I'm well aware that since man's fall from grace in the Garden of Eden he must toil in one form or another to earn his daily bread. And I'm willing to prostitute myself (and have) in a variety of ways to make my way in this life. But I must draw the line at ever again working as a
"packager" for Sears Roebuck and Company's catalogue department.
First of all, the duties I had to perform required no measurable level of cerebral activity. If people in comas could but move, they'd be perfect for this job. My appointed function was to put into a bag or box catalogue items ordered by customers and staple or otherwise affix the sales ticket to the completed package. The decision of whether to use a bag or box for a customer order was, incidentally, often the most significant decision I would make during my eight hour shift.
Other notable challenges included determining the amount of string needed to properly tie a box, choosing the correct size of container for an order, and deciding whether to staple or tape it closed.
Another problem with this job was that my coworkers were so well suited for it. Whether they were brutish because of genetic deficiencies or because they had been rendered so through repetitive exposure to such mindless work, I could not tell--nor did it matter to me. The result was the same. They could only become animated when discussing Days of Our Lives or General Hospital or when identifying some article of apparel they desired from one of the stores in the mall beyond. My attempts to discuss politics, current events, or academic subject matter were
met with suspicion or contempt, as when my coworker Marion responded to my question of whom she would...