7. Bennigan's: sleeping with my co-workers; 1995-1997 (age 20-22). Well, I ended up marrying him, so judge not, lest ye be judged. I started out as a little hostess in a short skirt and ended up managing the whole front of house and meeting the boys of my dreams. I re-wrote a corporate training manual and I am sure that it is the funniest god damn training manual anyone has ever read. I ate a lot of potato soup and drank a lot of beer. What I learned from this job: How to pour shots, how to work 15 hour shifts on 3 hours of sleep, how to break a small pipe, creating a fake water main leak, allowing you to close early and drink until 5 with your friends, and that I really wanted to get married and have kids.
8. Bank: Giving you $15,867 extra dollars; 1995-1997 (age 21-22). Because I wasn't nearly busy enough, I took a part-time job at a bank. You know, in my spare time. The first thing they teach you when you work at a bank is how to rob a bank. Not that I ever would (because I never would), but it's interesting information to have. Just in case. (I NEVER would!) The fun thing about working at the bank was that nobody at all batted an eye if my drawer was, indeed, $15,867 short. But if I was $9.39 short, stop the presses. I got to wear business suits and cute shoes and no one was puking in the bathroom and because I worked in the separate drive-thru, I was completely surrounded by a severe level of bullet-proof glass and other such bad-ass tough shit. It made one feel manly, in a very sexy way. What I learned from that job: People really, truly hate it when you put a hold on their checks, 10 key is a skill, once learned, that can never be forgotten and that I look super fucking ridiculously uber hot in a suit.
9. Chevy Tudor/Jaques*: covering up drug deals; 1997-1998 (age 22-23). I worked for Market Circle**. They did/sold/traffic'd a bunch of coke. My job was to balance the money every day to what we should have. You know, send the credit cards, count the cash, total the check, match the comps and voids, make sure everyone clocked out, you know, that stuff. Except that the managers and the owners and stuff would come just take money out of my save and go buy coke with it. Shady, shady shit happened while I worked there. I got pregnant while I worked there, had B while I worked there, and one day just said "To hell with it." And I quit. (I should add that I waitressed there, cocktailed there, hosted there, and actually had quite a bit of fun working there. We had a cot in the employee locker room because we all worked such long days and more than a few of us were known to just sleep there on occasion. I just should never have delved into the financial infrastructure of that company. It haunts me.) In case you think I am exaggerating, allow me to share a little story with you. Shortly after I quit, my old co-worker Jon, who went from busser to manager almost overnight, as many good little drug-dealing bussers did there, had a party, which Josh and I attended. Shortly after we left, we saw helicopters over his building. The SWAT team and the DEA descended on his little party, through-the-window style, and arrested him and many of his guests. They caught him with so many drugs and so much cash that his only way out was to rat out his bosses. Which he DID NOT do. He spent, like, years in jail. * & **The names, of course, have been changed to protect my ass from google hits and subsequent law suits/gang hits. What I learned from this job: Nothing. Fucking nothing at all. Except that if you're going to stop nursing because of your job, you better be damn skippy for sures that your job is worth it.
10. Vinyl: dealing with your skanky, drunk ass; 1998 (age 23). There is this guys names Regus and he owns, oh, a lot of clubs in Denver. He happened to be good friends with Josh and his other friend Shannon, and when he opened a new club in the old 1082 building (old goth club in town), Regus gave me an interview on their recommendations. There were a lot of much hotter, much trampier girls applying, but I got the job of lead cocktail waitress in this very hip, new club. I was a new mom, and not very interested in being hit on, offered drugs, or shot at. After the second shooting at the club, I quit. Shortly after, the roof caught on fire and collapsed, killing a bartender living inside. After the remodel and reopening, another shooting shut it down. Something or the other happened after the grand re-reopening, and it shut down again. I think it is finally open. What I learned from this job: Never open a club where once there was a crematorium. Bad, evil things happen if you do.