I’m about to be a junior in college and while most of my friends are going to the beach, lounging poolside and shopping, I’m working fifty hours a week. 30 hours go to the mindless, horrific but steady well-paying as a grocery store clerk and the other sixteen hours go to being a personal valet to a multi-millionaire literary agent in New York City.

I write at night so I hardly sleep. When I have time, I work on planning a class I’m teaching to first-year students in the fall. I keep up with the World Cup via Tivo and text messages with my friends. People ask me why I work so much, but seriously…I have to pay for my gasoline, my phone bill, my commute to New York, and hopefully save some for spending money if I get to go study abroad in England like I want to.

After college, I’m going away. I need to relax, to breathe. I don’t know anyone else my age who works as much as I do–I’m a psycho.

About my grocery store job, I worked 8 hours there today and will do it all again tomorrow. As much as I 100% detest my job with a burning passion, I get a few giggles every now and then. Here’ s my favorite story from the job from hell:

An old woman came to my register with a coupon for Smart Balance milk. She bought another brand.

“Ma’am, this coupon is for Smart Balance.”
“Oh, no!”
“Okay–do you want me to ask someone to get you the Smart Balance so you can use the coupon?”
“No I don’t want that brand.”
“All right. So you’re taking that milk?”
“No, I don’t want it unless I have the coupon.”
“So you don’t want any milk?”
“I need milk!”
I paused. I then tried again.
“But you don’t want Smart Balance?” I asked.
“And you don’t want that?”
“So you don’t want anything?”
“I need milk!”
At this point, I’m trying my best not to laugh.
“Ma’am, what do you want me to do?” I asked.
“I need milk!”
I’m laughing now. “Would you like me to ask someone to get you a store brand milk?”
“I need milk!”
“Yes, the store brand milk?”

The end.


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