The summer after I graduated high school, I held down a job working in the radiation exposure monitoring division of a large company. That sounds like the sort of cool, sci-fi job that would entail frequent visits from Iron Man, but it was quite the opposite. You know how when you get x-rays your dentist puts a lead apron over your goodies and then runs out of the room to turn on the Cancer-Tron 5000? When he does that, he’s wearing a badge that measures radiation exposure which he would mail in to us at the end of the month. We’d process it, then either tell him that he was in the clear or that his kids were going to be born with flippers. We were like a Fotomat booth for the medical industry.
There were a couple of advantages to working there, the first of which was that it paid a whopping $7.50 an hour. At a time when the minimum wage was $3.75 an hour, this was a big deal. I could look at the clock at lunch and think to myself, “I just earned a quarter-ounce of decent pot,” or at the end of the day, “That’s a couple of cases of beer.” When you work full time but live at home, budgeting is a hell of a lot more fun than in it is in the real world.
The other advantage was that my dad worked there in the research department, so we could car pool to work. At least I thought this was an advantage at first, but very quickly I realized that I was expected to be the full time driver which was problematic because I was 18 years old and it was summertime: I was hammered on any given evening, crawling into bed at around 2:00 AM, and getting up at 5:30 AM to leave for work. There are few things I know with absolute certainty in life, but one of them is that a 90 minute commute in the morning is absolute hell when you’re hungover and your father is snoring loudly in the passenger seat.
There were other drawbacks to the job, the first of which was that it was incredibly boring. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the most interesting part of my day was opening the mail. We’d get sacks of mail which we’d have to place on a radiation monitor, which every once in a while would go off and cause everyone to wet their pants with fear and flee the building. Then I’d open the mail with an industrial mail opener, which was basically a deli meat slicer for envelopes. Then we’d sort the contents: Film badges here, radiation rings there, crazy correspondence from Planet Nutball over there.
That last one didn’t come in often enough, or possibly it came in way too often depending on what you got. Sometimes it was a funny letter stating, “I lost my badge, but food still tastes normal and my vision is fine. I should be ok, right? RIGHT?” Other times someone would make up for the lost ring by mailing us a quart of urine. (Really.)
Unfortunately, my boss would not let me answer the correspondence, which was probably a good move on his part, because I’d be tempted to write back something along the lines of, “Relax, you’re probably going to be fine. If you had been exposed to high levels of radiation, you’d find yourself unable to sleep at night,” and then I’d laugh my ass off for the rest of the summer.
After the mail was dealt with, the boredom kicked in. For instance, this is the procedure for building a Neutron Ring, which measured radiation exposure on the hands of people who worked with radioactive substances. We had to do this for hours and hours on end:
- Grab plastic ring
- With tweezers, pick up small, square crystal
- Place crystal in indentation on ring
- Place round piece of hole punch paper over crystal
- Tape paper to ring
- Put ring in large box
- Repeat 47 billion times
Adding to the misery was the fact that your productivity was measured, and you could never be done with the job. There was always more to be done. Agony.
The other drawback to this job was named Marcy. Marcy first appeared in my department my second or third week on the job. I was one of three white people working on the floor, and the remainder of our coworkers found it amusing to talk to us in the most exaggerated ebonics possible just to see how many times we’d ask them to repeat themselves before we gave up and nodded in agreement to whatever they said. You may think that I’m making that up, but I’m not. I came in early one day and heard them in the break room.
Gloria: …I just know that I need to make more money. The kids eat like horses, and food isn’t cheap!
Linda: Oh, I know! I’ve got three teenagers! They’re eating me into the poorhouse!
Me: (walking in) Good morning!
Gloria: Greeeeeaaaaag, yo’ be foolin’ wit’ da’ jump-back on da’ flip-side ehery moanin’, you know wha’ I sayin’ man?
Linda: (stifling a laugh) Greeeaaag, yo’ deef o’ sumtin’, Glory-ah jus’ be axin’ yo’ to be mo’ fumpleshizzle wit’ da wombattin’.
Me: Uhhh, yeah, some weather we’re having. (leaves room)
Gloria: Anyway, I talked to Marcus, and he might have some hours for me at the shop to help make ends meet.
So when Marcy walked in, I was just happy to talk to anyone who spoke fucking English. But very quickly, Marcy struck me as… a bit off. She was normal looking enough, from what I remember. Normally proportioned for a girl in her late teens, short blonde hair, and a not unattractive face. She was just a bit forward, and by “a bit” I mean she was in fucking heat.
Now, women may be used to guys applying Extreme Sex Pressure right off the bat. This can range from not-so-subtle innuendo to having a stranger disrobe you with his teeth in the middle of JC Penney. Guys are horny bastards, and teenage boys are so horny that they’d happily ream a doughnut if there were no alternatives. (This is why the Dunkin Donuts guy has to get to work so early: Morning wood doughnut sessions.)
