What I Learned as a Postman

So this blog does not totally morph into Mike’ Air Force Reunion Tour I will break up the military tomfoolery with a civilian post. This post will walk down the path of my curriculum vital. While most of my employments led to interesting stories of some sort, however I have either forgotten some or for one reason of legality will leave absent a few.

What better place to start than at the beginning. My first paying job, aside from trivial chores around the house which I spend more time avoiding than it took to actually complete, was as a paperboy. While the classic arcade game of the same name would lead you to believe the job is a high-paying, fast-paced adventure. Mine, at least, was nothing of the sort. Being a normal teenager in wanting to collect money for my schemes with as little effort and time spent as possible I shunned the high profile Buffalo News for the far-from-prestigious Penny Saver. The Penny Saver was delivered but once per week. I had a scant 500 papers to deliver on Saturday. The Penny Saver was as frugal as it’s name implied. I earned a meager $20/week for what was 3 hours of shoddy work. There was no pride. Being a youth I felt my time was better spent in pointless goofing off, and as such I sought to reduce my work time as much as possible. Towards this end I employed Louis to aid, after all he was around most of the time anyway. Given his meager physique I still was burdened with almost 400 papers still, but it was less than 500. I was magnanimous in my tossing of as few dollars Louis’s way for his effort – usually taking the form of some Mountain Dew of Ho-Ho’s on the way back. Given the cost of these items I was being screwed. My life as a hard-working paperboy only lasted a few months before they, with great regret, let me go and moved on to a wide-eyed go-getter who had no appreciation for doing nothing.

My next dive into the pool of the employed was a local pizza joint. This served me well, as I was later able to work the hardships of food service into conversation. I experienced the perpetual smell a deep-frier leaves upon your clothes. I lived the joy of making a pizza for my own family, bringing home the dough. My obtained skill of flipping the dough is put into occasional practice today. I spent my break pumping quarters into the lonely Shinobi pizzeria arcade game. I will forever remember this job because I was working the day Jim Kelly dove into the end zone to beat the Dolphins, thus beginning the greatest era of the Buffalo Bills. But mostly I spent my time chopping up lettuce. My time fetching things from the freezer ended after 4 months.

As I compose this post I have remembered a 1.5 day job I will place here rather than re-write my already written prose. During a period where I spent a lot of time at Showbiz Pizza Place (the anti-Chuck-E-Cheese) I was “employed” to work in their haunted house. Within a gang of a few friends we adorned costumes of Dracula, Wolfman, and Mummy classics while jumping out of closed coffins, running down a strobe light hall, and screaming. honestly the idea of being haunted house “staff” and scaring people was most of the benefit. Our real “pay” was all the crappy (as I later learned in life, not all pizza is good pizza) pizza and $20 worth of tokens. As the pizza was at a quality just above soiled, wet cardboard, and we where pumping the token back into their own games the only value we received was life experience, and that was not usable until years later.

It was not until into college that I attempted real work again. I was hired by Parkside Candies on Main Street. This was the same location that was used in the movie “The Natural”. People often came in to ask what booth Robert Redford sat at during the scene. We told them the nice booth in the corner, but the truth was that the movie filmed outside the store, but they never used anything they filmed indoors.

I worked as a waiter/cook (few knew we sold homemade soup and sandwiches). Most people came in to eat from the ice cream bar or purchase candies for which Parkside was known – especially their sponge candy around Easter. The family that ran joint where cheap to monumental levels. They would pay you to the exact minute of the time card, so if you where clocked in from 2pm – 6:58pm you got paid for 4 hours and 58 minutes. As an employee you received a 10% discount, but only while working only, no discount if you came in off duty. Customers often came in with coupons for a far larger discount. As such we took free food on duty, and my friends come in to eat dinner on sundays (the shift I always worked) where I slipped them my employee discount and gave them free candy.

