So. Jobs are like, kinda important. Right?
Let’s break it down:
You need a job to make money.
You need money to pay for things – like housing. And food. And medicine. And clothing.
If you don’t have a job, you don’t have money.
If you don’t have a job, you don’t have housing and food and medicine and clothing.
(Yes. I know that sometimes you can get money (and the other things) without having an job. Duh. You can be a child. Or a pensioner. Or a retiree drawing social security. Or a disabled person. Or a unemployed person with kids. I know all that. I also know that the money MOST of those people get is in no way enough to pay for ALL the things they NEED. I get it. Not what this specific post is about.)
Anyway. Hopefully, you have a job.
They aren’t everywhere. Not GOOD jobs. Sometimes not even crappy jobs.
Crappy jobs. Wowsa, the crappy jobs. They are CRAPPY.
First you have to fight like, ten thousand other people who want the same crappy job you do. If you win, you have to promise that the crappy job is TEH MOST IMPORTANT THING EVAR, and swear in blood that you will be available 24/7/265 plus leap years.
Then the crappy job supplies you with 10-20 hours a week. It’s never the same 10-20 hours. Sometimes it’s supposed to be 15 hours spread out in weird 3-4 hour increments between Sunday and Thursday and suddenly they call you in at 3 am on Saturday and say “be here in 5 minutes or you are fired” and you go in and get an extra two hours and you are GRATEFUL.
Because you have a JOB.
And if you are sick you still go to work.
And if your kid is sick you still send them to daycare because you HAVE to go to work.
Because if you don’t go to work you will be FIRED and and you won’t have a JOB and what will happen to you then?
Other people don’t understand. They say “Get a better job.”
And you would. Believe you, you would. But you CAN’T. Because there AREN’T any better jobs.
They say “Then get a SECOND JOB.”
And you would! You SO would. But you CAN’T. Because the other jobs all demand the same unswerving loyalty and devotion and signing away of your entire schedule just in case they need you as the first one does. You may only WORK 10-20 hours a week, but you are ON CALL for 168 hours.
That’s all the hours there are. (I checked the math twice.)
Life keeps getting worse, and you don’t have enough money for ALL the things. Electricity. Rent. Food. Clothes. Your phone.
You have to keep your phone on. You got it when things were better, and it isn’t as expensive as most people might think, and you NEED it in case your JOB calls while you are at the local clothing closet looking for a coat for your kid. You can’t miss a call because if you miss a call you get FIRED and then you won’t have a JOB.
People look at you and your phone picking through the coat section, and sneer “Wow, some people do anything to get something for free. Look at her. Look at her PHONE. Does it look like she needs a free COAT?” You try to pretend you don’t hear them but you know your face is red and you want to walk out but your kid is SO COLD in the mornings in the car with the heat that doesn’t really work right any more, and the daycare worker threatened to report you to social services if your kid had to go out at recess in the too small coat ONE. MORE. TIME.
The day comes when you can’t bear to see your child cry from hunger any more and you go get a food stamp card. You go to the store and you look at the grapes and the fresh healthy salmon and the expensive organic, oil free, oven baked, sea salted chips and you look at the balance on your card and wonder if maybe you buy the really nasty mac and cheese in a box then you can get a little bunch of grapes, and you wait until no-one is looking to dump one of the Ziplocked, generously portioned bags out and put a tiny sprig of grapes back in it. And you keep your head down as you go through the checkout line because someone is sure to say something loudly about welfare whores who can’t keep their legs shut.
Even though when you had your kids you were married and had a real JOB and didn’t know that your husband was going to turn into a monster or that your job would disappear when the company you worked for moved operations overseas or that you would ever, ever, ever be unable to give your kids every single thing they WANTED, let alone NEEDED.
A JOB would change your life. A JOB would fix 99% of your problems. But JOBS don’t seem to exist anymore. Not REAL jobs. Not jobs with a set schedule that is the same every week. Not jobs with pay that matches the cost of living. Not jobs with sick days.
Not jobs worth having, not for YOU.
And somehow, this is your FAULT.
The suicide rate is skyrocketing. People are just giving up. They spend weeks, months, and years fighting to get ahead in the land of the American Dream – but the dream isn’t for them – not anymore.
The dream is a pipe dream.
The jobs are GONE.
You aren’t a person. Not anymore. You are a just a cog, and there are plenty of cogs. Corporations are people, and the system is designed to feed and house them. You can die, for all they care – they can always get another cog to put in the machine.
How do we fix this?