I am a job-hopper.
In other words, while you may hire me, you can’t count on that sticking.
Dull work? Difficult, patronizing people? Ridiculous commute? Time to go!
The job just prior to my current one was a poor fit for a number of reasons, including vocal homophobia, boisterous and confrontational political righteousness, and small-town cronyism.
Located in a small town and employing people from surrounding and much smaller towns, many of the employees had known each other since kindergarten. They knew everything they needed to know, knew all the people they’d ever need to meet, had already determined their opinion on any given subject.
One daily aspect of my job there was to post, on the corporate “intra-web”, the lunch special at the diner across the street from the warehouse (30-some miles away from the corporate headquarters). Every morning I called the diner and asked them what the specials were.
The warehouse people appreciated being able to know what lunch was without actually crossing the street.
I never cared much for the woman who answered the phone at the diner. Have you seen the movie Fargo? That is the accent you should be hearing in your head for the following dialogue.
“Small Town Feed Seed and Mercantile.”
“Hi, Cheryl. It’s Pearl. What are the specials today?”
“We’ve got a hot ham-and-cheese sandwich with chips and a pickle; we’ve got chicken and wild rice soup with a roll, and we’ve got a hot beef commercial.”
Until she mentioned the “hot beef commercial” I had been typing furiously. This made me stop. A hot beef what?
“What?” I say. “What’s a hot beef commercial?”
An explosive puff of air escapes her lips. Obviously, poor Cheryl is dealing with an idiot.
She doesn’t bother trying to hide her opinion in the tone of her voice.
“A hot beef commercial*,” she explains, exacerbated, “is the same as the hot turkey commercial, only beef.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what ya get for asking what passes, in some circles, as a stupid question.
*OK. I’ll tell you. According to Kim in Accounting, the “commercial” is regional-truck-stop-speak for an open-faced hot beef sandwich and a side of mashed potatoes, all smothered in beef gravy (commonly known as a Hot Beef Sandwich).
Personally, having once been a truck-stop waitress in Minnesota, I have never heard anyone, ever, refer to a hot beef sandwich as a “commercial”. I have yet to meet one single person who, after hearing me tell this story, said, “Oh, my God, that’s what we call them back in Insert Your Town Here.” If you’ve heard of this term would you please, please tell me about it? It’s killing me.
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