I’ve been watching a lot of the ABC show Scandal lately. And by “a lot,” I mean I plowed through three seasons in less than two weeks. What? My kids are old enough to pour their own damn cereal now.
I find the show entertaining, obviously, but there is one thing that drives me crazy about it, and that’s the fact that the characters regularly announce their job titles. Like, “I am the leader of the free world!” or “I am the First Lady of the United States!” And they always announce it right in the middle of a scene for some reason. Maybe that made sense in Season One when we were all still figuring out who was who, but by Season Three, it’s a little ridiculous. I mean, yeah duh, we know you’re the POTUS because you’re sitting at the President’s desk that’s located on the Oval Office set, so slow your roll there, Hambone. We didn’t think you were the White House janitor in that $1,000 suit.
That said, I think it might be a good idea for me to start randomly yelling out my job title from now on. Just to let everyone know who I am because I’m always worried I’ll be mistaken for a female serial killer, especially when I wear a tank top. So the next time I’m at the grocery store, maybe I’ll look at Janice, my regular checker who calls organic chicken “hippie white meat,” and yell, “I’m a freelance writer!” I bet girlfriend will take my expired coupons after that because who isn’t impressed by someone who once got paid with a bag of potting soil? (Don’t ask.)
Of course, I really wish I’d known to do this thing years ago when I had perhaps the best job title in the history of job titles. It was the summer of my junior year in college, and I was working at a Nevada sandwich shop named Port O’Subs. (Sort of like Subway, but nautical-themed and no f-in Jared standees to give you the willies.) At Port O’Subs, we made our sandwiches the assembly-line way, with each employee having their own station to man. The Admiral was in charge of bread and meat and the Captain was in charge of lettuce and condiments. Then came me:
The Oil and Vinegar Midshipman.
I told you it was the best job title in the history of job tiles. Alas, I didn’t have a sense of humor about it back then at all (ask my parents), and the job only lasted for three days due to my “mondo bad attitude.” Yes, it seems Admiral Shelby was upset that I never flirted with the men who came in for lunch. Because what better time to hit on grown construction workers than when you’re wearing an apron and a hairnet and you’re holding cruets of slimy oil and vinegar in your hands? Sexy, sexy, sexy.
But I’ve seriously thought about this for 20 years, wondering exactly what I should have said to those guys while I was making their sandwiches. “Hey, Big Boy, want me to splash a little oil on yo meat? I have some left over from my bikini wrestling match against my sorority sisters last night–oops! Just poured a little vinegar in my cleavage! Ooooh, the acetic acid is burning off my bra! Giggle!” WOULD THAT HAVE MADE YOU HAPPY, ADMIRAL SHELBY?
Honestly, if there’s a more humiliating experience than being stripped of your naval rank at a highway sub shop, I don’t know what the hell it is. And the worst part is that now I’ll never have a chance to snap, “I am The Oil and Vinegar Midshipman and I demand that you respect my liquids!” to someone in power. I do believe it’s one of the great tragedies of my life.
And I say that as a Freelance Writer who once got paid in potting soil.