Thursday, October 18, 2012

My First Job in the US


End of June 2012.
I spent hours and hours in the library applying for jobs and downloading music. It really is how I spent my days when I first arrived in The US. Thursdays, I’d leave first thing in the morning, laundry in tow and go to T’s. She’d cook us very yum  food.  From Corn on the cob to dumplings, paap etc. Fun times all round!

She even let me drive her car one day, to the store. It was really nice. If you know me, I love to drive, this was different because it was a left hand drive, driving on the right side of the road, at 25miles/hour (60km/hr)  25 just seemed so much slower, you know? In my head, I felt like I was driving at 25 km/hr.

I’d sleep over Thursday nights and when she had her long breaks, we’d go to West Haven together, have lunch at the Chinese Buffet place, she’d run her errands with me tagging along, and then drop me off on her way back to her work, which is where she lives. I lived at her place (which her roommate) while she lived at work (sleep in, so to speak).

One evening, I got a call from T’s friend, she told me her friend needed someone to fill in for her for the night. Oh my word, I didn’t even hesitate, I WAS IN! I had to wait for the lady to call me to finalise everything. I was so anxious! I called T, she was so happy for me. I sat there impatiently waiting for the call.... Finally, she called! Let’s call her Pinky. She told me she’d pick me up around 8pm, drop me off at the house, I was to look after the elderly lady she looks after, for the night. She’d be back 24 hours later and take me home. I was so excited just to have something to do. Something different, you know?
She picked me up as promised, I had an overnight bag ready, a change of clothes and my laptop, something to keep me occupied. She’s a very nice lady, very bubbly. It was such a pleasure to meet her. She’s from the Eastern and the Western Capes n South Africa. So off the bat, we had things in common.  We arrived at the house, it smelled like medication, I tried not to freak out.  I met the lady, she was ready to sleep. Pinky left. I called T to update her. Turned out she knows Pinky, she said not to tell Pinky that we’re friends, that could ruin my new friendship with Pinky. I found that interesting. That made me really want to tell Pinky. Just so I could find out what she was hiding. Wouldn’t you?

There was no cellphone network in the entire house, I found a tiny little spot in the garage, where I had to have the phone on speaker, to maintain signal. That’s how I managed to talk to T, halfway through the conversation, she asked someone else something in our conversation. Turns out, we were on a 3way call the entire time! Interesting! I watched some telly, had some nuts and went to sleep. I got up, bathed and got the old lady ready for the day. When we got to the bottom, she looked me deep in the eye and went, “oh Brook, right there!  That feels so good Brook!” I was like, uhm, I think that’s enough, it’s clean now. AWKWARD! She complained and complained about how she didn’t like Pinky and wanted me to replace her. I told her I was flattered but couldn’t do that to my friend and if Pinky’d been there for a year, she must have been doing something right. She kept me running around all day, I was literally sweating ALL DAY! Did I mention I was running around all day? ALL DAY! Pick this up, take this there, I wanna bathe, I wanna bathe again. Put me here, take me there, bring me the phone, not this one, the one in the dining room. Don’t tell Pinky I made you do this. By the way, do you like me? What do you say to someone who asks you such a question? This was before she drove me up the wall. I honestly thought she was a nice old lady then.  She asked me to tell Pinky when she got home what I thought of her because Pinky tells her everybody thinks she’s mean and they don’t want to help Pinky when she needs someone to fill in for her. I told her I’d tell Pinky if she asked what I thought of her.

After that she became an absolute monster! She told me to bathe her again. Just the private parts. She got up and wanted me to rub her with the wash cloth there. When I stopped, she was like, do it some more Brook. I was like, I think it’s clean now (Good Lord! She said, “never mind, give me the wash cloth!” She went to town with it, while I was standing there in utter shock.
I couldn’t wait for Pinky to get home and get me out of that misery. The excitement of it all wore off so quickly! I literally didn’t even have time to shower. When the old lady dozed off, I was breathed a sigh of relief. Quietly, God forbid she heard me and woke up! The phone rang while I was in the shower, she yelled for me to bring it to her. She had a phone right next to her, she wanted me to bring her the one that was in the dining room. I had to get out of the shower, wet as I was and get her the phone. My, oh my! Eight PM came and went. Pink got home at exactly the same time she left, 24hours prior. I could have kissed her, I was so relieved! She asked me if the lady behaved. I was like, Girl, I’m ready to go home! She asked me if she didn’t ask me to do that thing that she made me do to her genitals, I was both relieved and grossed out. Relieved that I wasn’t imagining it, grossed out for obvious reasons. She also asked me what I thought of her in general, I gave her my honest opinion. She told me the old lady doesn’t believe that she’s mean. Well...

Pinky asked if I didn’t want to spend the night, she would take me home the next day, I was like girl, I think I’m good, take me home, please NOW! Old lady wanted to see me before I left. She asked if there were something I wanted to tell Pinky. I was like, “like what?” She went, like how you feel about me, the fact that you think I am a nice person. I was like, Oh no, that was before you were so mean to me all day. Telling me how you don’t like black people, you think they are lazy, blah blah bah. I told her exactly what I thought of her. She asked!
Pinky dropped me off and I was glad to have made some money! My very first week in the US. It was a good sign, don’t you think? Oh and no, I didn’t tell Pinky I knew T... yet!