So, work has had an abundance of overtime lately, and as such I found my social life suffering more than a little bit. But then, I realized… I have 2 weeks of paid vacation time, 1 week of paid sick time, and 8 unpaid absence days to use in the year. Pretty cushy gig, if you ask me.
Before you go telling me how privileged I am to be able to call my manager and tell him that I need to take one of my vacation days for my mental health, let me first break this down for you:
I have no degree.
I have a GED, rather than a regular high school diploma, which while is legally the equivalent of the diploma, is still highly frowned upon by employers because… well, I’m not entirely sure why.
I have worked dead-end jobs for a long time, so much so that I triple-checked with my manager to make sure that I wasn’t being duped, and that not only am I NOT getting in trouble for not showing up to work for a day, but will STILL get paid for it as well.
I did not have any special skills or abilities that qualified me for this job above anyone else who applied. I just had a willingness to learn, and to work hard.
It’s a manufacturing job. I run a large machine, and it’s my duty to keep it running for as much of my shift as possible. I’ve learned how to fix it and maintain it, and after some time to get used to the position, I quite like it and have a really good production rate.
It pays above minimum wage. By a LOT. I get health insurance and a 401k thru the company. Plus, all the brands my company owns, I get to purchase all of that stuff pretty much at cost, so that’s a freaking sweet perk. They throw a Christmas party every year for the employees. With alchohol. And they gave out thousands of dollars worth of presents and gifts at this party, just as they have EVERY year.
You know what? We’re hurting for more good workers. You know what else? I have friends who SAY they’re sick of not getting anywhere in their shitty low-paying job, and are all up in arms about the present minimum wage needing to be higher. Do you people have any idea how many times I’ve suggested that they apply to work where I work, where there is job security, good pay, room to advance, benefits, and a pleasant work environment? A lot. They say I sound like a broken record.
But no. They see grease working its way permanently into my hands, and they’ve decided that it’s beneath them. Do you realize how ridiculous this is? Please. Someone. “This job has everything that I ever wanted a career to offer me, and in return all I have to do is get a little dirty, use some stronger detergent in my laundry, and stock up on Lava soap (which is a godsend, by the by)?” Let’s think this over. “Um, no. You’re asking too much of me if I have to get that dirty to earn my wage.”
Stop. Stop right the fuck there. Who’s privileged in this scenario now? What? You want to just punch a time clock and get paid to do as little as possible? Honey, if that’s the case, then you’re never going to get anywhere in life, ever. And it isn’t the economy’s fault. It isn’t society’s fault. It’s your own damn fault.
Can people get their heads out of their asses for a moment, and please acknowledge the fact that there are still a lot of manufacturing jobs in the US that need warm bodies to fill them, and that IF new jobs happen to be created in any corner of the manufacturing industry, even more people are going to have to reevaluate their priorities and decide just how much they really want all these things that they’ve been screaming for for ages now. It’s there already. Go fucking get it, instead of expecting it to be handed to you for nothing.
It’s a job. They give you a paycheck in exchange for your time and labor. It is a thing you earn, not a thing you are entitled to. That is the very nature of work. That isn’t going to change just because a bunch of people are too lazy to care.
Now then, I’m going to go enjoy the fuck out of my day off, while I get paid, and hang out with the few friends that I do have who get it.