I think it was specifically during the anecdote about my co-workers’ jail sentence when I was struck with the realization that my job sucked. Three months after graduation I find that I’m not even qualified to wait tables in the Chi-land area; I've been reduced to lying on my resume and extending my three month employment at Shake Your Steak to a fictional two-year term.
I was never naïve enough to believe that moving away to the big city would be the glitz and glamour that Hollywood likes to blind us with but I never really thought that I - successful, networked, interned, extra-curriculared - would be reduced to huddling ‘round a piece of cheesecake leading an inspired variation of “Happy Birthday.”
Is this really what I’ve become? Too desperate for the paycheck and too proud for the public aid, I am reduced to lying on an application and stretching the truth to sit in a booth and bitch about sore feet and not making minimum wage (the only math that counts is calculating your tip, people).
And yet, I still don that teal polo and my fake smile because what I sacrifice in apparent dignity, I gain in knowing that I will not have to ask my roommate to take care of the cable bill this month. I find that coupled with my humiliation of uttering the phrase, “soup or salad?” I make my rent without a handout from parents or government alike.
So, hell yeah, I’m paying my dues but at least I’m paying my bills.