A Day In My Brain At A 9-Hour Shift at My Part-Time, Minimum Wage Job

(That I Only Have So There’s Something On My Resume While I Definitely Don’t Pursue Infinitely More Lucrative, Off-The-Books Things)


12:00 PM: Okay, today’s going to be different. I am going to be grateful I have any job, period. If that doesn’t work, I’ll transcend my earthly surroundings and enter an untouchable state of rapture.

12:05 PM: Why do all my coworkers hate me?!

12:10 PM *downs disgusting Starbucks™ Doubleshot Espresso elixir*

12:15 PM: *whips out the 3 books, 2 magazines (one from 1994) and Moleskine I brought with me*

12:20 PM: *takes the first of 3–4 Doubleshot-induced shits*

12:30 PM: (In caffeine- and preservative-induced state of mania) It’s alright; I’m a genius. Misunderstood. Struggling. Every really successful person has stories about the awful jobs they had and hated, but that they were eventually able to kiss goodbye to forever. This is that, for me. Soon, I’ll leave all this behind me.

12:35 PM: I know I deleted the Instagram app last night because I couldn’t stop checking it, but there might be something life-changing in my DMs, so I better take a look.

12:40 PM: I suck. My life sucks. I’ll never amount to anything. Everyone is living unspeakably more interesting existences than I am. No way to catch up at this point. Might as well give up.

12:41 PM: *whips out Moleskine to scrawl something depressing*

12:45 PM: *strolls pointlessly back and forth between the rooms I’m supposed to be “guarding”*

12:50 PM: *shoves half of a banana in to my mouth*

1:00 PM: The New Yorker, my savior.

1:13 PM: *takes the second of 3–4 Doubleshot-induced shits*

1:30 PM: Inspiration has struck.

1:32 PM: *opens RhymeZone.com*

1:35 PM: *furiously scribbles a verse invariably about killing [skater] boys despite trying really hard to veer in to new subject matter*

1:50 PM: Time to crack open this dense philosophical tome that I will surely be able focus on fully.

2:00 PM: Time to put this dense philosophical tome back in the janitor’s closet.

2:04 PM: *takes the third of 3–4 Doubleshot-induced shits*

2:15 PM: *gets bitched out for telling someone to lower the volume on the Snapchat story they’re blasting from their phone in a crowded place where no one wants to fucking hear that bullshit*

2:30 PM: When is my break? Have I really been left out of the coworker group text again? They DO hate me!

3:00 PM: Oh god, apparently my break isn’t until 5 today. I’m not tearing up I’m not tearing up I’m not tearing up.

3:10 PM: Would anyone notice if I just sunk my teeth in to my arm to muffle an otherwise bloodcurdling scream?

3:30 PM: What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just smile and say “hi” to the guests? I know they don’t actually want to talk to me, but I bet they think I’m a huge pretentious cunt because I have my nose in an Ernest Becker book instead of showing that I am man, I am them, I am one of the people.

4:00 PM: No ma’am, you can not stroke that sculpture or put your tongue directly on its pubis, even though I’m sure your 28 Instagram followers would just laugh and laugh at your cleverness. Okay, leave a negative Yelp review. What’s my name? For the negative Yelp review you just threatened? Ethel. My name is Ethel. I don’t know why I have a job in customer service either, trust me.

4:05 PM: *pens diatribe in Moleskine about the unfairness of life and the foolhardiness of the human race*

4:10 PM: *transcribes diatribe in to phone’s Notes section*

4:12 PM: *screenshots diatribe*

4:13 PM: *posts screenshot of diatribe to at least one social media account*

4:20 PM: *deletes screenshot after it fails to garner a substantial-enough number of likes*

4:30 PM: Okay, only half an hour til break. I can do this.

4:35 PM: Oh my god, I can’t do this.

4:40 PM: *hides in janitor’s closet, reciting positive mantras*

4:45 PM: *emerges from janitor’s closet, harried and vaguely dissociated*

4:52 PM: In a mere 8 minutes, I will be nourishing my body with something healthy and replenishing, which will surely invigorate mind and spirit as well.

5:01 PM: *strolls in to McDonald’s*

5:25 PM: *flees from McDonald’s when they start setting up for ‘live music’ and lighting candles* (THIS IS 100% TRUE AND ACTUALLY HAPPENED)

5:30 PM: I’ll just sit in the park with a water and my book.