My manager kept us insulated from the owners. He liked working with me because I worked fast, so we could close at 10pm and be done and gone by 10:20, instead of anyone else who would keep him there until 11pm. I was eager to be promoted to shift supervisor for the extra pay, so I volunteered to work a day in the factory when they where short. It was like walking back in time. Parkside crafted and sold lollipops all over the world, so I saw giant metal vats, like you see pouring molten iron. These where heated to red hotness and poured into a conveyor of molds. This conveyor worked it’s way into another room where it was fed through a crazy Rube Goldberg machine that wrapped the lollipops. Three people manned this device to feed wrapping material into it. As the lollipops came to the end they fell onto he ground, into a box. I sat at the end to swap out the full box for an empty one, and then took out any broken lollipops. One other figure occupied the room, I think he was chained there. This was the old, Russian. He spoke a few words of English, pointed and grunted a lot when communicating, but mostly sat silence. He was the maintenance man whom we occasionally saw in the restaurant to fix a dish washer or some such. His de-facto job was to sit and wait for the Rube Goldberg machine to break, at which time he would fix it. I worked in the factory one single day, and the machine broke no less than four times! Most of the time the crafty Russian had it up and running in 5-10 minutes, but once it was down for 40 minutes. Judging form the reaction of everyone else, this was status quo. The 5-10 minute breakages where fine, but when it was down for longer than that, the molten vats had to be stopped. This caused a lot of extra work when they then may have to be heated up again if the lien was stopped long enough. The week after I worked the factory I was promoted to shift supervisor.

One benefit, aside from the free food, candy, and ice cream was changing the window display. Be it a far cry from a Macy’s window, it was still a taste of something few in this world ever experience. I was also able to rummage through the lost and found. The only item I took was a purple cumberbun which I later used in a Halloween costume.

The owner had a son that was a traveling salesman for their candy. He was the worst of the lot as you never knew when he would show up and he would criticize everything you had done, then leave. As such, we learned to ignore him. I theorize he was such a dick because his cheap, cold-hearted family gave him no love as a child. Also leading to his life as a traveling salesman, in order to play out his childhood fantasy to run away from home. Once he entered while I was slicing meat in preparation for the day’s sandwiches. He immediately walked over and inspected my sliced ham with an angry eye.

Brandishing a piece in my face he said,
“Look at this! Would you eat this?”
“No.”
“Right! And why not? It is took thick!”
“No. I don’t like ham.”

That turned out to be my last shift.

Thanks to my connections, in part from Mike, I was next able to gain immediate employment at the UB Norton Cafeteria. I won’t go into this as several of the stories to come out of this place have already been told: FSA Follies, Big J.T., etc.

I eventually transitioned into my first field-related job, as a computer lab consultant in the UB public labs. This was before the time when the combined the consultant and the printer operator into one job. This was a good job. I helped people learn how to check their email, and on one occasion I got to deny help to a student because I felt he was asking me to do his homework for him. This job has many benefits. One, I did not smell like food after a shift and two, I was able to do my own work for part of the time. You got the occasional freak, like the guy who walked into the lab and just repeated “games”. I eventually headed out to see his terminal and he had repeatedly types “g-a-m-e-s” at the prompt. The worst place to work was the Baldy hall, because they had a Windows lab, and this is where the non-computer literate came to check their email. All these arrogant liberal arts folk who thought they where better than everyone else, but needed help to check their email. The best public lab to work at was Bell. This was the largest, but had only terminals, and was in the Computer Science building, so most where capable themselves. This was a good place to work in the summer as it was one of the few labs open during the summer, and I was one of the few consultants around, so I got all the shifts I wanted. I came in, cleaned up the pizza boxes and cigarettes that where clearly posted as prohibited, then sat in the office and did whatever I wanted until 5pm. Another benefit to working over the summer was you could get paid up to 40 hours/week. During classes you had to bank hours over 20 that you worked to be paid when breaks/summer arrived. I quickly worked up a large bank so my hourly pay became a predictable pay check. I often skipped classes to pick up shifts.

As I live off campus, near Main Street, I was the only consultant that wanted the 5pm – 11pm shift in Crosby. This worked out well, because I got this shift almost every day, and nor a lot of people knew where this lab was, or that it existed. Another good thing about this lab was the consultants office was in the middle of the Mac lab, and as Mac users know what they are doing and the terminal users could not find me, I was left alone. This is where I met Chet. He was a regular, there until 11 each night. Eventually we became friends, and after I closed the lab we would go to Subway and talk for a few hours. Once he even brought the Blood Bowl board game into the consultant’s office during a shift to show me how to play. Another benefit to this job was I had keys, and could open the lab at any time. I often went to the lab to work on a project, or just to play some games with Louis, Chet, and Matt. If Public Safety came in I just showed them my badge and they left. This was one of the best overall jobs I had.

