In the Book of Book of Bad Parenting (Random House, copyright 1981), there is a whole chapter devoted to “warning stories.” Parents (and by “parents” I mean dysfunctional, non-supportive “regular” parents) for some reason think it’s okay to warn you about what will happen to you if you end up making the wrong choices.
When I was growing up, it seemed perfectly okay for my parents to use these cautionary tales to scare the living piss out of me. “You’d better do your homework… unless you want to work in a Starbucks for the rest of your life.” Well, surprise, assholes, I DID work in a Starbucks for a little while and, you know what, it was pretty great. Okay, not really. It sucked. I worked the register for a couple weeks and then quit when I burned my hand on the shitty latte steamer. But dammit, I still have my pride. And if you ever have to have one of these shitty jobs, chances are you do too.
Here is a cheat sheet for justifying each of these shitty jobs to your parents. Keep in mind that all of the following is bullshit.
Starbucks Barista — A lot of people don’t realize this, but coffee is the most important growing pocket of the food-service industry. It’s a multi-billion dollar a year industry, and Starbucks is on the cutting edge of it all. Sure, you serve people coffee, but you serve a lot more than that. You serve peace of mind. Your knowledge of quality coffee beverages is second to none, and in any given order you could be conversing in three different foreign languages to get the job done. For instance: Doppio (Italian) Espresso (French) Machiatto (Spanish? I think?). Voila. You think anyone without a college degree can do that?
Garbage Man — You’re not so much a collector of garbage as you are a collector of stories. Why does that blue house on the corner keep discarding so many Q-tips? What’s the deal with all the packing peanuts in the dumpster behind that abandoned psychiatry clinic? As a garbage man, you’re getting a front row seat on the human condition, which is incredibly fascinating and…. pungent….. to explore. And hey, yesterday you found a perfectly good four poster bed frame that somebody left at the dump, just sitting there, for free. You think you’d find a sweet deal like that if you had gone to law school?
Telemarketer — You always wanted to travel the country and meet new people. As a telemarketer, you get to do that and you don’t even have to leave you shitty desk at your shitty office complex! Whether it’s a farmer in Iowa screaming at you about how you got his number, or a loudmouth New Yorker threatening to climb through the phone and kill you if he hears your voice again, you’re living and learning all while making a living. Literally every tense, angry exchange is a chance to broaden your horizons. AND there’s free coffee and powdered creamer in the break room! What more could you ask for?
Unemployed — What braver career choice is there than not choosing a career at all? As a full-time un-employed person who is not actively seeking a job, you are choosing to receive a paycheck for being the most valuable asset our society has: a human being. Your sweatpants should be a source of national pride, because they offer a…… pungent beacon of hope to all those thousands upon thousands of people stuck in dead end jobs who wish they could quit and collect the very thing you have devoted your life to chasing: unemployment.
Internet Soft Core Porn Producer — As an internet soft core porn producer, you’re basically a member of the Hollywood elite. Show business can be a tough, thankless business, but you can rest assured that the product you are producing — mostly blurry artistic nipple shots and waist-up shots of people humping — is incredibly appreciated by the prepubescent and geriatric audience who watches it. Along the way you’re learning important film techniques, like (incredibly soft) lighting and supervising a lot of weird, intense saxophone music. And hey, at least you’re not making hardcore porn… right? That’s something.
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