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Good While It Lasted

In the space of less than a month I’ve gone from having a job I really enjoyed that paid amazingly, putting me on a sure path to slowly but surely climbing out of my debt hole, to working part-time for minimum wage at a fast-food outlet that sells baked potatoes. I feel fucking atrocious. For just a really, REALLY brief period I got this feeling that there was a bit more to life than compromise, suffering and obligation. Now I’m back to minimum wage.

I’m almost 30.

This phrase has been going through my head a lot lately. It haunts me. Every time I have to nervously check my balance before I pay rent (“You’re almost 30”). Every time I look through job listings and see “experience required” for anything besides washing dishes or telesales (“You’re almost 30”).

I have friends who have worked for Disney. I have friends who are making it as creatives. I have friends who have solid career plans, ambitions and savings. I have friends who own homes.

They deserve these things. They worked really hard for them. It feels like I’ve worked hard too, but that I didn’t work with any goal in mind so I’ve ended up with nothing.

I’m just circling the pan now. I’ll do some more job hunting, send out applications to jobs I don’t really want but hey that’s what I can get, and then tomorrow I’ll go back to work selling fussy-assed old bitches potatoes, simmering resentment of myself and my current situation in life hidden behind a wall of bright-eyed pleasantries. There are two physical spots in this job where you can walk out into the view of the customer, and next to both of them, where the customers can’t see, is an print out declaring:

SMILE. HELP THE CUSTOMER. LOVE THE CUSTOMER.

There is a stock image of a smiley-face above this horrific sentiment. I’d like to note that no satisfying or well paying job I’ve ever held actually demanded I suck the customer off.

I think if I haven’t achieved anything significant by 30 I’ll say “fuck it,” burn everything I own and go live on a fucking commune somewhere. We’ll shoot trespassers, cook meth and eventually die good, noble deaths under a hail of honourable gunfire loosed upon us by a score of US Marshals.

I just… I guess I really want one of those ‘good phases’ to start again soon, and I want it to actually last a while this time. That great job was like a really cruel taste of a much more enjoyable way of life. But hey-ho, back to scrabbling madly away from the cold, unflinching glare of strife and brutality.

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