My next job was due to Rob. He is the convenient store king, always quickly attaining the position of assistant manager, but never manager. This way he avoids the responsibility, but gets most of the benefits. He was able to get me a job at the Noco on the corner of Maple and Sweet Home. I suffered through the tedium of the 4 hours Noco training at their HQ on Sheridan, near Putt-Putt. I had the night shift, from 11pm until 6am. Since not many customers visited the store during these hours I was to spend my time cleaning and re-stocking. Given my faster than normal speed at work I was able to get this done in the first 2 hours. Leaving me 5 hours of boredom to stave off (5am is when customers started showing up again). I quickly learned where the security cameras where, so I could avoid them. I had not laptop or iPhone or anything else. I should have gotten a book to read, but I preferred to spend the time trying to get into mischief. The occasional customer came in, which provided humor because they where always in some state of stupidity. This is where I had my first Slim Jim. I was bored one night, and after staring at the Slim jim display for 15 minutes I ate one. This led to eating pretzel sticks frequently. I only stayed at Noco for two months. During that time my manager did grow to trust me long enough to divulge the affair he was having with his bosses wife. He showed up in a state of stupidity with her one late night. I never worked there long enough to make use of the information.

I left non-technical jobs for the last time, or so I thought (more on this later). My next job lasted only 1 month. It was in East Aurora. I have never before or since been to East Aurora. It was 1 hour commute each direction. I sat in a room by myself and did boring shit. I was paid hourly. It was bad.

Now we jump to my first real-world field-related job. I met Chris here. We sat in a room and made “magic”, or so everyone else in the company thought. We sat around playing games a lot. On my first day of work I learned a valuable lesson about corporate America. A senior engineer, Jack, came over to show me how to fix the server when it broke. He turned the literal big, red switch off… waited 30 seconds, then flipped the switch back on. His final step… “Pray”. We prayed because the version of the server OS was so old that as it started up you would see many, many error messages flow by. The server had long ago given up giving useful error messages, and now they simply said “I AM WOEFULLY OUT OF DATE! PLEASE UPGRADE ME!” The boss was cheap.

The boss was so cheap he would not even pay for dial-up. Instead he had me setup dial-up service for the company using my own UB account, which remained active for years after I left UB. I only did this so I could use the Internet. The boss wanted us to only connect to push out emails at the top of the hour 9-5. Also, when an “authorized” individual request, such as the senior engineers needed it. They would enter our office and ask for the connection to be turned on. We would tell them give us a few minutes, and then go back to using the Internet because I kept it up all the time I was there. As a result of setting up the dial-up I had a tool to monitor the email. This tool told me who was sending/receiving email, and how long the transmission took. Chris and I could read everyone’s email if we wanted, but never did, except once (later). The secretaries did ask us if we read their email, and even though we did not, and told them such, they convinced themselves we did. What they mush have sent I wish I knew for they seemed very nervous.

Since this was my first 9-5 job I had to build up the stamina to stay awake. For the first few weeks I would fall asleep around 3ish. For the first 6 months my department consisted of 3 people. My initial boss would often announce to the rest of us “They do not pay us enough to work 40 hours per week. Do whatever you like.” Not that we had enough to do for the whole week. On this job I also learned to assemble computer hardware. I learned I was not interested in assembling computer hardware, and as such I was not very good at it. I did manage to order a new computer for Louis with our company discount and assemble it so poorly that when it arrived the motherboard was scrapped to hell – causing a permanent flaw.

The boss was one of those guys that reads an article and then wants to immediately implement this. Luckily he was out of the office on sales calls 3 out of 4 weeks every month. The productivity of the entire company dropped tremendously when he was in the office. One of these innovations was the “paperless office”, which is not a reality now, let alone over ten years ago. Another idea was that the boss demanded everyone’s email username be their first name + last initial. This was completely backwards to us so we also setup alias for the normal last name email username. His reasoning was to make the office more personable; I sent email to good, old Joe@ instead of faceless Schmoe@. If it was more personable I would walk over and talk to good, old Joe’s face. This did give us some humor. For instance, there was a Mike with a last initial of R, hence Miker – he was more Mike than the other Mike’s.

This is the place that help the infamous Factory School, of which has already been detailed in another post.

The office manager ran the place when the boss was out of the office. He slept a lot. He was the cousin of the boss, my first exposure to nepotism as several employees where related to the boss. The secretaries could see into his office and would ring him to wake him up. Another character was the phone support guy who was like scatter-brained Dilbert, and had papers all around his desk in a 6 foot circle. He would rest his coffee cup on his bulbous belly as he stood and spoke at you. He was always the guy who sent out massive files over dial-up, sometimes taking over an hour to send.

