You have to read this extraordinarily ignorant, oblivious whine from a young woman who took a minimum wage job in San Francisco — one of the most expensive cities to live — and is complaining that she doesn’t have enough money to eat.
The woman seeks sympathy and understanding. I’ll give her the sympathy but I fail to understand why she failed to realistically think through the first few years of her life after graduating.
Here are some excerpts from the 2500-word screed. Read the whole thing — but take care your jaw doesn’t hit the floor before you’re through.
I left college, having majored in English literature, with a dream to work in media. It was either that or go to law school. Or become a teacher. But I didn’t want to become a cliche or drown in student loans, see. I also desperately needed to leave where I was living — I could get into the details of why, but to sum up: I wanted to die every single day of my life and it took me several years to realize it was because of the environment I was in. So, I picked the next best place: somewhere close to my dad, since we’ve never gotten to have much of a relationship and I like the weather up here. I found a job (I was hired the same day as my interview, in fact) and I put a bunch of debt on a shiny new credit card to afford the move.
We are the sum of the choices we make in life. Choosing to major in English literature is fine. In my day, a lit major was eminently employable because she could usually write and think well enough for just about any entry-level management position.
But those days are long gone. If I were starting college today, I would major in business or some other “practical” field that would make me employable across a wide spectrum of industries. Lit majors make good teachers today and not much else.
And what does she mean that she wanted to work in “media”? There might be 50 types of media and hundreds of media specializations. Couldn’t she have researched and planned a more specific career path?
Coming out of college without much more than freelancing and tutoring under my belt, I felt it was fair that I start out working in the customer support section of Yelp/Eat24 before I’d be qualified to transfer to media. Then, after I had moved and got firmly stuck in this apartment with this debt, I was told I’d have to work in support for an entire year before I would be able to move to a different department. A whole year answering calls and talking to customers just for the hope that someday I’d be able to make memes and twitter jokes about food. If you follow me on twitter, which you don’t, you’d know that these are things I already do. But that’s neither here nor there. Let’s get back to the situation at hand, shall we?
I haven’t bought groceries since I started this job. Not because I’m lazy, but because I got this ten pound bag of rice before I moved here and my meals at home (including the one I’m having as I write this) consist, by and large, of that. Because I can’t afford to buy groceries. Bread is a luxury to me, even though you’ve got a whole fridge full of it on the 8th floor. But we’re not allowed to take any of that home because it’s for at-work eating. Of which I do a lot. Because 80 percent of my income goes to paying my rent. Isn’t that ironic? Your employee for your food delivery app that you spent $300 million to buy can’t afford to buy food. That’s gotta be a little ironic, right?
Her first huge mistake was moving to San Francisco. It might be nice to live in your dream city where the weather is nice and you’re close to your dad, but seriously, how could anyone expect to work a minimum wage job in one of the most expensive cities in the world? It’s incomprehensible and shows a critical lack of understanding of the outside world.
I know many, many people who deferred going for their dream job for several years while they bulked up their resume or worked in an unrelated field saving money for their big move.
There are thousands of places to live in America that are far less expensive than San Francisco. Now, the poor dear may not have been able to work in “media.” In fact, she may have been forced to work in the service industry for a few years, patiently honing those Twitter skills while being able to save enough money to finally make her move to San Francisco.
She is paying $1250 a month for an apartment which takes 80% of her paycheck. She takes home about $1466 a month. You could rent a house where I live in Streator, IL for $800 a month – a couple of roommates and you’re in clover. A one bedroom apartment goes for about $500. There are some employment opportunities at factories and in offices that pay minimum wage or better, but the bottom line is that she went for immediate gratification of her desires instead of deferring her dream so that it was more realistically attainable.
The boom was lowered almost immediately:
UPDATE: As of 5:43pm PST, I have been officially let go from the company. This was entirely unplanned (but I guess not completely unexpected?) but any help until I find new employment would be extremely appreciated.
The brutal fact — and one the young lady should get used to — is that she wasn’t worth more than the minimum wage to the company. Customer service is important, but only in the aggregate. Individual customer service employees are a dime a dozen and the company expects a huge turnover. Why should they train an employee and pay her $15 an hour only to see her unable to hack it and quit after a couple of weeks?
Most people leave those jobs not because the pay is so bad but because they can’t take getting screamed at by angry customers all day, every day. The psychic cost of being constantly berated takes its toll and most customer service employees can only take a few weeks or months of abuse before they move on.
What this missive reveals is just how clueless her generation is about the real world. Having a good and happy life takes real planning and the willingness to sacrifice in the short term to achieve your longterm goals. This poor child doesn’t have a clue why she is a miserable failure. Perhaps she has learned a valuable lesson.
More likely, not.