Words not published

A title with two meanings today. 1, my NaNo story is nowhere near ready to be read by anyone other than myself (it’s not done, and even if it was, it’s in desperate need of editing). And 2, I wrote a column for the weekly paper I write for, but it’s a little too ranty to publish, so I’m going to post it here instead.

So I guess that means these words are indeed published, but nowhere where anyone will read them…

As a spring college grad, I’m pretty much guaranteed to be among the youngest, if not the youngest, person in a given situation. As such, I end up sitting awkwardly through the occasional rants of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers that accuse members of my generation of being extraordinarily lazy, entitled, delusional, and just plain bratty.

Dental office floater, December 2009 to August 2010.

I get it. I went to a private college for four years. I have a liberal arts degree. I got a half-ride and a job in my field and my student loans are still more than half of my income. My job is a cushy 9-to-5er writing cute happy-ending stories. And I still live at home because I can’t afford to have my own apartment anywhere within reasonable commuting distance. So yes, you could argue that I am in that crowd.

Concession stand cashier, Summers 2010 through 2013.

I’ve also witnessed how some of my peers can fit the narrative that Gen Xers and Baby Boomers paint. Pretty much everyone I knew from high school of driving age had a hand-me-down or (the horror) a brand new car. At school, they drove five minutes from their apartments and parked their late-model wheels over the line not only horizontally but also vertically and sometimes even on the sidewalk.

Campus dining hall, September 2011 to December 2012.

They also spent a lot of time at the local bars, fighting with the bouncer to let them in with fakes, fighting with the bartenders to be served RIGHT NOW, fighting with another patron who accidentally hit them while dancing, fighting with the employees kicking them out, and fighting to stumble back up the hill at the end of the night.

Science museum guide, September 2011 to May 2012.

They skipped their 8 a.m. to recover from fishbowl night the night or because the class is boring or because they were too busy doing things that weren’t homework. They were the dreaded project partners who ditch the scheduled work meeting to go to a concert or just don’t respond to any emails and hand in a single haphazardly thrown-together slide for the presentation five minutes before it’s due.

Assistant technician, July 2012 to August 2015.

They were impatient. The person checking IDs at the bar isn’t fast enough. The person making sandwiches at the campus deli isn’t fast enough. The professor’s response to a last minute email isn’t fast enough. The car in front on the way to the movies isn’t fast enough. The time left before spring break isn’t fast enough.

Student mail worker, January 2013 to May 2014.

And they didn’t work. Phone bills? Car payments? Student loans? What are those? Delivery four nights a week? Why not? Newest tech? It’s a necessity for functioning in modern society.

Library assistant, September 2013 to May 2014.

Student desktop technician, September 2013 to May 2015.

Hostess, September 2014 to May 2015.

Editorial intern, January 2015 to August 2015.

Newspaper delivery driver, May 2015 to August 2015.

I know the tropes. I know people who fit them to a T. Sometimes I’m guilty of some of them too. (I’m probably being bratty right now.) My point is that most of us are better than that. We buy our own little junkers with what little we have saved up. We spend late nights juggling overnight shifts cleaning bathrooms, finishing up 20-page research papers, and sleeping. We roll ourselves out of bed for that 8 a.m. chem class that we really don’t want to go to but we do because we have to. We take moments out of our day to thank the guy who made our omelet or the lady who drove the bus after the bars closed or the friend who brought us downtown to go grocery shopping.

Staff writer, August 2015 to ???

And we work.

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One thought on “Words not published

  1. Pingback: Earning my keep | Amanda Hutchinson

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