gave me a tour of the store. I quickly learned that having an assistant wasn’t his idea. He perceived me as a threat to his job security; while his attitude was polite, he wasn’t about to let anyone usurp his prestigious spot as permanent janitor. 


The first thing Mr. Martinez asked me to do was clean the ladies’ room. “And don’t let anyone scream ‘rape’ when you’re in there!”


I didn’t have any idea what he was talking about and just stood there looking confused.


We were in the back of the store in a room where paper shopping bags were kept, also the site of Mr. Martinez’ office. He grabbed his crutches and off we went to the ladies’ room.


"First things first,” he said. “You gotta let ‘em know you’re coming in, so whack on the door good and hard to see if anyone answers. If nobody answers, yell out, ‘Janitor’s assistant coming in!’ You don’t want to bust in there when some old lady’s doing her business or she’ll scream ‘Rape!’”


“Has that ever happened to you?” I asked nervously.


“Nah, but I don’t take chances. Follow what I say and you won’t have any trouble. Oh, and always prop the door open with a broom handle or something so nobody comes in when you’re cleaning up.  Got it?”


I nodded. I certainly didn’t want to be accused of rape, but what happened next was nearly as bad.


Conclusion on Sunday




All sorts of images flashed through my mind wondering what type of trouble did Step get into now. lol
By: Daniel LaFrance on July 26, 2013
you're such a tease. :)
By: TexWisGirl on July 26, 2013
You get into the most weird things. Have a terrific day and weekend. âº
By: Comedy Plus on July 26, 2013
I had never heard of the S.H. Kress company before. Where did Ricky get his cash from? Was that part of the stealing bikes operation you spoke of in a previous post? I can see why Martinez was concerned? Who wouldn't want to take his janitor's job with it being so glamorous and all.
By: Cheryl P. on July 26, 2013
Ha! This sounds good. At my gym this morning, the young guy that cleans the women's locker room had it blockaded, taped off and barricaded so well I don't think he could have gotten himself out if a fire had broken out. I guess he was being sure no one hollered rape.
By: Shelly on July 26, 2013
I can't even imagine - can't wait until Sunday!
By: The Bug on July 26, 2013
I'll be back Sunday--can't wait to see what happened!!
By: fishducky on July 26, 2013
This is too funny!
By: David Walston on July 26, 2013
Oh no, I'm afraid the ending of this story will see me using the men's room from now on. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on July 26, 2013
I'm all for Unisex loos myself.
By: LL Cool Joe on July 26, 2013
what!!! No fair! have a great day!
By: Kathe W. on July 26, 2013
Nothing like an old lady screaming to scare the life out of an assistant janitor. The rest ought to be really good.
By: mimi on July 27, 2013
You set the hook-very well.
By: Tom Cochrun on July 27, 2013
We have a woman custodian who cleans the boys' bathroom. That gal is ashen when she comes out and picks up her yellow plastic "wet floor" mini-easel. I can only imagine the horror she encounters every day. But I have a feeling yours was worse.
By: Val on July 27, 2013
You are a master at suspense. And any story with Ricky Delgado is always a fine one.
By: Hilary on July 27, 2013
But it IS Sunday here. Where's the next installment already??!! I wanna know what happened!! lol
By: Lexa Cain on July 28, 2013

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