Nov 18, 2012

Big-person adventures

In the world of big-person adventures, I've discovered a few things.

You see, I idealized this year slightly (and not mistakenly, I might add). I live with a great group of girls, who are clean, respectful, funny, and lovely. I have a beautiful home, and a fantastic landlord, and zero complaints about the city in which I live (other than forgetting to clearly post bus detours or holiday parades).

I've worked these past 3 months in the service industry, specifically food service. These are where my discoveries have become most evident, since I spend a generous amount of my time observing and daydreaming while performing the mundane and repetitive responsibilities of my job. These are personal, as well as cultural.

1) I am not cut out to work a job with no intellectual pay-off. I desire to write papers, to teach, and to learn. I desire to read, to think, and to highlight, note, and post-it all things academic.

2) Our world is too focused on speed. Everything is about speed. We lack patience. That's a fact.

3) Food industry has forgotten one very key factor in their businesses: human beings. The store I work at currently is caught in a Catch 22 of not having enough employees because the company cannot afford to pay more, but then the expectation that the employees they do have should be able to do acts of superhumanity. It is not fair. We aren't paid in gold. Most are only paid minimum wage.

4) That brings me to my next point. Our society is unaffordable. Especially for a young person straight out of college. University degrees have been rendered obsolete since Universities have adopted a capitalist mindset. They are out to make money, not to teach our youth. University degrees do not ensure better jobs. They are not prestigious. They don't even fail students who cannot properly use punctuation in a sentence. What they do ensure is insurmountable debt which is impossible to pay on a minimum wage paycheck after living expenses (rent, utilities, food, phone/internet) have been deducted. Fact: the unemployment rate for university grads (aged 18-30) in Canada is twice that of the unemployment rate of adults over the age of 30 at 18%. That means that 1 in 5 people between the ages of 18 and 30 are unemployed. Incidently, this is also the age group with the most unpaid debt. See the problem?

5) I'm really going to miss a world with Twinkies. There are entire generations of movie references (Ghostbusters, Zombieland) that, in 10 years, teenagers won't understand.

6) Teenagers have no self discipline or sense. I have witnessed hoards of students cross roads in front of wailing ambulances or city buses. They curse and swear as though it was going out of style. They have absolutely no respect for anyone, nor are they capable of putting anything in a garbage recepticle. I'm beginning to wonder if they have been taught that they are above the law, since they loiter, do drug deals, and commit minor acts of fraud on a daily basis. Then again, the police have better things to do than chase a bunch of loitering students from a food service business.

7) Academically intelligent does not equal life intelligent. One of my coworkers, who knows three languages, took two weeks to learn how to punch a meal into the computer. Sad.

8) City buses are the absolute best place to people watch.


Jess said...

haha, clever comments.

However, I feel obliged to defend my beloved adolescents! They're actually pretty amazing humans! Of course there are bad apples among the bunch...and yes, they don't seem to understand why the world doesn't always revolve around them, but in their defence, their brains aren't there yet! It's a fact.
The human brain isn't fully developed until the early/mid-twenties. Hmmm...might that be where you are, now??
And the hallmarks of the teenage brain are a) a **developing** ability to empathize, and b) chemically-driven risk-seeking behaviour.
You see, they're still learning how to care about how their actions impact other human beings, and indeed that they should care about their impact on others. They desperately care what others think about them (especially their friends), and their brains are hardwired to seek out adventure and risk (positive or negative). They literally get a chemical high in their brains when they try something new and risky.
Note: risky doesn't always mean bad! It could mean putting themselves outside their comfort zones and receiving positive results.

But sometimes you're right. Sometimes they're just jerks! lol
Often, though, it's because when they're out with their friends, that whole empathy/risk thing is driven by other "genius" adolescents and the acclaim one might get from one's peers when parents/authorities aren't present. They act on impulse, and the results are obvious.

The really amazing thing about them though, is that they often believe (with the right encouragement) that they're unstoppable. So if you get them excited about something positive...oh man, watch out! If you ask me, they would totally change the world for the better if only we adults got out of the way sometimes!

Love ya!! See you in a month!

(Note: I have two really interesting docs you should watch on One completely unrelated)

Brittany said...

Thanks for the comment (and defense) about teens. I actually knew a lot of that, already. And honestly, I was probably just like (well, not *just* like) them when I was younger. It's just frustrating to see the same thing every day from the same kids. But, you are a teacher for the same age group, so I imagine you have more stories to tell.

At least I'm getting some great ideas for novel characters out of this. =)