I used to have the stupidest job.
Remember Target? That chain of department stores that, well, missed the target? When it was going out of business in Canada, I was a temp labourer.
Temp labour is punishing work.
I’ve worked in deafening factories, I’ve spent days digging ditches, I’ve cleaned the city’s compost bins. I’ve subjected this small body to unpleasant, damaging things.
But Target had something new for me.
My job was to spend my weekends holding up a 6-foot-tall ‘going out of business’ sign.
This creative management of talent and resources… well, who’s to say if it’s connected to the eventual demise of Target stores in Canada?
I eventually got tired of holding the sign and taped it to a hydro pole. I spent my days wearing a reflective vest and reading history books, usually shivering.
Every now and then someone would scold me for how much they disliked Target.
“Great, thanks. I’ll bring that up at the next board meeting,” says the sign-manager.
I used to have the stupidest job. Or, at least, I thought I did.
Esther pours me more tea, and tells me about her life as a garden hermit.