5:35 PM: *enters 7–11, purchases a soda*

5:40 PM: How can I focus on my book when there are all these people? People who are clearly much happier and more successful than me??

5:43 PM: *tries to meditate*

5:44 PM: *stops trying to meditate*

5:48 PM: Okay, for these last 3 hours of my shift, I will really hunker down and Practice These [AA] Principles In All of My Affairs. Be kind. Recognize that everyone is sick and suffering, in their own way.

5:59 PM: Ugggghhhhhggghhhh nooooo don’t make me go back.

6:05 PM: At least I’m in the room with the most robust A/C for the rest of the night. See, gratitude!

6:10 PM: Now I’m just fucking freezing, THANKS A/C.

6:20 PM: *starts writing another TMI article before having completed the previous one*

6:22 PM: *thinks of a great, punny title for yet another TMI article*

6:23 PM: Welp, since that title’s better, I should definitely abandon this one.

6:25 PM: Writer’s block. This is hopeless. I shall never write again. Also, why have I not made any money off my writing? Nothing is worthwhile unless it’s profitable.

6:30 PM: *checks my bank account balance*

6:32 PM: *even though it is not depleted at all (relatively, in the grand scheme of things) I am aghast and convinced it’s not enough*

6:35 PM: *tries to log on to one of several sugar daddy sites*

6:36 PM: *is alerted that my account has been suspended*

6:38 PM: This is actually a good thing. I waste too much time on this nonsense anyway. My Higher Power is taking care of me.

6:41 PM: *makes a new account*

7:00 PM: Clearly, I need a meeting.

7:02 PM: What’s a meeting going to do? No one’s paying me to go, so what’s the point!

7:10 PM: *writes openings to 3 more verses*

7:12 PM: *abandons all 3 verses*

7:15 PM: Let’s try the book again.

7:17 PM: *underlines an inspiring passage*

7:19 PM: *posts inspiring passage to social media*

7:22 PM: What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just appreciate something without needing to broadcast it to [the very small portion of the] the world [that gives the slightest fuck]?

7:23 PM. That’s it. I’m deleting all these apps from my phone.

7:25 PM: Ah, so much better. I am cleansed. I am pure.

7:30 PM: Now I will just read, for me. And write, for me. No one else.

7:32 PM: *re-downloads the apps*

7:40 PM: I should probably circulate the room.

7:41 PM: *circulates the room*

7:42 PM: *circulates sanity*

7:43 PM: *shuffles off this mortal coil*

7:44 PM: *shuffles back on*

7:50 PM: Just a little more than an hour left. I can do this. I am worth it. I will honor and love myself, and recognize that it is a feat just to stick with a job and not immediately quit to avoid the discomfort of mind-numbing routine.

7:52 PM: Nah, I hate myself. I am not qualified for any job, and never will be — ever. I only got this one through a fluke and knowing-someone-who-knows-someone.

7:53 PM: I am a joke.

7:54 PM: I should just give up and relapse already.

7:55 PM: *goes to bathroom to be melodramatic in private*

8:01 PM: Less than an hour to go!!!! Alright!! Yeah!

8:03 PM: This is temporary. This is not forever. Things will get better.

8:10 PM: *tears out New Yorker cartoons to glue in to Moleskine for cheering-up purposes*

8:15 PM: *twiddles thumbs*

8:22 PM: I’m going to text someone something nice. Doing for others is the only solution. I need to stop being so self-obsessed and impatient.

8:30 PM: OMG EVERYONE JUST FUCKING LEAVE ALREADY ASDFJDLSFLDSKJLJDSGOIX

8:35 PM: *picks nose*

8:36 PM: *scowls at a PDAing couple behind their backs*

8:40 PM: I think I can taste freedom…

8:42 PM: …nope, just threw up in my mouth.

8:45 PM: How do people decide what they want to do with their lives? How can anyone definitively select a career, and not obsess over the millions of other possible professions they are necessarily excluding?

8:46 PM: What if I just never figure it out?

8:47 PM: Some people just don’t.

8:48 PM: Am I one of them?

8:49 PM: I’m probably one of them.

8:51 PM: Well, at least I know.

8:52 PM: Knowledge is power.

8:53 PM: But I am powerless.

8:54 PM: So I guess this is my life.

8:59 PM: BYE SUCKAS