“Aww, you wash puppies? That must be fun!” I always get this response when I tell people where I work. Admit it. Work is boring. Even the coolest jobs get boring now and then. But we all know part-time, minimum wage jobs, like mine, really bite. REally suck. REally stink. Mine bites and stinks–literally. Sucks? WEl, depends on how you want to take that. I keep saying how much I want to leave this job, but haven’t found another job yet. That was over six months ago when I said that, too. And I”M still looking. NO luck yet. Working with puppies isn’t cute. FAce it, people, when you’re scrubbing poop, even runny poop, from the trays placed under the cages, and can’t find the rubber gloves employees lost, (the gloves you bought just for that job, too!), things get gross. Cuteness goes out the window. I’ve been peed on. Bitten. Had fleas crawl up my arm. TRacked dog doo on my favorite skate shoes I wore to work that day. Chase puppies around the room like an idiot when they escape from the cage and play the chase-me game. You know, the one where they leap past you just to make things difficult. Have to put up with people washing their clothes in the washer I need for the towels. OH, and where’s the trash can? Someone stole that. The towels aren’t replaced by the store. The groomer, actually my neighbor, got so fed up after we were lo on towels to dry the dogs off with, , that she went to the thrift store herself and bought a bunch. I’m talking about towels so old and tattered they lose color. Turn gray! TEar into rags! The toilet lost its flusher. CAn’t flush after I just went! Luckily that was fixed. I was blamed last weekend for overstuffing the washing machine with too many towels, even though I was the one using it Saturday. I was home that day. I don’t work Saturdays. The washer was replaced, creepily enough, by the same model washer as the original broken one! What?! Did they expect this to happen? And the radio in the store is stuck on 93.Q! I swear they played the same music since I started working there. Well, not really, but close. The Quaker parrots won’t sell. Just squawk obnoxiously loud at everyone, and I think they have something personal against me by those beedy-eyed glares of theirs as I pass by. Last summer when I started working at Pet Depot, which is the store I work at, of course, I thought bathing puppies was kind of neat. Kind of different from everyone else’s cashier job, or whatever. By December, around Christmas, I hated it. ABsolutely was disgusted as the thirteenth round of Frosty the Snowman came on the radio as I plunged my bare hands into the tray covered in fresh puppy doo. I was feeling anything but jolly, sipping my cup of cheer, roasting marshmellows in front of an open fire. Okay, so the radio broke the monotonous hum of the washer and dryer as the same loads of towels were tumbling and spinning for the fifth time that seven-hour shift. Yeah, I use to work seven hours but have cut back now that I take the city bus home. So anyway, time passed. The supervisors and all thought I needed a helper to help me out with the job. So I got helpers, people all with their grumbles and sad homelife stories I could care less about. Okay, they were big deals, but they complained on the job. Complained and made the whole workday miserable. EVetually they quit. I was alone again, happily but miserably. The store doesn’t supply disposable rubber gloves to slip on for cleaning. Sick! These are animals I’m working with, people! Some of the puppies that are new poop the worst, and do you think I want to stikc my hands and scoop it up with a paper towel on top of knowing it came from an infected animal? Sanatation is on the top of my list. The lame excuse of the coworkers are, “I get my hands covered in crap so much I don’t care anymore,” and, “I’m used to it.” Yeah, well so am I. But you think I’m stupid enough to just let it crawl under my nails and cutickkles to get infected?! My other beef is how till recently there was no security set up in the front of the store. The manager and supervisors hang out a lot in the back, where the stockroom is and all. Customers have been known to actually snatch a small puppy from the pettery and walk right out without anyone knowing till it was too late. I’m serious! CAn you say, “Catch those puppies! Wa-ha-ha-ha!” My other rant is how customers can walk their dogs into the store while shopping. IT’s annoying because it gets all the puppies rialed up, growling and barking at the dog. “It’s my turf!” they say. The owners are idiots. All of them act like their dogs are their human kids. Dogs are also groomed where I work. ACtually, in the room I work in half the day. ONce a lady got so mad because her dog was acting up, growling and snapping at the clipper that trimmed its fur that the groomer charged the lady extra. “That’s so wrong,” snarled the lady, and went up with her dog to the front desk to complain. NOthing was done about it. There are good things about where I work, though. But the bad outweighs the good. You can take lunch whenever you want. You get paid for sitting on the washer as you wait boredly and with increasing fatigue for the puppies in their cages to dry. WE use blowers to dry them. They hate them. I hate them. The high, hot setting makes the small room hot as a sonna. Well, sort of. Let’s just say you’re pretty hot and wet from being sprayed in the tub all at once. NOt real fun. You got kids who can barely write their names gawking at yuo you like you’re one of the dogs through the glass window to the room I bathe the puppies in. Should I get down on all fours and wag my imaginary tail at them? Maybe paw the glass and give a little whine or two? Sometimes I think I should. EVen the moms and their kids come in like it’s a circus to watch me from the doorway as I wash the puppies. “OH,” the mom says smiling sheepishly, “We’re just watching.” Great. My own personal audience. HOpe they didn’t hear me just telling the dog with frustration as it scaled the wall for the millionth time how I’d turn it into a hotdog if it didn’t stop. ONe time I even weighed myself on the large wooden dog scale. I’m 136 Oz. What’s that in human pounds? IN dog pounds? I haven’t figured it out yet. When I had a hhelper we got so bored we’d spray one another with the sprayers in the tub as we washed the dogs. WE got soaked, but it was really fun. STupid,? Wel, I guess. WE’d wonder if we could punch a hole in the wall to the Hal-mark store next-door for fresh air. WE’d wonder what it’d be like if dogs owned us, and we were their pets. Made joeks about locking each other in the big floor cage we could actually fit in. WE even had the groomer play a joke onm the grouchy supervisor using a very hairy German sheperd’s shaved off outer coat and laid it in a cage. . . “Come and see this dog. I think it’s sick,” the groomer said. IT took a moment for the supervisor to realize she’d been had. She laughed, but barely. MOm says I should go into the store wearing my Happy Feet brand puppy slippers. Maybe oneday I will. “I brought my puppies,” I’d say smiling as I walk in the door. “See? They really need a bath.” By the end of the day, fresh air outside, polluted fresh air on the plaza strip, is your best friend…and maybe a shower or two.