One year into my employ the boss completed construction into our own building. This also meant more purchases, like a new server. The old server had a 1G HDD, which was the literal size of a concrete brick. I thought it was cool, an HDD so old, and I took a picture of it with my camera as it sat on the spare desk in my office for months. The company’s tattle-tale saw me do this and told the manager, who confiscated my camera – paid to develop the film, and then returned the developed pictures. It was a disposable camera with only a few pictures so I did not care, it was just so ridiculous; what was I gonna get with a picture of HDD? I had it in my office for months, and could have done anything with it! But so ended my stint as a corporate spy 🙂 After I had left the company Chris took the HDD and gave it to me 🙂

When I finally decided to leave the company I told the office manager. As soon as I got back to my desk Chris said,

“Hey, looks like Paul (office manager) just sent my email to the boss. You gonna read it?”
“No, I shouldn’t do that.”

A minute later I received and email from Chris. It contained Paul’s email. He told the boss I was leaving, and a year form now I would be sorry I left. I was not.

I next worked at a place that published phone books, but had an actual web based workflow system. This was a 3 shift/24 hours a day (except weekends), large company. I was one of the support people for all the workers who created the phone book ads, and constructed the phone books. This had a lot of people my age, and there where more women than men, so I got a few dates out of the whole thing. It was a good job, as my boss learned my and the other support guy knew what we were doing, so he left us alone. I was one of the few people who did not get the job because I knew or was related to someone there. The upper management was nepotism galore. One Xmas the older ladies that worked the second shift gave out chocolates to everyone. At the time I did not eat chocolate, to I left it on my desk, in a metal tin. When all other’s chocolate was long gone mine was still there. The women of the office soon learned I had chocolate free for the taking. I observed this, and began replenishing the chocolate to keep them drawn into the woman trap as it were. I had many welcome interruptions during the day, especially 1 week a month when they descended in droves 🙂 There are good stories form this place that I’ll expand upon in another post.

My next job I only mention because I was here during the .com bust, and lost my job, along with several others. I have already told the hot tub story from this employment era. But due to my lay-off I was unemployed for 8 months, and while unemployment was getting closer to running out (even with the 9-11 extension we all automatically got), I needed something.

I applied to be a “casual carrier” for the post office. I took the job as much for curiosity as for boredom. The first week was training where we watched videos (like the “Winter Walking” safety video: use the handrail, etc.), heard lectures, had a tour of the main Buffalo post office near the train station (in typical Buffalo fashion, if the main office had been built 1 year later it would be by the airport – where most of the mail goes now anyway), and practiced sorting mail. At the beginning of the week there where 20 in the class, and by Friday there where 7. The best question asked was,

“What if I have to deliver in a bad neighborhood?”
“Even drug dealers need their mail. We have never had an incident with a mailman being attacked.”

During training they tell you to cut across lawns (this saves a LOT of time), unless the owner specifically asks you to. I had one guy on my route who did this. His lawn was bright green, and immaculate.

Another safety tip from training is to push, not pull. Especially when you have completed your morning sort, and go to pick up your cart of packages.

We where all sent to work at post offices relatively close to us. Most of us where assigned to the Amherst post office on Maple. Within a few weeks only I remained.

The first few days I was assigned to work with a real mailman. As soon as we left the post office on delivery he said,

“The first rule is to always ring the bell. Most packages you delivery you can just leave, but always ring the bell. You never know what you will see.”

He was right. It is amazing the state a person will answer the door in. I delivery many times to a work-from-home man who answered the door in a towel every day. I saw a few women half dressed. I saw strange freaks and creepy freaks. It was a wild ride. I was never asked for my post office ID. A side corollary of this is that if you bring their mail, people have instant and amazing trust in you. They let me in their house immediately because they wanted me to bring the mail in the front door and leave it on the coffee table, even if they where not there.

