GUEST POST: Rae Amitay of Immortal Bird Discusses Her Worst Job Ever!


Ghost Cult is bringing back an old feature, affectionately known as Day Job for a Cowboy (cowgirl, or any of our gender non-binary peeps reading this). We ask musicians about the worst job they have ever had in their life. In this guest post, Immortal Bird’s Rae Amitay shares a particularly rough time she had as a day camp counselor once, which you can read below. In 2019 Immortal Bird has toured and played select festivals supporting their excellent release from earlier this year, Thrive on Neglect, out now via 20 Buck Spin. The band is about to embark on another run of tour dates that kick off December 7th.

The worst job I’ve ever had was also one of my first ones. I was seventeen and trying to save up money for college, so I accepted a job as a day camp counselor at the rec center down the street from my house. I wasn’t sure what age group they’d give me, but I told them I had no experience with children so I assumed they’d place me with an experienced counselor and a group of older kids (ages ranged from 2-10 at this camp). First day there, I’m told I’ve been assigned the 2 to 3-year-old group. A small percentage of them were fully potty-trained but beyond that, it was a literal shitshow. I was handling things decently for the first week, but the second week had a challenge FAR above my $7.75/hour pay grade. Little ones can’t go to the restroom unattended, so when “Hope” (name not changed because it’s funny and she’s never going to see this) asked me to take her to the bathroom, I was like “Okay let’s go!” — She’s in the stall doing her thing, I’m outside waiting, when I hear her say, “I need help.” She opens the door and holds out a wad of toilet paper. “Wipe me”, she says. “Ummm…You know how to do that!” I say. We review the front to back protocol, it seems like this is gonna be fine, but then she throws the toilet paper on the floor, reaches back, COVERS HER HAND IN SH*T, slaps it on the wall of the stall, and repeats, “WIPE ME. NOW!”

I told her I’d be back in two seconds. I raced across the hall to our activity room and told the head counselor, Heather, what had happened. “Well, clean her up and then clean up the bathroom I guess”, was my directive. Looking back, it makes sense. Like, clean up the sh*t and move on. Maybe someone with more experience playing with human excrement, or more experience with kids in general, could’ve handled this. But I was barely seventeen, an only child, in my first counselor position, being told to clean an aggressive, sh*t-covered child. I told Heather I was sorry but I just couldn’t do it. I felt like I was going to throw up. She said, “Okay, we’ll get another counselor to handle it. You can go.”

And thus, I was fired from my camp counselor job. I probably deserved it, but I’m pretty sure I’d make the same decision today. Wipe yourself, y’all. And teach your kids to do the same.

Immortal Bird live dates:

12/07/2019 Turnbuckles & Brews – Dayton, OH

12/08/2019 Howlers – Pittsburgh, PA

12/09/2019 The Meatlocker – Montclair, NJ

12/10/2019 Atlas Brew Works – Washington, DC

12/11/2019 Union Pool – Brooklyn, NY

12/12/2019 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA

12/13/2019 Middle East – Boston, MA

12/14/2019 Chrome – Waterford, NY

12/15/2019 Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC

12/16/2019 Bovine Sex Club – Toronto, ON

12/17/2019 Sanctuary – Detroit, MI

12/18/2019 X Ray Cafe – Milwaukee, WI

12/19/2019 Part Wolf – Minneapolis, MN

12/20/2019 Empty Bliss – Chicago, IL

 

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