Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Humor Essays

Bad Jobs

My Last Shift at Albert Wong's Pagoda and Other Ugly Tales of the Workplace

edited by Carellin Brooks

Publisher
Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Sep 1998
Category
Essays
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781551520551
    Publish Date
    Sep 1998
    List Price
    $16.95

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Description

Bad Jobs is an anthology of tales--both humorous and tragic--about the worst jobs people have ever held.
This collection of stories, comics, and photographs depict, in gory true-life detail, examples of bad jobs. We all shudder at the thought of our own worst jobs-waiter, cashier, parking lot attendant-but these take the cake, demonstrating just how bad bad jobs can be.
Bad Jobs is full of wry, subversive tales, comics, and assorted miscellany from the trenches of the working world. You think your job is bad? Meet:
The flyer delivery guy who sees poetry in broken glass--from a beer bottle some kids threw at him. The phone sex operator who can bring a man to orgasm while reading Ms. Magazine. A customer service rep who only hates two things about her job: the customers and everything else. A one-time stripper who performs her first- and last-mainstage routine to Aretha Franklin's R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
The sex-shop clerk who, when confronted by a deaf-mute demanding a dollar, makes sure he can read her lips mouthing, "Fuck you. Get a job!" The factory grunt who knows firsthand what really goes into "Crushed Party Ice." The fabric wholesaler whose coworker insists he never raped a woman who didn't love it. The applicant whose interviewers end up breathing real hard through their noses, until she points out that half of their interview questions are illegal. An environmental canvasser who turns up in the local paper's "Crimewatch" column-and considers turning himself in for the reward money.
By turns beautiful, surreal, hilarious, and awful, Bad Jobs will get under your skin with stories about how really awful a truly bad job can be.

About the author

Carellin Brooks' earliest childhood memory of Wreck Beach is mostly of the arduous trek of four hundred odd steps that lead down to the beach. An inquisitive and adventurous 18–year–old, she later undertook the mission to find Wreck Beach but success eluded her: she walked around the point from Spanish Banks, getting as far as Tower Beach. Discovering and exploring what she now considers to be the best nude beach in the world would have to wait.

But not for too long. Upon returning from England where she completed a Master of Studies degree in English, she rediscovered what it was that had intrigued her about the beach in the first place: the unbridled idealism nestled within its natural beauty. Wreck Beach is one of Vancouver's least commercialized beaches, where concession stands, manmade swimimng pools and toilets with plumbing are nothing more than myths. It is this fantastic purity that continues to fascinate her, she says. The first time Brooks shed her clothes and swam in the nude, she recalls, was a "mystical experience. The day was perfect, sunny, glowing. It was heaven." Going to the beach is a respite from the fast–paced, commercial lifestyle that's packaged and sold to us daily. Lying in the hot sun, cooling off in the refreshing ocean, reliving the utopian moment of serenity, celebrating the landscape: these are only some of the experiences that she says whisk one's soul away from the chaos of city life.

Even so, she considers herself representative of the average beachgoer. Although Brooks is a great supporter of the work done by the Wreck Beach Preservation Society, her love affair with the beach is one that's highly personal, and not so much ideological. She visits the beach as often as time permits, simply to enjoy. Her favourite spot is the main beach because access to the ocean for swimming is best.

What else remains to be added to the Wreck Beach experience for Brooks? Now that Wreck Beach the book is complete, and she's attended the annual Polar Bear swim on New Year's Day, she has a new goal: to visit the beach each month of the year.

Carellin Brooks' profile page

Other titles by Carellin Brooks

Related blog posts