Thursday, October 27, 2011

all i'm asking is for a little...

There isn't a lot of respect [for me] in the work that I do.

My survival job is exhausting, thankless, and - at the end of the day - completely unfulfilling. I often joke that I would get more money and more respect as a stripper, but really... why is it that people in "service" jobs, like salespeople and waiters, get shit on by the general public without anyone thinking twice? When did it become okay to treat the girl who sells you postcards or the guy who makes your coffee like they owe you something. I promise that I, personally, owe you nothing. I'm here to do a job, and not get treated like your slave.

I've been reading Confessions of a Retail Worker at the Daily Kos, and while I'm not impoverished (at all), I make a living wage (barely) for NYC - which is probably double what a living wage is for my friends in western PA - and I have reasonably priced public transportation to get to work, I still feel solidarity for the author. Why? Because there is a HUGE lack of respect - from customers, from managers, and from the 'hierarchy' of high ups that basically don't give a shit what our quality of life is, as long as we bring in the million that we're supposed to for their institution. Yes, I work for a non-profit, which is better than working for a for-profit, big box retailer, but they're both the Man.

What can I do to change it? Nothing.
If I hear another person say, "get a new job!", I might just crawl in a hole and die. It's IMPOSSIBLE to get another job in this city. I've been applying for jobs for a year, and I'm always either told that I'm overqualified or that I have no experience so they won't take a chance on me. How about that for frustrating? Too much education, not enough experience. And remember those people living in the park downtown... the 99% that most of you are mocking on your facebook? Some of them aren't just bored rich kids... some of them are desperately unemployed or underemployed, exhausted New Yorkers who just want a little respect from the extremely rich who don't take the time to look them in the eye when they throw bills at them for coffee/$600 dinners/books that they don't have time to read...

And really, who doesn't want that? I do. Desperately.

Seriously, all I need is one more person, dripping with ugly jewelry, throwing crumpled bills at me and questioning my ability to do simple math and I may just go over the deep end.

Oh... if I may rant for just a moment...
Everyone wants to "go green" and respect mother earth, but the minute it starts raining, they're berating me because we don't have plastic bags. So altruistic until it's not convenient for you, huh?


1 comment:

Rebecca said...

This is so true. I waited tables for a long time and it's absolutely astounding the general level of disregard that many people seem to have for their fellow human beings. What's particularly infuriating is you're likely smarter, kinder, and a generally more worthwhile human being than the vast majority of the people who are rude to you. I feel very fortunate to now work in a job where most days I'm treated very well, but I still see it happening all around me, the general dickishness, and it makes me ill.

Also, when people say "just get another job," it means that they are so out of touch with reality it's not even funny. Alas, there aren't jobs that pay living wages just sitting there, waiting to be filled. There never really were, but it's especially true now.

I personally feel that a year in some kind of client-facing service industry position, and another year working overseas either as part of a group like Peace Corps, or with the military (your choice) should be compulsory for all Americans. Then maybe we'd start losing our reputation for being self-centered asses.

And for what it's worth, I am thankful for you every day when I go home to my cuddly little puppy. You're an amazing human being, and you make a more worthwhile contribution to the world than most people ever will. :)

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