My very first day at my very first job was not one of my proudest moments. In fact, I don’t think I ever told my mom about this event, so I hope she doesn’t read this blog!
Fresh out of Furman University, I was ready to start my career at Milliken and Company in Spartanburg, South Carolina. With one weekend left before we entered “the real world”, my buddies and I decided to have a Friday night “keg” party at our apartment.
Like many parties of that era, the festivities eventually led to the drinking game known as “Quarters”. The rules of the game are simple – each player gets a turn at bouncing a quarter into a cup of beer. If you are successful, you get to choose who must to chug the beer. I was pretty darn good at this game – good at the bouncing and good at the chugging (a lethal combo in competitive Quarters play).
When one of my buddies successfully bounced the coin in the cup, he handed it to me and I downed the beer in one mighty gulp. I reached into the cup to retrieve the quarter and in one glance realized with a sickening feeling that the quarter was gone – in fact it was traveling down by esophagus as I looked around with a growing panic. “I think I just swallowed the quarter”, I announced. One of my buddies laughed and gave his expert opinion – “don’t worry about it you sissy, it will pass”.
To make a long story short – I spent that night, all of Saturday, and all of Sunday waiting in vain for that quarter to pass. Not only did it not pass, I couldn’t eat or drink anything that didn’t want to come right back up. On Saturday my chest started hurting if I laughed or coughed. By Sunday it hurt to even move or breathe. I went to bed Sunday night, unable to sleep, and hoping I would be better the next morning for my first day at my very first job.
I woke Monday, dressed for work and showed up for my 9:00 orientation. I met my new boss, shook his hand and was barely able to say “hello sir, I think I need to go to the emergency room”. I walked out without waiting for a reply and drove myself to the nearest hospital. After a quick X-Ray, the doctor saw the quarter lodged in my esophagus, and gave me 2 options for the extraction procedure: 1) Anesthesia – I wouldn’t feel a thing, but would not be able to work or drive for the rest of the day, or 2) he could just “do it”, and the doctor said it would be over in three minutes. Seeing as this was a critical time in my career, I chose option #2. It was three minutes in my life that I wont ever forget. Basically, the doctor fished a garden hose with a pair of pliers on the end of it down my throat, grabbed the quarter, and pulled it all the way back out.
After stopping to get something to eat, I was back to work within an hour, ready to embark on my career. I never told my boss what had happened, and he never asked. For many years, I kept that quarter as a reminder of my first day.
Relus Technologies is hiring great team members for our rapidly growing firm. We need passionate sales people, a marketing genius, and experienced cloud architects. If interested, I hope your first day with Relus is less eventful than my first day.