The time: 10:55am

I looked at Mary with intensity in my eyes. We both knew the hour was upon us. One coworker called out, the Island of Misfit toys as a crew, and both of us staring into the unknown of the shift.

“See you on the other side, Mary. It’s been great working with you.” I say, her cutting up the remnants of the fruit for the bar-top.

She laughs, knowing this could end very badly for us.

Today was another lovely day working at my job. I really shouldn’t be surprised that working with a bunch of young adults means dealing with them choosing to live their life and make me suffer the consequences. And while being only twenty-two myself, I like to think I have the mentality of a sixty-five year-old-man, who may or may not look like Clint Eastwood. Ironically, also the name of the coworker who called out today. Sure, I get it, sickness is a reason to call out. I understand people have issues. But I’ve heard it all before.

I’m not doubting that he’s sick or had good reason not to come into work, I’m just stating the facts here. I’ve been at this game too long, and I know how it’s played. You say you’re sick when you just want to stay in bed. You say “family emergency” when you really mean holiday party. And then the rest of us, when we actually have a legit reason for not coming in, get denied because you decided to leave Vegas two hours before your shift and now you’re stuck in traffic.

Anyway, I survived the shift. All was well in the land. Except for a $180 check that decided $5 for a tip would be perfect (it’s not people. I don’t pay my rent on puppy farts and dandelions). I’m learning to let things go and “choose my battles” as my coworker put it, but it’s hard when you’re on day five of withdrawals from anti-depressants and you want to shove everyone into the freezer until they learn to stop asking stupid questions.

Thus why part of this new beginning is finding a new job for myself.

Teenagers man. “YOUTHS!” as Schmidt puts it. They bug me. They always have, except for the brief pre-teen years where I thought they were cooler than staying up all night playing Spyro. I wish I could tell all of them that just because mommy says you’re special, doesn’t mean it’s true. That no, you can’t have everything. And yes, the world is cruel. Grow up. Deal. I did. And I’m sick of watching you ruin my life because you can’t. Maybe I’m just crazy. A bit irrational, I think.

But like I said, Clint Eastwood is my spirit animal.

from “Who You Gonna Call…Out?” “GhostBusters!”

Written by Paige Caddy


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