So it’s Friday, and I am ready to hit up Happy Hour with my friend CMc who is having her first Friday night off in a year in a half.  She used to have to work till 10 p.m. every Friday, which really sucked.  She’s recently been promoted, and now someone else is stuck with the shit shift.

As you may know, I love my current job.  My boss is amazing (she thanks me at the end of the day for a job well-done), my clients rock, and most of all, I get to write on a daily basis (yay!).  My work life wasn’t always so rosy pink and happy.  Oh no….

In May of 2005 I graduated with a BFA in PR, and I was ready to jump right into my glamorous PR career (too bad life doesn’t work that way).  Unfortunately I was having a tough time finding my dream job.  I spent my days perusing online job listings and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and sending out my resume, hoping to land my first post-college job.  By the beginning of June, my parents (mainly Dad) were hounding me about getting a job.  One of my sister’s friends was working at a local restaurant and told me he could get me a job there while I searched for my perfect PR position (oh alliteration, how I love thee). 

On the day I was supposed to start training at the restaurant, I got an interview at McHell.com.  They were looking for a hard worker to help start their PR program.  I drove the 45-minutes to Atlanta (at this point I was staying with the rents south of Atlanta because I wanted to have a job before I got a place in the city) and interviewed with Little Man (the nickname the entire office called him behind his back).  He was hyper-active but seemed really excited about getting PR rolling.  He told me he was planning on hiring 2 people, one with more experience and one straight out of college to assist.  After knowing him now, I should have seen what a scheister he was and run the other way.  Needless to say, I took the job because it sounded a lot better than it actually was (the cool thing was that since it was an online company, we could wear whatever we wanted, and the atmosphere was really laid back).

A week later, I rolled back into dot com hell and started training.  To my dismay, I was not working on PR.  I was actually replacing Little Man’s advertising/marketing person (aka his personal slave), and PR was what I could work on after I finished her work.  I was miserable.  I cried when I got home.  My parents told me to toughen up since first jobs aren’t always what you hoped they would be.  The girl they hired with “more experience” than me probably had just as much or less experience than me, and she quit after 2 weeks (she told Little Man it was because of grad school, but she really hated him and the place so much she couldn’t stay).  And I was left there to deal with the shit (I should’ve followed her).  

While I was at McHell.com, I did learn a bunch of very useful skills.  I was the recruiter for new hires (I managed resumes, handled initial phone interviews, and represented the company at career fairs) and trained them.  I also learned how to manage online advertising on the search engines, and eventually I got to write a few press releases.  And besides the bosses, my other co-workers were awesome.  I met some of my best friends there (JD and CMc – they are 2 of my bridesmaids now).

But that was about all that was good about McHell.com.  My other boss (The Psycho) would cuss employees out and belittle them in front of the entire office.  He would pick fights with Little Man, and they would scream at each other so loud that I couldn’t answer the phone because I wouldn’t be able to hear.  Little Man was so cheap he would try to scam people out of their money (he would complain if he had to pay 25 cents for extra carrots on his salad) even though he was LOADED and had a trust fund. 

People used to drink in the office or go to the sports bar next door to pound a few before going back to work, and the bosses didn’t know.  We had an actual crackhead working for us – at times he was homeless and would steal the office snacks and sleep in his cubicle.  He later went to jail for drug possession after they let him go so he could go to rehab (surprise, surprise). 

Little Man’s personal slave came back after 6 months at her new job because she was miserable.  She got promoted to operations manager (she made about $70k and didn’t really do too much).  She got married the month she came back and got divorced 10 months later, and things really went downhill from there.  On the surface, she seemed very put together and accomplished for a 27 year old.  But underneath, she was crazy.  She had serious body image problems (even though she was really fit) and would never eat and worked out like a maniac.  And she was an alcoholic (not eating + drinking glasses of straight vodka = one hot mess).  At first her real side never showed through, but after a couple of us became closer to her, we learned the sad truth.

Eventually things got so bad that she would come to work still drunk (she’d say, I had to drink a shot this morning to cure my hangover).  She would constantly reek of liquor, and she would mumble and stumble through the office all day long.  She was in charge of the sales team and ended up dating one the guys she was supposed to be supervising, and she told The Psycho, who fired the poor guy.  He kept her around, but made her life a living hell.  The bosses finally drastically cut her salary because they realized she didn’t actually do shit at work, but they never fired her.  She will probably never leave that place… 

All in all, it was the most unprofessional place I have ever seen or worked in.  Employees would just stop showing up and never give any notice.  I went out of town one weekend (I left early on a Thursday and came back on Monday) and 4 people had quit or been fired in that day in a half.  What the hell is that?!?!  That place had more turnover than a whore house!  But I guess I paid my dues (for a year and a half).  I’ve been out of there for almost a year now, and all of my close friends are out too (except one).  And I’ve finally found my perfect PR job, and I couldn’t be happier.

What was your very first post-college job like?  Got any horror stories you feel like sharing?

Happy Weekend!   

                

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