When did I get bitter?
At my McJob, there is cute little 16 year old kid names Aaron. Everytime I see him, he is smiling and bouncing around. He wears a red bowtie with his uniform, just to be festive I guess b/c it certainly didn’t come with the uniform, and sings people’s orders back to them. So, ya, an overall annoying person right?
The other night I helped him do the dishes. He was giving them a look like, “ok, where would my mom put the dishwashing liquid if she were here?” I proceeded to take over the hand scrubbing while he rinsed and sanitized b/c, hell, we had already been there at least 10 hours. I wanted to get this shit done, like, yesterday.
As I was throwing dishes into the rinse bin (it’s all hard plastic or metal anyway and I like the clanging, gets out the frsutration), Aaron was literally whistling while he worked the rinse sprayer. He suddenly turned to me and said, ” Mi-shell-ee,” (yes he sings my name and this is how it comes out), “I love the feeling of putting in a hard day’s work.” No really, he said that verbatim. I responded, “This feeling will pass.” He looked a bit sad for a second and then said, “ya, thats what everyone says, makes me scared to get old.”
Uggh. So now, not only am I feeling like an old woman, but also a bitter, old woman. Which I am. But, at the same time, it bugs me that such a sweet kid now thinks getting old is synonymous with bitterness, so I try to explain myself.
“Listen Aaron, attitudes just change when you go from doing something b/c you want to vs b/c you NEED to. While you’re in highschool, this job is just for fun. You sit in class and use your brain all day, and you say you really enjoy that, right? B/c you are at a school that lets you take extra classes in the field you want to go into. But then you come here and it can be real physical, something you don’t get there and you enjoy the challenge. It also puts a little extra money in your pocket, but you don’t really NEED to be here. You don’t pay rent. You don’t have any bills. Your parents take care of everything…
But when you get older, you’re in charge of all the bills. I mean, maybe some of those bills are towards your education to get that dream job, or maybe this job is just to tide you over until then, but I highly doubt working fast food is anyone’s dream. You can probably work there for awhile and be OK with it, but eventually, if not immediately, you are going to resent not doing what you love and instead, just getting by. Just getting by is no way to live your life. SO not only is this labor physically draining, its emotionally draining, and thats the kind of tired most people are actually complaining about.”
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