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4 Valuable Lessons You Only Learn from Having a Crappy Job

Most people have probably had a shitty, disposable job at one point. Maybe you're in one now, reading this on your phone in a futile attempt to escape reality (IT GETS BETTER). Toiling in minimum wage bullshit can at least give us empathy for others in such jobs after we've moved on. Imagine the tipping culture we'd have if everyone was forced by law to work eight months as a server. In a mismanaged Hooters. Next to a football stadium. ("I don't need a menu, I JUST CAME IN TO LEAVE A TIP!!") But, in an attempt to bring some meaning to such hilariously underpaid toil, what else can we learn? Looking back on my own majestic run of underemployment, shitty jobs definitely offer a few noble truths ...

#4. People Have Shitty Jobs Because They Can't Get Good Ones

Why do people have shitty jobs to begin with? Because they can't get good jobs, and not always due to the economy.

Often it's just teenagers who'll take any job, but more often it's for other reasons. I worked at Burger King in the whitest damn neighborhood in Canada, and yet the staff was Planeteers-level multicultural, because it's no secret that we love to gaze upon a massive immigration wall of distance and money and sorrow and red tape and electric eels (probably) and then declare that anyone who climbs over it is somehow not in shape and thus only fit for jobs the locals are too goddamn special to do.

Non-racism reasons people can't get good jobs: they're mentally ill, they're incompetent (and those two are not related), or they're sketchy as fuck, with a 1981 haircut and a mustache and of course they're named Randy and only want a job in the first place because they need money to buy crystal meth from the Hell's Angels and I spent nine hours with that dude incorrectly rewaxing a floor in an overheated mall walkway and that was a shitty fucking job. Additionally, people can't get good jobs because they just don't have any connections. Think about how you got your job/apartment/romantic partner, if you have a good one. Was it because you knew someone?

I didn't know anyone, and that was either because of or the cause of my other problem, which was/is an absence of social skills and confidence. You're not gonna get a good job when you're too socially calamitous to go hand out resumes -- you're gonna get whatever dregs are left where they'll hire anyone and not care if they just stand off to the side murmuring worryingly. With people who've scaled the immigration wall, you at least get super overqualified employees. I was fuckin' GREAT at Burger King. But I and half the other people working there should have been doing great at something else.

#3. The Service Sucks Because People Aren't Paid Enough to Offer Service

Anyone who complains about the service anywhere has never had a shitty job. Anyone who has had a shitty job and is not a sociopath does not complain about the service (up to a point) because they know that people are not being paid enough to do the basic aspects of their job, let alone go above and beyond. Nobody with a shitty job is earning enough to survive, so if the cashier didn't smile at you, well maybe she's a Bosnian refugee being paid just enough to show up or to forget 1/16 of her troubles but not both, and if the waiter took too long, maybe he's the only one on tonight because the boss is too cheap to pay three people to do the work of three people, and if the cleaners didn't get the gum off the carpet, maybe we fucking tried for like 45 minutes and then had to move on and it was your gum to begin with and our list of duties is long and we had to train ourselves and offering nonexistent 1950s-style how-may-I-suck-your-dick-today-sir levels of customer service is not what you get for minimum wage, you get what you goddamn pay for, so get mad at the boss or the company, but not the person not being paid to not act like you're an entitled ass.

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Winston Rowntree

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