Well…I’ve done it. I have finally, after years of speculation and curiosity, found a job.
I get paid to drink as much bubble tea as I want, and to eat as many baked goods as my heart desires.
Initially, I wanted to find some sort of online job, so that I could work from home.
But I decided against it. I think at this time in my life, when on the bridge between high school and college, a job like this is utter perfection.
I’m grateful that right now it’s less about the money than it is about the socialization skills that require personal interaction.
Where I work, everyone goes. It’s a hip, attractive little joint that’s generated a lot of buzz because what’s sold there is modern. It’s a young concept, with young people at the register.
At 17, I’m one of the youngest that works there (I believe) but if you’ve ever seen 2 Broke Girls, this is a similar atmosphere. I’m like a mixed Max-Caroline cocktail.
Where I work, there’s a lot of specialization, and I’ve finally realized how much articulation and detail goes into what I thought was a relatively simple process. Diner Dash was completely misleading. The constant hustle bustle gives me energy and keeps my body moving around, a pleasant contrast to the rest of my life, which requires 96% brainpower.
In the midst of this academic revolution, we tend to under-prioritize basic skills; deftness, attention to detail, the ability to learn and catch on quickly, dealing with difficult people.
For once in my life, I’m being evaluated on the basis of my ability to carry out basic skills, not my SAT score.
So before I am the editor of a magazine, let me report the local news or write classifieds. Before I become a business woman, let me be a cashier.
What is this all but experience?
The other employees here move with such certainty; they’ve become so accustomed that the movements have become instinct, second nature. The hand knows where to reach, the body learns to navigate with efficiency.
If you know me, you might know that I have an awful habit of biting my nails, and picking at my cuticles. I’ve only been working here for a short amount of time, but the rush keeps my body so busy that I looked down today and saw them growing in…for the first time in a long time.
I’ve stopped swiping at my face and playing with my hair, and fallen into this fast-paced rhythm.
Every night, I come home, exhausted. Normally, I come home from school mentally debilitated, but this is a different type of exhaustion; this is pure physical enervation. It’s the good kind of tired, if there were such a thing. It’s coming home and falling into bed with a certain satisfaction that I’ve really never felt before.
I’m tired of sitting on my computer. All of my extracurriculars involve a computer in some way; being on my feet for hours at a time is a wake-up call; reality is shattering…people don’t sit on their computers all day. An online job would just be another few hours that I spend on the computer, and that wouldn’t give me nearly as much satisfaction as I have felt since I started working.
When I’m at home, or at school, I tend to over-rationalize and analyze my life.
When I’m working, however, my mind is free to wander, ponder, think, and realize.
I see working as one method through which individuals can really mature. Whether you work in a bakery, in a warehouse, as an intern at a magazine, or as a drug mule, you see life in a new light the first time you take on a job, because you’re being paid, because you get to manage your own money.
You look down and you see this twenty dollar bill not as something that your dad pulled from his wallet, but something that required an hour of your time. Are you so willing to throw it away on this shirt, this belt?
And what of your tips? Are you going to spray paint a mason jar and save up until you can buy yourself one such luxury?
Or is that your spending money, and are your wages going straight into your savings account? All of this is up to you, and the point of working is that you think for the first time about the future not as a distant mirage on the horizon, but as a concrete vision.
Of course, I feel this way after working for only a week. Although my legs ache, but the experience is refreshing my daily routine. I’m looking into the working world with new eyes and maybe I’ll soon enough get caught up in the rat race.
So who knows? Come back in a month and I might be complaining.
Credz to my sister Vicky for this song: