These are the collected tales of my time at the Mahjong Pizza Company. No names have been changed to protect the innocent; there are no innocent. No details have been spared out of respect; I have none.
Jim is to blame for the entire damn thing. Just try to call him out on it, he will hem and haw about how he warned me what it was like, how I needed the money, he will do whatever it takes to escape moral culpability. But when you read my tale of woe, know this: Jim is to blame.
I'd been unemployed for four months. My enormous stash of ramen and tiny stash of rent money had both dwindled, and I needed to rejoin the ranks of the gainfully employed. Jim had worked at Mahjong for over two years by this time. He said he could get me a job there. He couched it in constant reminders that it was the worst place he'd ever worked, but I had reached the point of no return. In poverty, you are allowed no standards.
So an application was filed and good words were put in, the churning colon of employment at Mahjong was massaged, and an entire fucking month later, I was ready for orientation. Never mind all the terrible things a month-long hiring process indicates about a company; never mind the hiring manager boasted to me the company's near-100 percent turnaround; never mind every bit of it, I was a fresh-faced youth ready to live the capitalist dream. It was time to earn money, to become an integral part of my community and pay my rent as a self-made man.
The orientation was held in the district office, which was little more than a tiny office building adjoining a Mahjong. The batch of new recruits were here told about the list of benefits Mahjong provided:
No Health Insurance
No Raise Structure
No Paid Time Off
Alright, sweet, Texas is a right-to-work state, got it. Money's money, right? Time for our drug tests!
Except there's only one bathroom and we need to hurry this along, so ladies, line up at the bathroom, fellas, pick a cubicle and pee into this cup. I laugh at this, and the orientation manager gives me a dead-eyed smile. "Yes?"
It takes me a moment to realize he's not kidding, and I decided then and there it wasn't worth it. No, money is not money, we are human beings, we are entitled to the basest level of dignity, this is the line. I rallied the other new hires. "We're not going to huddle in a 3-walled, shoulder-high cubicle and pee for these fuckers! Today we take a stand! Worker's rights are human rights! Unionize!"
The only bright side to my year-long term of wage slavery with Mahjong is that no one saw my dick that day. Money's money, right?