Attention Schmucks: I'm After Your Jobs

The job market sucks. I've read all the depressing statistics, but I also know it personally. And after months of my husband and I personally getting the cold shoulder from hundreds of potential employers, I have started to make some hard observations of America's workforce. And what I've come to find out is that the ratio among the employed between people who deserve their jobs and people who don't is comically out of balance in the wrong way.

Or it would be comical if it didn't mean that so many good and knowledgeable people had to remain on the sidelines while lazy, rude, ignorant, and incompetent lackeys hog up all the paychecks. 

This is particularly evident in areas of customer service, where the level of public interaction is higher. And what I have found eight times out of ten is that the people behind the registers or on the sales floors or answering the phones or taking my food orders have the disposition and intelligence of cold oatmeal. And occasionally, some of these people are so belligerent they barely qualify to interact with a pot scrubber let alone paying customers.

I have a message for those of you performing services for a paycheck: I want your job. I can do your job better than you can. And in the instances that I can't do your job, I know at least five unemployed people -- good people who know the value of a hard day's work -- who can. And in the event that I don't see you doing your job, I'm going over your head and reporting you in the hopes that a vacancy will open up, if not for me then someone who deserves it more. 

I'm not afraid of slinging hash, stocking shelves, using a cash register, wielding a mop, cleaning a toilet, or standing on my feet for eight hours a day with a smile plastered on my face, even for rude people. You know why? Because it's not the end of the world.  At the end of my shift, I go home to my loving family and write and cook and read and do all of the other things that fill my soul with happiness. By performing my job well, it eases the pain of it being either mundane or underpaying. Pride is a great salve for a shitty paycheck. Also, I've been a customer enough to know that my day is always a little bit brighter when the people I interact with aren't assholes. Even on your worst day, you could improve your own mood by making sure that no one leaves feeling as miserable as you. This is easy if you're not a self-centered ass clown.

But there is a simpler reason why you should be inclined to do your job well, even a job that sucks. It boils down to three words: IT'S YOUR JOB. You filled out the application. Your position was explained clearly to you when you accepted it. You knew you would be working with the public, and one of the most basic rules in working with the public is that your problems should never become the customer's. We all have bad days, but you were hired for your ability to hide it and soldier forward. If you think no one's watching when you're goofing off behind the counter while someone's standing there ready to check out, or when you're taking out your frustrations on a family who is just looking for a little bit of lunch, think again. Even if your manager is as big an inattentive doofus as you, there are people over your heads, people who have an eye closer to the bottom line who don't appreciate having their business chased out the door never to return, and those people don't care if you have kids of your own to feed with your minimum wage paycheck. And at this point, neither do I. I'm sick and tired of seeing my family suffer while morons steer the ship of commerce.

There are millions of people out of work right now.  I've lost my ability to care about people who fuck off on the job joining the rest of us jobless folk in the gutter. My sympathy is evaporating with our steadily dwindling unemployment benefits. There are not enough jobs for the people who want them, and I'm not about to take another second of incompetence and abuse from people who don't bother trying to earn their pay. No matter how shitty your job, be grateful you have one and act accordingly. If you don't want it, please move aside. If you can't, I'll see to it that someone moves you. 


  1. Your righteous indignation is sharp, shiny, and beautiful. Oh, and it's true too.

  2. I just got finished reading this aloud to Tony. I wish you had a regular column in a magazine or paper, Allie. There's gotta be an incompetent column writer out there you can over throw!