I work in a sh*t-hole on the verge of bankruptcy, and I love it. I’m currently employed by a locally owned sandwich shop/late night drunk food emporium. If it’s 2:30 in the morning, you’re hammered and you need a hot dog that’s been warming on rollers for three hours we’ve got you covered. I make just above minimum wage, but for the work I do it’s almost robbery. Almost.
There’s nothing better than a summer job that requires no real thought, almost no work, and a boss who smokes a lot of pot. For the past three summers, I’ve worked for the maintenance division of a national park. It was a lot of physical work outdoors. I made great money, but I had to do a lot of work. This summer I make almost no money, but I don’t have to do anything. And as sad as it is, I actually prefer making and doing nothing. As a bonus I work with a bunch of college drop-outs and stoners who’ve never had real jobs and complain about what little we’re expected to do. Since I don’t complain, and work whenever it’s necessary, I look great. My boss absolutely loves me.
The store gets almost no business, and most of my days consist of sweeping, mopping and making sure the nacho cheese doesn’t get a gross skin on top of it. The store is tiny, so sweeping and mopping takes about half an hour while working at a leisurely pace. That leaves me with about seven and a half hours of watching cheese. I get paid to baby-sit dairy products.
The fact that I like this job so much has to be a reflection of my work ethic or generation or something like that, but I’m not sure it’s necessarily a bad reflection. It has forced me to improvise cheaper ways to live, keep a tight budget and actually stick to it. Those are important things to know. Too many people try to live above their means and accumulate a lot of debt in the process. I discovered that a person can live on spaghetti for a week for a little more than $10. I’m talking about two meals a day for seven days. How many of you knew that?
I also have more free time on my hands than ever before. I’ve been filling up most of that time with writing (as you can see) and hanging out with my friends. My shitty job has allowed me to be a better friend. Whenever someone is having a bad day and needs to talk I’m there for them; whether or not I’m at work. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading. So not only am I learning the finer arts of cheese management and meat cutting, but I’m expanding my mind with a wide variety of literature.
Not everybody in a situation similar to mine takes advantage of it the way I have, and to them I say, “Wake up!” Look around, you have opportunity all around. Stop complaining that for an hour everyday you’re expected to clean a little, or that sometimes you actually have to do the job you’re getting paid for. Be thankful you’re not stuck in an office answering phones or researching the finer points of Russian literature written during the Industrial Revolution. You have hours of getting paid while not working ahead of you, do something with it. Find a hobby that can be practiced and perfected at work.
So, all of you semi-successful hard workers, or career minded over-achievers who look down on the guy sitting behind the counter at the gas station, or deli, think again. You’re looking at someone who has a lot more time on their hands to enjoy life. They may not have a new car, or a lot of money, but are those things really necessary? If a person has enough to pay bills and rent and still have a little left over, are they doing that bad? The sandwich jockey may have to be a little more careful with his money and creative in how he spends it, but new clothes and trendy restaurants aren’t the things that make people happiest.
(Image source: CollegePublisher.com; BiggestMenu.com)