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4 Valuable Lessons You Only Learn from Having a Crappy Job

#2. It's a Shitty Job Because of the Boss

Speaking of the boss, Burger King was a shitty job because the owner was some absentee dude who was nice but like us was there for the money, and the manager was some impossibly creepy guy who so closely resembled Mayor Quimby from The Simpsons that it HAD to have been deliberate (like, $800,000 worth of illegal South American cosmetic surgery and meticulously practicing the facial expressions in the mirror kind of deliberate). Actually, every disposable job was shitty because the owner was absent and the manager was some lunatic/obvious pedophile/teenage girl in a woman's body/additional absentee, and never someone you'd ever willingly work hard for -- not that your will matters to begin with in this context.

The last low-paying job I had I worked like 50 deafening hours a week mowing lawns, no lunch breaks, searing heat, evil and insane old people for customers, drained of all energy by Friday night. Yet this was in fact the non-shittiest job I ever had (and I'd probably still be there if I didn't have other ambitions), and it was great because the owners were great and that's what separates good jobs from bad -- it's not the customers or the actual duties, but it is the motivation. If you're working for friends, then everyone's happy, because you'd do anything for your friends. Terrible bosses will never get it, but it's the only lesson one needs in terms of leadership (as opposed to reading books about leadership by people who didn't learn leadership from books).

It won't help with shitty employees because they're shitty for the same reason shitty bosses and customers are -- they don't give a fuck about other people, they're just there to take. But being a friend WILL make sure you hang on to the good employees and ensure that nobody ever says that working for you was a shitty job, no matter how trying the customers could be.

#1. Having a Shitty Job Is Sort of Worth Doing (Sort Of)

The shittiest fucking job I ever had in my life was some beyond-nihilistic phone survey thing where you electronically kick people's doors in while they're relaxing for the evening and assault them with a 68,000-question survey about banking and you don't want to be there and neither do they and they stammer a few answers and you try to type out what they've said but you're too slow and you have to ask them to keep repeating it with fewer syllables and both of you are descending into fury and you're only three questions in and you have a quota to meet and you're not even close and out the window you'd be able to see people with good jobs going for dinner except you don't even have a window and then the person whose evening you're ruining inevitably hangs up on you because they are literally going to get in the car to come and kill you and you're back to square one and you hate being alive and you realize that the job was so suspiciously easy to get because they will take everyone because "everyone" is the only pool of people statistically large enough for them to find people who are actually desperate enough to do that for a living, and after the first four hours of doing it I told them I was leaving and then I called my parents from a payphone that no longer exists and said I literally have no money but I'm still not poor enough to do phone surveys.

And then right after that I found a job that wasn't a soul-erasing triathlon of despair and after a few years of that I had the money and opportunity to do what I actually wanted to do for a living. And like everyone else who is doing what they want, it's because I was able to quit doing what I didn't want. Because not being able to succeed at the wrong things is also a skill, and having and leaving a succession of shitty jobs is a great way to learn it.

That's the only good thing about disposable jobs: They're disposable. And if they weren't then half of us would still be in the first job we ever got instead of something a lot more fulfilling than some low-skill bird cage with money that's too good to walk away from. If I'd been able to find a good, steady job, I'd still be there, and that's not the right situation for everyone. But I never had something I couldn't walk away from, and consequently I now do. Obviously every job should by law goddamn pay a living wage, but until then the various greedy companies and shitty bosses of the world must be at least sneeringly thanked in a desperately-looking-on-the-bright-side kinda way, for in not valuing people's hard work, they ensure that someone else will reap the rewards of that hard work, to the benefit of all but greedy companies and shitty bosses -- the true disposable ones.

Plus they made me a really good tipper (20 PERCENT MINIMUM YO).


Winston Rowntree is also available in webcomic form. Like me on Facebook too or I'll get you.

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