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Fair Trade?

MOLLY MADDEN | Friday, January 29, 2010

Many students currently find themselves in the midst of job hunting or internship searching. This will inevitably turn to a discussion about previous jobs and useful skills that were developed during these times of employment.

You want to talk about skills? Since I was 14, my jobs have ranged from working at a pet kennel, a country club, a bridal shop and my most recent foray at Reckers.
I’ve got skills alright.

If you ever feel the need to hear an amusing workforce account just ask me to tell you one of my numerous stories spanning from my jobs over the past six years. The overlying principle I’ve learned? People on this planet are nuts.

I found this out my first day of work at Petropolis Pet Hotel, or, as the advertisements said, the “Ritz Carlton” of the dog world. Two hours on the job I was asked to come to the help check-in a client. I go to reception and see what appeared to be an overgrown rat in a red cashmere sweater sitting by a hot-pink duffel with the name “OSCAR” embroidered on it.

My manager asked me if I would mind assisting Oscar into her villa. Yes, you read that correctly, the female dog’s name was “Oscar.” Oh, and it turns out she wasn’t a rat but an expensive breed known as an Italian Greyhound. And that sweater of hers? That was her Tuesday sweater. Oscar’s owner, in all her plastic glory, insisted that Oscar got “chilly” if she wasn’t properly clothed at all times.

Yeah, right.

Then there was the time that I was bringing a lab named Charlie Bear to his owner at reception after an overnight stay. I handed the leash over to his “mom” and expected the socially acceptable “thank you,” and instead ended up being told by this woman that, “I kicked a man out today so that I could pick up my real man.”

Poor, poor Charlie Bear.

My three years at Petropolis helped me prepare for my time as a waitress at a local country club. Because it turns out crazy rich people also frequent country clubs.

We have a very large and detailed menu that features wonderful salads, small plates and entrees — that no one orders. Sure, they’ll order something off the menu like a Chop Salad and then proceed to change everything in the salad; they substitute chicken for turkey, request all romaine lettuce, no to bleu cheese but yes to feta and on and on and on. And to top it all off, we’re a no-tipping establishment. Awesome.

And then there’s the bridal shop. It’s kind of like daycare except that instead of kids, its grown women throwing hissy fits over dresses rather than toys. After a year of helping pick out gowns, customize veils and discuss the ten different shades of white you can dye your shoes I have come to a conclusion — I’m eloping.

So I might not have developed many skills that will be useful for my preferred job out of college, but the good news is that if I’m ever having difficulty finding employment, I’m sure there’s a couple of psych wards that would love to hire me.