Okay, so job interviews
kind of suck, and I'm not really good at them anyway
because you're supposed to demonstrate eagerness and how much you want the job
and all that shit – and I'm not that good an actress. I really don't want your
shitty job and I don't really care.
And let's face it, with a
high school diploma, no one is gonna offer me really great
I should probably go to
college or something, take a course, maybe. But I hated school. I was so glad
to graduate! The idea of doing more doesn't appeal to me.
I think I'm kind of
hyperactive. I hate sitting still doing nothing, listening to some boring old
man or woman drone on about shit I have no interest in. I'd looked over college
books trying to see something I had some interest in, but
had kind of come up empty.
Everything required long,
long, long hours sitting at a desk tapping away at a computer, processing forms
and documents, and lots and lots of reading. I was kind of thinking maybe I'd
join the army or something. Except they'd probably make me a clerk and then I
wouldn't have any say in it. Besides, I'm not really a violent person and not
very big either.
So, having graduated from
high school despite lots of absentee days and hardly studying I was now
expected to get some kind of job. And none of them
were very interesting. Basically, I was looking at working at retail and the
So, my friend Andrea
suggested I look at a temp work agency. Yes, they took some of your pay, but
they could get me temporary work at a variety of places
so I could maybe see what I could stand doing. I kind of liked that idea. I'd
only have to work somewhere a day or two, or a week or two, then I could move
And if anyone recognized my
amazing abilities and wanted to hire me I could decide whether
or not I felt like sticking around. I didn't think that was very likely,
though, because, to be absolutely honest, I don't
really like work. Shocker, huh?
I like dancing, hanging out
with my friends, swimming, surfing, skim-boarding, skateboarding, and biking. I
like making out with guys, shopping, and eating chocolate. No one is gonna pay
me for any of that, though.
I got hired by the temp
work place, or at least, taken on by them. Hiring implies they pay me and they
don't. Not unless they send me on a job. Then they sent me on a job. It was at
a shipping room in some computer store. It involved wrapping stuff or putting
it in boxes, putting on address labels and postage or filling out courier
Four days later I was at a
physiotherapy clinic working as the receptionist. That sucked ass. But it was
only one day. The next week I worked as mail clerk pushing a basket along
floors in an office building picking up mail from designated boxes.
Then I got sent to the
For those who aren't aware
of it, there is Miami, where I live, and then Miami Beach, which is an island
off Miami. Miami Beach is actually a separate city
from Miami, and way smaller. It's mostly got lots of high-end condos, hotels
and restaurants and, of course, beaches.
The job was described as
'general labor', which was a catch-all phrase that could mean just about anything
you didn't have to have training in. One intriguing thing was the asterisk
which said you had to be a good swimmer. Anyway, this one paid really well, for some reason. Minimum wage in Florida is
$8.10 but this place paid $15hr.
I had to hike down Collins
avenue since there isn't a lot of public transit and I'm not patient enough to
wait for a long transfer, but then I found myself in front of a slender white
building that was maybe twenty stories tall. It was clearly a condo given all
the balconies, and I walked up to the front door. As I did a guy in a funny
suit, like, a doorman, opened it and smiled at me.
“May I help you, Miss?” he
“Uhm, I'm supposed to meet
a Mrs. Elsworth.”
He led me into a huge lobby.
And I mean freaking huge! There was a big glass, oval shaped tank of water in
the middle that was about twenty feet long and went right up to the ceiling
thirty feet high. It had a number of fish swimming
leisurely around in it, but not as many as it easily could have had. You could
have put dolphins in that thing.
“Go through that door and it’s
the first door on the right,” he said, pointing.
I thanked him and went
through a door marked 'employees only', then down a narrow corridor to an open
door to an office. A middle aged white woman was behind a desk tapping away at
a computer keyboard.
“Uh, hi,” I said in the
“You're Sara Conway?” she
asked, standing up.
“Uh huh,” I said.
She motioned me in and gave
me a very intense up and down look.
“Are you a good swimmer?”
“Yeah. I have my lifeguard
But life-guarding is boring
as shit and you have to pay constant attention to the
water in case some moron needs to be saved.
I was curious now. What
kind of a job in here needed a good swimmer? I hoped they didn't need a
lifeguard for their beachfront, except the beach fronts were all public
ownership, so that shouldn't be it.
“Hmm. Come with me,” she
I shrugged and followed her
as we went down the hall and up a flight of stairs. We came out in another hall
and then went into a room which was obviously the top of the big aquarium in
the lobby. There was a round hole in the floor about six feet wide with a rail
around most of it.
“Pardon?” I asked,
“Didn't they tell you what
the job was? It's to swim in the tank for an event we have scheduled.”
“To... swim in the tank!?”
I asked incredulously.
“Yes. You put on the
fishtail and just dive down and swim leisurely around, then rise
up again to breath, and dive back down again. I hope you're good at
holding your breath.”
I stared at her in
astonishment. This was a job!? But hey, it paid almost double what the other
“I can't spend like,
forever underwater,” I said, staring at the hole.
“The event only lasts an
hour and a half, but you'll be paid the minimum four hours,” she replied.
