After High School I started sending out resumes and applications for various entry-level jobs. Jobs such as mailroom clerk, data entry, filing, stocking shelves, cashier, etc. I was fresh out of school so I knew I needed to start at the "bottom of the ladder". I received a few requests for interviews, but they all ended in the now familar condescending tone. "We'll let you know," the interviewer says through a forged smile as they set my resume aside.
After several frustrating months I came across a program offered by the Ministry of Labour. It was a Youth Internship program where you could get hands-on training in the areas you're interested in as well as find out if it's a compatible match.
I opted for jobs working with animals, hey no communications barrier there eh? I soon had a placement with a horse stable in the next town. I was told I was going to be trained in all the various duties of the stable. This included the daily feeding schedule, mucking out the stalls, grooming, exercising the horses, and barn maintenance. The first month was filled with different activites, 2 daily feedings, mucking out a set of stalls, exercising one of the school horses, grooming a few school horses, and helping the foreman with repairs in different parts of the barn.
There were two barns, one with an attached arena for riding lessons, and another bigger barn where stalls were rented out to horse owners. The larger barn was a retangular shape with a small narrow hallway in one corner that lead to a small hangar shaped building that held more horse stalls. In this hallway along one side was a wooden keeper where the dog and cat food was stored. The keeper's wood lid was about waist high and usually had several barn cats nestled on it waiting for food. One memorable moment in that hallway was when I was leading a horse through there and glanced over at the keeper and noticed two cats having sex. I knew we didn't need more kittens running around so I slammed my hand down on the lid to scare them. What ensued was one of the most hilarious things I've seen and it all happened in the space of several seconds. The female cat, startled, leaped off the ledge, but unfortunately the tomcat's penis was still engorged inside her and she ended up dangling over the side screeching and clawing for a grip on any surface. The tomcat dug all four paws into the woood, with his crotch extended out, screeching. By this time I had reached the end of the hallway where the cats were, I reached over and grabbed the female and grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and pulled her back onto the lid. They both hobbled over to the far corner hissing and spitting at me. I spent the rest of the day with a large smile on my face.
Not having a sense of smell helped in this job. Nightly I'd come home to my parent's protests "Gawd you stink" as they fanned the air in front of me. "Sorry" was all I could say as I stripped of my workboots and jacket and went up for a shower. There was a moment at work I'm thankful I couldn't smell. I was working in the school barn which had rows of standing stalls, these are narrow stalls where the horses are tethered at the front where their food and water is, and it only allows them to stand or lay down. I was in one of these stalls with a horse aptly named "Fatso" and was shoveling out the manure and sawdust around him. I was bent over about three feet away from his rear when suddenly I felt a blast of hot air hit me in the face! "Oh my gawd! I've just been farted on by a horse" I thought to myself in shock.
The second month of work my duties were reduced to feeding and mucking only. There was the promise of "I'll show you later". When the other interns saddled up some horses for exercise, I went and prepared my own horse, but was thwarted by the foreman. "You've got to muck out this entire row" he ordered. "Well why aren't they doing their rows?" I asked. "Doesn't matter, go do it" he evaded my question.
By the third month I was reduced to mucking stalls only. I finally quit in frustration. "There's gotta be more to this job than shovelling shit all day" I snapped at my placement counselor. After that I was placed in a pet store, but eventually was dropped from the program because nothing led to full-time hire-ons.
That's when i decided to head to College......