Sorting mail sucks, especially when you are a casual carrier, hence you are thrown around to fill in for whoever is out. you never get used to the route, which slows down the sorting and the delivery time. I was lucky in that one postal worker was injured around the time I started, so they kept giving me his route. I was able to master it, cutting my morning sort time almost in half after a week, and cutting my delivery time down so I could sleep in the mail truck for the last hour, before driving back to punch out. We had until dark to finish delivery, but could not punch out earlier than 4pm. I only failed to complete my route once, and that was when there was a shit-ton of show, and the route was the farthest form the station but still in our area of coverage, and the houses where far apart. Our start time depended upon how much mail we had coming in, but was usually 5:30-6:30; finding out the specific time at the end of the previous day. Also, as regular postal workers have Sundays off, and a rotating 2nd day off each week, us casual carriers had only Sunday off. Even the one holiday I worked the casual carriers where called in to sort for half the day. Needless to say when Saturday work was over I was too exhausted to do anything. The geeks still came over Saturday night, but I barely participated – falling asleep while 5 geeks yelled. The oversized items are the worst to sort, therefore all mailmen hated the old format of the Oprah magazine, which was non-standard size.

One of the benefits was being able to drive a real mail truck around. These things where built to last 25 years back in the mod 70’s. They take quite a beating, al the start and stopping when you have curb-side deliveries. Postmen love curbside mailboxes, or collection boxes with the mailboxes for many apartments/offices in one place. The curb-side mailbox or collection box is how all modern complexes are built. It save a lot of time. Sometimes I was sent out to delivery mail that was not delivered the day before. This would be a portion of a route. They would pay me extra for using my own car and I would fill my back seat with mail and shuffle off.

Delivering in the rain blows. In short order you end up with letter fragments soaked onto your clothes. Mail slots suck! All mailmen hate them, especially in winter. They are hard to find, they are often placed in strange spots, sometimes vertical, sometimes horizontal. In the winter, they tear up your fingers. If you have a mail slot your mailman hates you. There was a house that never shoveled their walk. I nearly killed myself every day, even armed with my “Winter Walking” safety video knowledge. To exasperate the situation this “person” (they do not really quality) had a mail slit literally 3 inches off the ground, so I had to bend over to use it. This house also had a dog that liked to chew the mail up as soon as it fell threw the slot. As a result of the “person” making it dangerous and as big a pain in the ass to deliver their mail I took great pride in slowly feeding each piece of their mail through the slow slowly, so the dog had ample time to destroy every piece entirely.

Speaking of dogs, do they really attack postmen? Not really. I ran into very few dogs, and they quickly get to know you. A large portion of training is devoted to dealing with dogs. You are instructed to use your mail bag as a shield, and each bag is equipped with dog spray. This will irritate the dog;s eyes for 10 minutes, and leave a temporary orange color of the sprayed fur. I never had to use it. They do tell you that if you are approaching a house with a dog that the owner does not have on a leash/control off you never trust the owner when they tell you “Oh, he is OK. You can come here.” I was looking forward to denying someone mail for this, but never happened.

I had two bad experiences with dogs. One the dog charged out at me, as I was walking on the sidewalk, but the dog stopped because they had an invisible fence. The owner yelled to give me their mail as I walked away, but their did not approach me to hep out. That was the only time I exercised my right, as instructed in the videos: I wrote “DOG” on their mail and took it back to the office with me. If this continues to happen, and they person calls to complain, they are told to keep their dog under control. They where angry I did not deliver their mail that day.

My other dog story is that time I mentioned previously, when I delivering to the farthest route. I pulled the mail truck up the curb, and once the engine was off two giant dogs ran at the mail truck. I sat inside and at my lunch while they where round up by the owners. I was not even delivering to their house.

You really learn the value of layers when you deliver mail in the winter. I 5 top layers and 3 bottom layers. Sounds like a lot, but when you are outside for several hours at a time it make a massive difference. Your outermost layer is soaked with snow/rain, and the innermost layer is soaked with sweat.

You learn a lot more than you would think about people by their mail. Who is divorce, who likes adult content magazines, who collects social security checks, etc.

A few times I delivered to my old bosses house, the one who was super cheap and labelled me a corporate spy (see above). I was shocked at how mundane his house was, given how much money he had.

Everyone thinks mailmen get paid real well, but I can tell you that their pay rate is not that impressive, but they have excellent benefits, such as basically 100% coverage of health insurance on just about anything. As for my compensation, after all that work and long hours I only made $10 more a week than I would have collected on unemployment, but at least I could have continued indefinitely. Every 6 months causal carriers shifted from delivery to unloading trucks all day. I never got to experience that. My casual carrier status would have also gotten me pushed up the list to take the civil service test; while the list to hire is quite long, a lot of postmen across the country, where due to retire in the next few years.

