Packing Ice in the Desert

I like to gather writing ideas from many different sources. Many of my stories come from everyday experiences that I find entertaining, or from reading other people’s blogs and having their stories remind me of something that happened to me, and sometimes I use writing prompts.

As part of The Daily Post challenge, WordPress is offering writing tips as well as daily prompts. Some of the prompts come from here. This prompt was from yesterday:

Share a story about a memorable job interview.

I was traveling through Australia at the time. I had gone there with the intention of studying abroad for a year, but after one semester decided my time there would be much better spent exploring the country. My parents were not especially happy with my decision to drop out of school for a semester.

I was in Alice Springs when my cash was stolen from my backpack at a youth hostel. Too proud to ask my parents for money, I decided to get a job. Someone at the hostel said they knew someone looking for some help and kindly drove me to a gas station. There, I was introduced to an elderly Greek man, Yiorgos, with a thick accent. “You pack ice before?” I smiled, “No sir, but I’m a quick learner.” He snorted, then decided I would do anyway.

He led me to the back of the gas station where an ice truck sat, one of those white trailer-esque vehicles that magically produced crushed ice. He sat at one end of the truck, shoveling ice into plastic bags. When he was done, he passed the bag to me, where I would twist the top of the bag and attach a twist tie. I would then stack the bags on a dolly to carry into the freezer bin in the gas station. My hands went numb while sitting in the ice truck, handling the bags of ice. “WHERE’S YOUR GLOVES?” Yiorgos yelled at me. I looked at him, unsure how to answer. Why would I have brought gloves to the desert in the middle of the summer? How could I have ever predicted I would be spending my days sitting in an ice truck?

This lasted two days before I set aside my pride and called my parents, asking them to wire me money. Probably the shortest job interview, as well as the shortest tenure at a job, I’ve ever had.

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