I spent some of my Christmas break last year working in Tesco and I’ll be honest, all I’ve realised is that this whole ‘work’ thing is not for me. In fact, the whole ‘school-get a job-eventually die’ thing doesn’t appeal to me either. My mother tells me it’s because I’m lazy (which I suppose is partly true given the fact I’ve spent the last few months Googling ways to earn money without getting a job) but I can’t remember the last time she came home from work and gushed about serving impatient customers who forget that people in retail or any kind of job are human beings with actual feelings.
Can you imagine a world where we were completely truthful in job interviews? (How very John Lennon of me.) But when you’re asked a question along the lines of “why did you apply for this job?” can you imagine yourself replying with “well to be honest, I’ve noticed that in the current economic climate my family isn’t as well off as I once believed when I was ten years old and it’s gotten to the point that I feel guilty asking my mother for a tenner when I go out”? I know that if a protagonist in a film said that they would have the job in a matter of minutes, but in real life a stern faced employer is shoving you out the door despite the fact you told them in your cover letter you were an honest person.
I saw a video recently of a favourite comedian of mine Dave Chappelle explaining why he turned down a 50 million dollar contract with Comedy Central. His explanation mainly boiled down to how he was comfortable enough with his paycheque and didn’t need the 50 million because money can’t buy happiness and all I could think was 1) that maybe money can’t buy happiness but it can give you a sense of security in relation to your finances and therefore you’re as close to buying happiness as anyone and 2) how nice it must be to have enough money to be able to turn down another 50 million. And do you remember when the Wolf Of Wall Street came out? Do you also remember the news stories about how Jonah Hill only earned $60000 for it? Yes, that’s right, only. Don’t get me wrong, I realise that by Hollywood’s standards $60000 is probably something they associate with peasants at this point, but by my standards $60000 has me set for the next couple of years of college. It almost makes me mad that my parents weren’t the kind to force their children into being famous child stars who would inevitably grow up troubled and do a few prison stints (hey, at least I’d be able to pay my way out and still have enough money to fall back on for the rest of my life).
So you can quote that Jessie J song about how it’s not about the money and you can tell me about how Bill Gates dropped out of school and still became a millionaire but unless you have a million dollar idea and a few million in your bank account, you’re stuck with the slaving away for 50 years on something that you hate.
But what do I know? I’m merely an 18 year old with an already developed feeling of doom regards to financial security and who doesn’t know how she’s going to survive unless she becomes a millionaire.