One final items I learned about was that you could actually mail a letter with nothing more than the zip code (+4) on the letter. I also learned of some of the strange things people mail. An experienced postman told me of someone who shipped their entire back porch, literally brick by brick. This guy delivered a single brick (with an index card tapped to it with the address) every day for months. The strangest I delivered my saw was a 2×4.

Long ago my wife got tired of my mailman stories. Good thing for her I only worked as a postman for 1.5 months or else I’d have plenty more stories. She also quickly grew tired of me pointing out places I had delivered mail to, like a stretch of Transit Road.

I have had some more jobs since, but I will go into that at a later date.

Progressing through my employment history invariably makes me think of the various stages of my life, and the differences between set stages. This caused me to reflect upon what is lost in adulthood. Thrills are different. The best thing as an adult is having your own washer/dryer – no more laundromat. Remember when you where a kid, and your parents tell you they will order pizza Friday, and today is only Wednesday. The pizza was the highlight of your life. You would wake up Thursday hoping it was Friday. It was like *mas. Now, I can get pizza anytime I want. The thrill is gone. Remember when you would sleep on the couch? Not anymore, unless it is a mid-day nap. Enjoy your life in whatever stage you are in now, for it will change before you know it. Take that Aesop.

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5 Responses

  1. Finally! A non-Wolf story! Perhaps this will prompt others we never hear from?

    I as well knew the joy of a Pennysaver route and the blackening of the hands with cheap ink stuffing and bagging the papers for the weekly route. Sometimes I would subcontract to Jeff on days I had something better to do. $5 got me the whole route! If I was smart I would have gotten dozens of routes and subcontracted them all, reaping the sweet profits. I had to fire Jeff eventually as he failed to deliver one day due to rain.

    It is true, there is nothing quite like smelling like fryer grease all day. And I wondered back then why my smooth attempts to hit on co-eds in class went no where after a shift at Berts. Pathetic since some of them were even known to associate with pretensious Ben.

    I enjoyed your computer consultant job as well! Ah, the look of rage you would get when I’d ask you for the dozenth time how to email someone on the Vax cluster or send you lenthy enquiries in all caps. You were going to show me how to email the whole school at once in my campaign to gain fame and notereity by simply telling them via email that I am famous. I could have been someone!

    I miss your stint at Parkside! If I remember correctly, you not only gave us your 10% discount, but a 90% discount on top of that as well, especially on all you can eat soup days. Ah I miss being connected and the perks that go with it. I could sure go for some free soup now!

    Unlike your wife, I used to relish your tales of the casual carrier days. While none of them went in the pornographic direction we would have expected, they were still good yarns.

  2. Cheese and Rice, this entire story leaves me with the impression that work is one long tedious boring and inexorable slide into old age and death. wait a minute. it IS one long tedious boring and inexorable slide into old age and death…Engaging story though. I went to that Parkside Candies you worked at, once in late 80’s. Not the one at corner of Winspear, the one further toward downtown Buffalo). For some reason I had the idiotic idea that they served CANDY at Parkside CANDIES. I got some obnoxious frustrated-actor-wannabe waiter who said, “No no no no no. We serve food here. It’s a restaurant. Haven’t served candy for many many years now.” He was looking at me like I was one of the Vietnam boat people. (Actually I DO look like one of the Vietnam boat people and damn proud of it.) I was so disappointed they didn’t serve CANDY at Parkside CANDIES, s; I asked him if he could make me a root beer float anyways. So after staring at me like I had two heads, he begrudgingly went away, came back with a strangely grayish concoction with some ooze on top that was supposed to be soda fuzz but I suspect was his pissed off spit. I didn’t drink it. Instead I left, with zippo tip to waiter. I hope that wasn’t you. I doubt it; this guy had no sense of humor; everybody on this blog apparently does.

  3. You worked in East Aurora. That alone should grant you sainthood.

  4. That wasn’t me. I only worked at the Parkside Candies on the corner of Winspear, where we most certainly sold candy. I would not start for a place called Parkside CANDIES that did not sell CANDY.

  5. I can vouch for that. While the waiter you mention certainly sounds like him, Aaron actually used white out to obliterate all references to Bethlehem Steel in his “WNY Heavy Guide to Heavy Shit” when he found out Jesus wasn’t actually born there.

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