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By: Midas Leung

If you ever watch the news between elections or when a politician is getting bashed, one of the main statistics they bring up is the number of jobs available to the population. Although the amount of jobs has been increasing, we see that most are being given to those who don’t necessarily have degrees but rather people who have connections. 

Just before COVID, I didn’t know what to do with my life, and I didn’t know how my life would continue again after COVID hit. As the pandemic continued, it made me further question what to do with my life. Though I thought I had a solid idea of what I wanted to do, life just loves throwing shit in my way. So, because of my indecisiveness, I lost my chance to go to Binghamton University for the fall of 2021. At first, I thought it was going to be a relaxing vacation for a couple of months before I would go to Binghamton for the spring semester. It dawned on me, after seeing my family leave every day from home to do work or school while I did nothing, I realized I was slowly becoming the very thing I despise: a discord moderator. So I started to adventure further out of my comfort zone and decided to ask around for jobs, or really anything I could do to make money. I was soon given an opportunity to get a job at a bar as a dishwasher. I was nervous because, even though I wanted this job, deep down I really did want to do nothing. 

Right before going to what I thought was the interview, I practiced in my head what to say and how to say it without stuttering. Walking through the doors, I met the owner. To my surprise, he said “follow me” and showed me to the kitchen where he introduced me to everyone. Had I just got a job only by asking around? In fact, yes. I thought finding a job was going to be the most difficult part of the adult world, but it didn’t turn out that way. At that time, I just reserved my stress for worrying about future interviews. Once I started to work, my mother started to be really proud of me, which was great until I found out I would be working mostly nights. Now all I had to do was find something to occupy my day. At the time, all my friends were just starting college, so I couldn’t do anything with them. Alas, I decided to wise up and get a second job. 

Through the power of family and friends, I was able to work at what I call a “sweatshop.” In reality, it was one of the coldest places I have ever worked. I don’t know how 9-year-olds survived during the industrial revolution, because I worked almost 12 hours each day and I could barely bring myself to keep using that hydraulic press by day, and dishwashing by night. At first, it was a really great job—squishing things together with a press was fun enough—but it became mind-numbing to do 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I knew it wasn’t going to end well for me; I would get headaches constantly and I was truly suffering, but I would just power through and say that “college is expensive,” which, after seeing the meal plan at Binghamton, was a very correct statement. As bad as this is to say, COVID finally came as a blessing in disguise as it gave me an excuse to stay out of work. 

After working for a month I realized why there was a stereotype of men committing domestic violence. I would get extremely irritable if something did not go my way, and after coming home at 1 am from a night shift, I would always pray to be left alone and go to sleep, but my mom for whatever reason would be awake and then say “take out the trash” like damn, b**** you got three other kids to make them do it (jk mom luv u <3). 

After working like a dog, I finally got to leave my family and the city to go to Binghamton. I really loved it, maybe because I was trapped with my family for 2 years, but something about being left alone is an amazing feeling. All-in-all, if you have a job, great! If you don’t, go do something about it you bum.

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