I was still dubious. Sixty
bucks for an hour and a half was a good rate, though.
She showed me the fish
tail, which was something which looked like, well, a fish tail, and which only
really wrapped around your lower legs to the knees.
“The event is tomorrow.
You're here today to practice.”
So that meant two days’
work of only an hour or so apiece at sixty bucks each. That didn't sound so
“I didn't bring a bathing
suit,” I said.
She scowled. I'll check the
public pool out back. We have a number of spare suits there for guests.”
“Spare swimsuits?” I said,
making a face.
“What size do you take?”
“Thirty-Six-C I said.”
“Get undressed and start
She showed me spray paint
cans, only it was for body paint! I was supposed to paint my whole
body blue! Then she took off and left me gazing at the hole. Talk about
I looked at the spray can,
curious about how it would work, then shrugged and removed my shoes, socks and
jeans. I sprayed my lower legs to see what it felt like and looked like. It was
way thicker than most paint, and left a kind of
rubbery coating on my skin!
I painted up higher, to my
thighs, but wasn't going any higher. I wasn't sure what this stuff did to
fabric and I didn't want to have to wear blue panties home.
She returned with a plastic
“Put this on and paint up
to your neck. I'll do your face.”
and she left. I opened the package, removed my shirt and bra, and then pulled
the swimsuit top on. It fit, but it was kind of small, smaller than I usually
was comfortable with. I slipped off my panties very carefully
so they didn't get the blue stuff on it, then pulled on what turned out to be a
I wasn't happy about that
either! I'd never worn a thong in public. I was starting to think about backing
out of this, but was intrigued enough to keep
spraying. I sprayed up over the suit and up my waist, and
was pleased to see that it was kind of hard to tell where the suit ended and my
This stuff was thick, like
I sprayed up over my bra
and along my arms, feeling freaky. There was a full length
mirror set against the corner and I looked at myself with interest. I just
looked like a blue girl below the neck.
Mrs. Elsworth returned and
showed me a little plastic sun-glass thing. They were tanning goggles, the kind
of things you placed on your eyes when you lay down under a sunlamp.
“Just hold these over your
eyes while I spray you.”
“Uh, what does this stuff
do to hair? And what happens if I lick my lips?”
“It dries very quickly.
It's not poisonous, and it comes off easily with soap, sponges and warm water.”
I was still dubious, but
also still very curious about what I'd look like, so I went along with it, and
put the goggles over my eyes, closed my mouth, held my breath, and she sprayed
my face, then sprayed all over my hair.
“It's good your blonde.
It's easier to color,” she said from behind me.
She sprayed all around,
then did some touch-ups up front.
“Okay, you can remove the
She had a little paint
brush, though, and a little can of body paint.
“Close your eyes.”
She painted around the
edges of my eyes, and then had me stand in front of a fan which dried the stuff
off in a few minutes.
I looked freaky! I had to
get my phone and take pictures!
Thankfully, though I was
still kind of self-conscious about it, the blue paint kind of hid that I was
wearing a thong, and also that the bra was pretty
small. I was all blue, so even though I was mostly naked it didn't show that
These pictures were going
She helped me put the fish
thing on and then left me a radio and went downstairs. When she was in the
lobby she called me.
“Okay, dive into the water.
The idea is to swim slowly and leisurely around the pillar, acting very
I couldn't dive with the
tail thing on but sat on the edge then leaned forward to go in head first. The
water was cold! I gasped, then swam downward. The fish thing on my feet acted
like flippers as I swam down then curved around the pillar.
The pillar was just like
what it sounded. There were others in the lobby but
they'd built the aquarium around this one. I swam downward and around, holding
my breath, staring out at Mrs. Elsworth standing below me. The guy who had let
me in was there too, along with another guy who had been behind a counter.
That made me self-conscious
about wearing a tiny thong bikini, but the paint helped. I swam past them, then
curved around and up and came out of the hole, gulping in air.
“Miss Conway,” she was
already saying on the radio.
I picked it up and pressed
“Try again. Remember, slow
and graceful, and try to turn and roll as you swim. Arch up and back like a
Like a mermaid my ass. But
hey, it was better than a mail-room. I dove down again, swimming hard down
along the pillar, then curving slowly and more 'leisurely' around it, kind of
turning as I swam, then arching up and back.
Having people look at me,
just... watching me, swimming in the tiny suit was weird. I was glad for the
paint! I mean, it's one thing to have guys look at me on the beach. That's
normal. But everyone is in a bathing suit there. Here they were in business
suits and I was in a tiny thong bikini!
I swam around the pillar,
kicking slowly. The mermaid tail helped me move surprisingly quickly without a
lot of effort. I turned circles and arched up and back and rolled over, then
swam back up and out to grab a few breaths of air before diving down again.
It was kind of weird, and I
had to hold my breath, but that was all that was hard about it.
I satisfied her and she came back up to help me get the blue stuff off.
“Tomorrow you'll have three
other girls with you,” she said.
That sounded better than
being the center of attention.
She and I brushed off the
blue stuff with soapy sponges and then I stood under a shower and used my hands
and fingers to break away the stuff in my hair and around my eyes.
There are some weird jobs