Uncle Sam’s place.
The king of all odd and dirty jobs can be found with in the military. This is a subject that recruiters are probably told to carefully avoid relating to Johnny baggy pants when he comes into the recruitment office. They start right in with Basic Training. Everyone has seen movies that portray the recruits cleaning bathrooms, and marching in the mud but that is not the half of it.
Basic training for me was in December 83 otherwise known as the coldest winter Texas has ever experienced. Field jacket liners and long underwear was not allowed, probably because no one could figure out how to fold them into six inch squares. My first “Duty” was to walk around the dormitories and pick up dead birds that froze and fell out of trees. Apparently this was considered unsightly. The next duty was KP this is where you work in the kitchen cleaning everything. I made a big mistake when I opened a hatch on the floor of the kitchen to clean the little crack around the door. Apparently no one knew that the hatch lead anywhere until it was opened. The simple act of opening the hatch created another world that we were duty bound to clean. It was where all the grease, soap scum, and insects go to die. To this day I can’t help but wonder every time I see a maintenance hatch what is behind the door and who has to get inside.
Then on to Technical school where you learn a useful trade like defusing bombs, welding, carpentry, plumbing, killing people, electrician, driving a tank, or operating a computer. All kinds of useful skills can be had if you pay attention. Other skills can be learned when you don’t pay attention, like moving mattresses.
I got the opportunity to move about 4000 twin size mattresses from a warehouse to a dumpster; well a lot of dumpsters. These were used mattresses that have been stored in basically what amounts to a barn, for god knows how long. I figured some of the people who slept on these were probably Korean War vets, if not WWII. All I know is that the people who used these mattresses were under a great deal of stress, or were careless with food and drink while in bed. I do not want to know.
Don’t miss part 3.5 “Overseas Oddness”