words they already knew.


it was monday morning, and he worked for some youth center in san francisco. he had mostly given up on trying to find a new job. a few months before, he'd sent out his resume to a few places, but he never heard back. he found these listings on craigslist, postings that promised a competitive salary, full health and dental benefits, a good retirement plan. they also promised that they'd put his good skills to use, and that he would receive special skills and training from the job. the descriptions read as though they weren't jobs, but rather opportunities.

so, he sent out some lines to grab these "opportunities," but nothing came of it. he wanted a higher-paying job, but he wasn't sure how to get one. he was college-educated, smart, confident, but that didn't seem to be enough. he thought about the bad economy, blamed it on that, and he just kept working at that youth center. the bills were catching up with him, that was the problem. he made $11 per hour, and he had to repay $254 in student loans each month. he had a car payment, medical bills from a basketball-related knee injury, rent, utilities, cable, phone, internet, groceries, water and garbage. forget about unwinding at a bar with friends on the weekend, or even seeing a movie.

he got on gchat, and he instant messaged a friend, someone who would understand. man, fuck this job. his friend was sympathetic, but only to a point. a man could only complain for so long. it was up to him to do something about it. go back to school. make new friends. keep applying. learn a new language. get a hobby. don't be so co-dependent. don't blame the economy. don't blame your surroundings. don't blame yourself. this was advice his friend would've written back to him, but he didn't. because they were just words, words both of them already knew. it was up to him to actually put them into action.

he hated his job so much, just as millions of other young people (and old people) also hated their jobs. he went into a fit of despair, and there were times after work, he would just go home and go straight to bed. on those days, he might wake up around 10 or 11 at night, go on the internet, maybe watch some cable, listen to music, and then fall back asleep. the good thing about it was that he'd slept through dinner, so he saved a little bit of money that way.

his friend didn't know what to tell him. this friend had a bunch of other friends who also fed him the same usual negativity. i want to move, one would say. i need to get a new job, said another. of course none of it was working, none of it was enough. they were just a bunch of children pretending to be adults.

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