Turing thirty nine has not been as traumatic and I once thought it would be. I remember when thirty nine was ‘old’, and I am far from old. Three of my cousins and I share birthdays in October. Each year we all get a group of girls together and celebrate our birthdays. We have done many activities-karaoke, movies, shopping-but our favorite thing to do is dinner, drinks, and reminiscing.
Over dinner and lots of margaritas we started to talk about ‘our firsts’ of everything which led me to the story of my first job, a story no one knew until last week. It never seems to fail that Murphy’s Law applies to almost everything I do; my first job was no exception. One would think that a seventeen year old going to work at Kroger is no big deal and normally it is not, unless that teenager is me.
A new store was opening in a neighboring county and I got hired as a cashier, but we had to train at surrounding stores until opening day. My training store was in Middletown, which is about a thirty minute drive one way. On the first day of training I was so nervous that I forgot what time I was supposed to be at work so when I arrived, I was informed that I was two hours early. I did not know anyone and there was no place to hang out so I decided to go back to the parking lot and sit in the car to listen to music. I could pass the time with no problem.
After awhile I got sleepy. With an hour and a half left to wait I decided to take a quick nap. I locked the door, turned up the music, and dozed off.
Still half asleep I slowly opened my eyes to see an ambulance in front of the car. In my mind I remember thinking: Man, something big must have happened and I have slept through it!
“Are you okay? Hello? Are you okay”? It was a uniformed police officer. The tapping was his baton on my driver side window.
Slowly, and still a little confused I roll down the window, “Yes sir”?
“I said are you okay? We got a call that a woman was passed out”.
I start to look around for this woman. Was she in the car next to me? “Okay, I haven’t seen her. I am just waiting to start work. It is my first day”.
The police officer is chuckling now, “No, we are not looking for anybody. The call was for you”!
It took a few more minutes to get my head out of its sleep induced fog and fully explain my story. Thankfully the officer understood, but the embarrassment of having to get out of the car in front of all those whispering people and walk into Kroger was immense.
On the upside, I only had ten minutes before it was time for me to clock in so I was not late for my first day of work!