Rage Against the Meat Slicer: the Reptilian Vs. Arby’s
Work sucks / we know. We prefer / your show. That's why we ask hard-working bands to recount their worst day-job experiences in Trials of Job. Today, we chat with Jonathan Sacha (pictured right in the above photo), bassist and screamer for the Reptilian. Before he built a career from punishing screamo, Sacha spent his days peddling roast beef sandwiches at Arby’s. Now, on the heels of the band’s just-released End Paths LP, the musician takes a moment to reflect on his fast food halcyon days.
What was the worst day job you ever had?
The worst day job I've ever had was working at Arby's back in 2006-2007.
How did you get the job?
I trained for several months (underwater) before undergoing a rigorous interview / application process. I was in the best shape of my life.
How old were you when you started and how long did you last?
I was 18 when I got the job, and I don't think I lasted any longer than nine months.
What were your primary responsibilities?
I would show up at 7 a.m. and slice meat until the lunch rush. Then I would make a lot of disgusting sandwiches until midday shift change, when I would eat as many french fries as I could in a 30-minute break, clean up and then go home.
What made it so shitty?
The banal and repetitious procedures of a job that plays an insignificant role in a larger, more insidious and loathsome capitalistic megastructure that's failing is enough to bring anyone down.
Describe your worst moment at the job.
Honestly, this job really wasn't that bad. It was fast food, and fast food is terrible, but I have a lot of respect for anyone that works in fast food. I know it's possible that that's the best they can do at that moment, and they might be really thankful that they have a consistent job that puts food on the table and shelter over head. At this point in time in my life, I was fresh out of high school and I was feeling really disillusioned about my future.
I was attending community college and working a low-level position at Arby's, and I had just left behind this bubble of middle class white suburbia that really sheltered me. I was drinking a lot, smoking a lot of weed and cigarettes, and I wasn't happy. The general disillusionment that prevailed at that time found its way into some of the early lyrics for the Reptilian (We Have Become EP), although the band wouldn't form until months later. With 10 years of perspective, I know now what sort of privilege I have as a white cis-gendered male, but back then, I was clueless and ungrateful.
What were your co-workers and supervisors like?
My co-workers were actually really very kind and fun to be around. I don't have any distinct memories about not getting along with someone, so that's a good sign. My supervisors were really pleasant, too. I remember I had three bosses named Renee, Vicki and Deanna, and they all really liked me.
Were you playing music at the time? Did your co-workers ever discover your music?
I was playing music at the time, but it wasn't anything serious. I remember listening to a lot of Mewithoutyou and Modest Mouse at the time. These were really big influences for early Reptilian. Like I said earlier, though, the Reptilian wouldn't start playing until November of 2007, and by then I had already quit Arby's. I don't think any of my co-workers know about my music, but I would love to see them come out to a show sometime!
Do you think your skills in the workplace have translated to your music?
Did you get fired or did you quit?
I got caught smoking weed in the parking lot with a co-worker before a shift real early in the morning by a manager from a different store who was covering for someone who was sick. The district manager would later come to the store and give me the option of taking a drug test or quitting. I quit.