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Thousands of episodes, starting with Wendy's in Patchogue on March 1, 1999. Now with my career looking up and the financial crunch easing, I think I can safely bid customer service good riddance!
Continuing with the TV-series analogy, let's review this epic era of my working life:
Season 1 (3/1999 - 7/2000): Crew at Wendy's. First real job. Would you like to Biggie Size that? What do you mean no? Yeah, same to your mother! (ahhh.. New York)
Used to allowance, my near-minimum-wage salary seemed like opened floodgates into my savings account. This job was within lengthy walking distance of my house, and I bought my first car with the money. With the mission accomplished, I quit after High School graduation and got some ankle surgery. After a few weeks of recovery I would pass my driving test and get a better job before starting college.
Season 2 (8/2000 - 7/2002): Crew at Wendy's. This is getting old.
Having failed my driving test at first, I returned to Wendy's to keep money in my wallet during my first days of college... after all, I had to gas up for a 36-mile commute! The summer after I got my license, my next escape attempt began. In June 2001, I got a job handling membership renewals at WLIW, the local PBS station, but it wasn't production-related or heavy enough on hours to replace Wendy's. The department I worked in was shut down and I landed a holiday position at the WIZ, it was also easy on hours and didn't last either.
Season 3 (7/2002 - 5/2004): Shift Supervisor at Wendy's. If I can't leave, I'll get promoted instead.
I eventually decided that I could be a college student still working at Wendy's... as long as I was a "manager" there. More paperwork, less dealing with the public (except that I had to answer the phone and deal with the irates). The ensuing raise got me far enough above minimum wage that $$$ stayed in my wallet. Of course, I wasn't paying back loans yet.
Season 4 (5/2004 - 7/2005): Shift Supervisor at Wendy's. This is getting old.
This season seemed to be mostly reruns from season 3, most of the audience stopped watching (I could tell because I was braindead during work hours).
Now that I had a Bachelor's Degree and was paying back $500 a month for it... it was time to kiss the public goodbye and get a career job. It didn't happen.
Sure, I started making money at Love 96, working at station appearances (huge crowds of people hungry for free stuff), but that didn't replace Wendy's, either, nor did it result in a steady job at the station.
Mid-Break Clip Show (8/2005): Telemarketing. 'nuff said.
WBBH/WZVN came in only a week later, my first job with NO public interaction or sales... what a difference!
Season 5 (7/2006 - 11/2006): Extra income at Office Depot.
Yep. Back to customer service... I didn't think I'd stay long. Black Friday 2006 ensured this job would go out with a bang... the very last customer-service-work-day in a very long line.
Sure, junk happens and I may find myself fake-smiling at customers again, but the odds of it seem low right now. Naturally, web design calls for a degree of customer service, too.... but a totally different kind of customer service... that doesn't kill brain cells and require me to get up at 7am.
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