Friday, April 11, 2008

Flashback Friday No. 5 - 1998

Let me first say, if you're reading this, you are invited to join in on these Flashback Fridays. I started this after seeing a lot of people doing similar posts (including Angie, Lotus and Kristen) and thinking they were fun. And therapeutic. If you wrote something this past week that qualifies, link up, baby. You don't have to divulge the deepest, darkest bits of your personal history. Just post a photo of your 12-year-old self and learn to laugh at your crooked bangs.

So, 1998. Where was I? Oh yeah...moved 120+ miles to a city where I knew no one to be with my boyfriend.

Kids, take a lesson from ol' Auntie Colleen. Not a good idea.

That December evening drive I described in last week's post? Well, it was just before Christmas. And New Year's. And while we both came home to be with family and friends for the holidays, we had no tree. There wasn't anyone baking cookies at our place. It pretty much sucked.

I had enrolled in spring semester classes at UW-Green Bay. But I had no job, so I enlisted with a temp service and worked a few shifts in one of the city's famous paper mills packaging napkins before I decided I could find better work on my own.

Whether the work I found was actually better or not is questionable. First it was a checker and customer service manager in a small Mom & Pop grocery store. (Imagine lots of arguments with senior citizens as to whether or not they received their 10% off the one banana they were buying. Fun.) Then it was a clerk and shift supervisor at Family Video.

Now, I must digress from my flashback to give you the dirt on that job. Family Video. Its for Families, right? I mean, "Family" is the first word of its name.

Family Video had a porn section. A BIG porn section.

I had to inventory that porn.

I had to call customers and ask they return the porn when it wasn't returned on time.

It went a little something like this:

Ring ring!

"Hi! You're reached the Hanson residence. John, Karen, Rachel and Peter can't take your call right now. Please leave us a message and we'll get back to you!"


"Um, hello, Mr. Hanson. This is Colleen from Family Video calling. Forrest Humps is now five days overdue and we need you to return that to our store on Military Avenue right away to keep your account from accruing additional late fees. Thanks and have a great day!"

A-hem. Back to flashback.

There are VERY few pictures from 1998 in my plethora of albums at home. I found a few last night to include in this post and let's just say I didn't look very flattering in any of them. And its my blog so I've decided these anti-flattering shots aren't going in this post. Either that or I left my laptop at home and therefore can't connect to my scanner.

Either way, about the time I worked at Family Porn uh, Video, I finally started to make friends. It was summer. My friends mainly consisted of folks who also worked at that video store and the girlfriends of the guys who worked with my boyfriend.

One such girlfriend worked at the Radisson Hotel. Where the Packers stay the night before a home game. She mentioned that they had a need for front desk clerks. OOH OOH! PICK ME! PICK ME! I applied, had an interview and they did. Pick me, that is.

At $7/hr it was like mucho bucks to be working there. I felt all cool and professional. I met famous people. John Madden, Pat Summerall, Jamie Farr, Gilbert Brown (who had a LOT of late, non-porn videos at Family Video) and Mike Holmgren. I made more friends, many of whom I still love to this day.

But at the time, $7/hr didn't pay a lot of bills. My boyfriend worked looong shifts and I often didn't have anything to do but wait for him to come home. We fought a lot, over stupid things.

I was still an art student that year. My days were spent drawing sketches of nudes and photographing concepts such as "line". That fall, I took my first Journalism class. UW-GB offered a major that combined graphic design and writing and after a "Woo hoo! That's right up my alley!" I signed on before realizing no other UW school had a similar program. But what that did was put me in Journalism 101 at the time of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. Day after day we wrote our own obituaries and poured over the latest content in the NY Times, including a timeline of just when the blue dress was believed to have been soiled.

After a long year in the frozen tundra of Green Bay, my boyfriend got an offer to manage a store in southeastern Wisconsin, and took it. We were finally going home!


Suzie said...

I love the answering machine messages. Im sure there were some good conversations that took place that evening.

Momma Mary said...

Adult Videos... Yeah, I wouldn't have lasted very long there. :)

Thanks for the luck on my blog layout! RIGHT after you posted the comment, I figured out what was wrong! (It was really my header giving me troubles, not the columns). I totally 'borrowed' some code to get to three columns... Didn't do it on my own.. But Thanks. I needed that boost!

We are THAT Family said...

That was funny!

Sassy Mama Bear said...

Now, see if it had been 1988/1989 I would have been at UW-GB also, I didn't graduate from college, still have my 2 years worth of UW-GB credits though, and a few UWO credits.

Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) said...

Nice story. I haven't flashed-back in a while!

Love the bit about leaving the message about Forrest Humps. *snicker*

Jenny said...

I love this idea! I might have to join in next week. I really love the answering machine messages!

Guess what? You've been tagged! Please visit to find out more!

Sorry, you don't have to do it, but I've never been tagged before and couldn't help but play along!