Thanks to recent teacher layoffs and the miserable job market, I've gone from substitute high-school teacher to Wal-Mart associate.
Teaching gave me weekends off for more pleasurable activities like annoying the roommate's cat or plucking my nipple hair. But this Sunday, I spent eight hours playing Avoid the Customer. It's a challenging game in which, at the end of the day, I reward myself by not committing suicide.
Why do I play this game? Sanity. Last week, for example, I walked behind a middle-aged mother who, after ordering her kid to drop a toy in the hardware section, told him, "Don't worry, they'll pick it up."
Customers may be the worst part of my job, but they're not the only part of this gig that sucks.
See, like millions of Americans, I'm underemployed. The government doesn't count people like me in its official unemployment numbers.
And those numbers are pretty grim; the national unemployment rate is at 9.6 percent, with 15 million Americans looking for work. I guess working at Walmart is better than nothing.
Although, I firmly reiterate. IT REALLY DOES SUCK!!!