A while back, I asked the Blue Blood boards Have you ever been fired from a job? It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that most of our members are extremely talented and conscientious and hardworking, yet have personality, err, quirks which make it hard to always fit in at a job.
I know my personal experience of working in other people’s offices was that everyone always adored me for the first two weeks. I did a lot of contract design work where I would get called in when everyone was crashing on deadline, and horribly behind, and I think I got love for saving the day with my efficient work processes. Unfortunately, after about six weeks in any of these offices, I would start contemplating the fact that I wouldn’t have to go to work if I drove off the road on the way. I also had the tendency to have trouble with some of the social portions of work.
Running my own media empire, I have become more reserved over time, but I did not used to really have any comprehension of corporate culture. I mean, I could wear a suit and twist the colored parts of my hair under and pin them down, but I was still me. I would cheerfully explain to my coworkers that I thought health insurance was the big lie the overculture used to force us to live small lives. I would explain how I lived in a punk rock group house with a dozen other people, so my occasional corporate paychecks went really far, and I could afford to spend a lot of my time having adventures. I would bring in copies of first my antisocial punk rock humor zine BLT aka Black Leather Times and then later early issues of Blue Blood in print. Occasionally, I would work for a client like MTV who would specifically request back the girl with the “wild zines”, but, as most of my work was Federal contracts, government presentations, management consultant graphics, and such . . . well, I think the experience can be summed up by saying that, when I worked for EDS for a full three months, they really wanted me to work there permanently, but they also totally freaked out when I wore red stockings with a Brooks Brothers suit one day. And I’d thought I looked both especially conservative and especially attractive that day and usually I felt like I only hit one metric or the other.
I could never quite seem to match up my abilities and education with a job which really fit and challenged me and gave me room to grow. I know this is a very familiar frustration for most folks here. Sometimes the jobs which were obviously intended for trained monkeys were the most comfortable to do, more pleasant than the ones which were a whole step up from trained monkey where they expected me to be grateful for the low-end nonsense I could do in fifteen minutes and had to pretend took all day.
Forrest Black, in his quest for the perfect cheeseburger, came across the Serious Eats site. Serious Eats featured a funny article about a hot tattooed punk guy who got fired from Burger King for bathing in the kitchen sink . . . and posting it on MySpace and YouTube. The hilarious video posted above lead various Serious Eats readers to opine that he was trying to get fired.
They just don’t understand. I suspect he did not particularly care if he got fired. I suspect he has a skill set which should allow him to do something a heck of a lot higher end than work at Burger King, but somehow he never quite plugged into the right position. I think probably half the people I know, probably including myself, never quite slotted into something challenging and inspiring and really the right fit for their personality and capabilities. Sure, some people are lazy. But it takes a certain amount of effort to do your hair, take a bubble bath in the workplace, have someone videotape it, and post it all over the interwebs. So that is not laziness. It is not trying to get fired either. It’s just not having, fitting into the corporate culture, high on the to-do list, at a low-end job. Doing something amusing was higher priority. If you have ever been there, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, maybe it is still a head-scratcher.
According to 2News WTDN, the Xenia, Ohio NBC affiliate, Mr. Unstable’s BK bubble bath kind of sucked for the shift manager Karen Cragg, who apparently has only held fast food jobs and was fired, along with the bather and pals. She feels that Burger King corporate mistreated her by firing her when she didn’t even know about the incident until the sink was already punk rocker soup. She might be able to cope with some of that frustrated rage by doing something appalling for fun at her next job.
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