But guys without movie star looks and money are not used to receiving Extreme Sex Pressure, and when it is applied on us our first thought is, “I wonder how many STD’s this crazy bitch has.” It may not be fair, but it’s a natural reaction for us. Within five minutes, Marcy let it be known that if I were to take an interest in her curves, folds, crevices, and/or holes, she’d be ok with that. I was not ok with that, and attempted to show this with indifference.
I am not by nature a confrontational person. If someone pisses me off, I tend to let it slide pretty quickly without feeling the need to confront that person. I might mutter under my breath, or roll my eyes, or
hide a couple of pounds of halibut in the rafters of their garage write about them on this site if I get really angry, but rarely am I blunt with someone I do not know. With Marcy, I figured I could get her to leave me alone by politely answering her questions with the minimal amount of syllables, and maintaining a distracted and disinterested front.
Marcy began to visit me two or three times a day for the rest of the summer. She simply would not take a hint.
Marcy: So, handsome, what did you do all weekend?
Me: Not much.
Marcy: Well, what did you do?
Marcy: Sounds to me like my hunk of a man here needs some EXCITEMENT!
No matter what I responded with, Marcy always found a way to steer the conversation directly towards her crotch.
Marcy: Wow, I am having some sort of day!
Marcy: Ask me what type of day I’m having.
Marcy: Just… Just crazy, you know? I just need someone to hold me right now.
Marcy: And take my top off.
Marcy: And, well, if my top is already off, I may as well take everything else off, right?
Multiple times a day, every workday for three months. A coworker, Mary-Beth, used to give me shit for not being firm with Marcy. “You need to be firm with Marcy,” she’d say.
“I’m sure she’d like that.”
“Just tell that skank you want nothing to do with her!”
Still, as annoying as Marcy got, I didn’t feel comfortable telling her to back off for whatever reason. So I let her play her horny little games, and after a few minutes she’d wander off and I’d go back to putting Neutron Rings together while dreaming that I was in Led Zeppelin. We repeated this scenario every day until my last day at work.
I arrived at work super-hungover. Just, the worst kind of bleary-eyed, brain-fried, my-liver-is-arranging-an-
She showed up again not too long after lunch. “Not feeling good, huh? Here, let me rub your shoulders.”
As she rubbed my shoulders and I debated throwing up on her, she made her move for the millionth time. “Your last day is some time next week, right? We’ve GOT to hook up before then!”
I, meanwhile, kept shifting my shoulders uncomfortably while muttering things like, “I feel sick,” and, “Please, don’t touch me,” but she was having none of that.
“I have a feeling that if we hooked up, you’d have the time of your life, you know what I’m saying?”
And at that point, I’d had enough. Who the fuck was this person to take advantage of the fact that I didn’t want to hurt her feelings? If fucking Rain Man was sitting in the room, he’d have been shouting at her, “He’s not fucking interested!” She had to know I didn’t want her, so why did she insist upon making me feel awkward? Why did I have to suffer through all of this?
In a flash, the answer came to me: Instead of me turning her down, I’d make her turn me down! Before I could think too much about it, I put my plan into action: “Ok, look, meet me behind the dumpster in the back parking lot at 4:30 and I’ll fuck you in the ass.”
For a split second, I figured I’d gone way, way too far. Marcy was going to flip out, go to HR and complain about the mad ass-fucker in the radiation exposure monitoring division, and it was going to lead to a Big Thing. Yes, it was my last day, but my dad worked there! As a director! And it’s very difficult to explain ass-fucking in general to your parents, never mind the variety that happens behind a dumpster.
I opened my mouth to take it back when Marcy said, “Ok. I’ve got lube in my car,” and walked away.
As it turned out, my boss (who was cool) heard what I’d said. “Well?” he asked with a big grin on his face. “Are you going to do it?”
“Oh, hell no!” I responded. “I thought I’d scare her off with that. She weirds the fuck out of me.”
“I think you should do it,” he said. “You only go around once. Just wear, like, 4 condoms.”
“No way! No fucking way!”
Laughing, he looked at the clock. “Well, if you’re not going to fuck her in the ass, I’d suggest leaving early. If she catches you trying to sneak out of here, you’re going to get raped.”
So I left an hour early. To this day, I chuckle to think of Marcy standing behind a dumpster with a tube of lube in her hand, waiting to get ass-fucked by someone who clearly had his reservations with the entire enterprise. I wonder how long she waited. Five minutes? Ten? A couple of hours? For all I know, she wound up getting tag-teamed by a bunch of dumpster-diving homeless dudes.
And who keeps lube in their car? Sluts and people with a fetish for tool-booth attendants, and that’s about it.
Of course, it’s easy for someone like me to talk. I’m not a filthy bag of hormones and lust, looking to score with anything that fucking moves. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to Dunkin Donuts.