1984 Rapidly Approaching (It’s Here Already)

I’ve been looking for a suitable job for going on four months now. And by suitable I mean one that pays at least eight or nine bucks an hour and lets you actually work 40 hours a week. My first offer finally came from Starbucks. Yes, I was part of the global coffee terrorist conspiracy. But it didn’t last long. Perhaps it was the fact that there are literally dozens of ways to prepare coffee at that place, and even more ways to ring up every coffee order and even more ways to write each coffee’s distinctive characteristics on each cup so that the barista making the lattes knows exactly what the customer wants for her coffee, a distinctive combination of flavors and specifcations that separates her from the rest of the $4 coffee drinking crowd. I felt like I had down syndrome every time I came in to work. Two shots of espresso for one size, three shots for another, skim milk, 2%, 4 extra pumps of vanilla. It was harder to grasp than a lubed up inner tube on a white water rafting trip down the Colorado River. And on top of the M.I.T. degree needed to figure all this shit out, I was informed that every “partner” (corporate-ese for employee) was required to work for 90 days at 16-20 hours a week before even being considered for 25-30 hours. In the end I was “temporarily laid off” for not being “cheerful enough to maintain the atmosphere Starbucks strives to deliver to each and every customer.” Never mind that I was going through THE hardest time of my entire life, which is saying something seeing that I used to be a junkie and sold everything I owned for one more shot in my track-ridden arms.

But here’s the 1984 part: For the first time EVER I was able to finally locate a job with a major company that actually wanted to hire me based on my prestigious and little-used resume. Everything was set. I had gone through the regimented interview process, pressed the regional and district managers to give me another look. They told me that I was all set to start…all I needed was to pass a drug screen, a criminal background check and, GET THIS, a fucking CREDIT CHECK. As if your ability to work a job has anything to do with whether you paid your fucking bills on time or not. So basically, if you robbed a convenience store at gunpoint or molested a child–youre precluded from gainful employment the same as if you let your fucking power bill go three months overdue. Can nobody else see the fucked up logic in that? If I sound jaded, congratulations, you have just officially won the blue ribbon for reading between the most obvious lines ever written.

So my English degree being basically worth a discarded Kroger coupon, I now work for a guy who dropped out of high school and started his own pressure washing business. Its pain-in-the-ass work, but its work none-the-less. You take what you can get and run with it. I’m now patiently waiting for the barcodes to be scanned onto our necks and the job assignment microchips to be implanted in our palms. If you arent angry then you arent paying attention.

From an actual poster promoting the London Tube


1 Comment

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One response to “1984 Rapidly Approaching (It’s Here Already)

  1. But shouldn’t having a novel picked up by a major publisher give you a step up? If you have trouble, what does that mean for us unpublished people who don’t want to stay in their crappy jobs forever?

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