A young man is working as a checkout clerk at a grocery store.
He’s been at this job for about 4 months now and already getting sick of it. Before his current job he worked a moving company, bringing furniture into peoples homes, before that a delivery driver, and before that he graduated collage with an MBA.
He applied and got hired at a few corporate jobs after first getting out of collage but after briefly debating in his head he turned them all down and applied at a pizza place.
His family, who had been neurotically pushing the idea of getting accepted at a, “good” collage and working a “good” job on him since he was a young boy had not been happy with the path he had been going down. When his parents initially found out he turned down the business jobs he had gotten hired at they instigated several screaming matches with him during days where he visited their house.
Because of this, he unfortunately stopped going out of his way to visit.
So in the last year the only times he had seen them where on holidays, every quarter of the year or so.
At Thanksgiving, one of his parents had put him on the spot in front of the whole table and asked him a point blank question about his career. He calmly gave the same honest answer that he had been giving in any situation similar to this one.
“I need some time to decompress from the whole system that we’re living in after finally being done with collage.“
“Its not that I don’t want to advance myself in life, I still enjoy learning and improving who I am.“
“But right now what I’m most interested in studying is the normal world and jobs such as the ones I’ve been working. I feel that there’s a wealth of valuable knowledge that many people who have the opportunities I grew up with often miss.”
His siblings, of whom he’s the second to youngest, were all well adjusted collage educated people and they all looked at him with pitiful smirks both during and after he was speaking.
He was put on the spot at the beginning of the meal and hadn’t ever seen people eat a thanksgiving dinner so fast.
In his head he understood why his siblings didn’t get where he was coming from. They had grown up as he had, insulated in a safe suburban environment, not rich, but having more than enough in every situation.
However, his parents being the way they were towards him was what was truly frustrating.
His dad had grown up on a farm, which he often complained about, and his mother had a father who worked in a factory during her youth.
Although his grandparents on both sides were now dead he had gotten more than enough time to be around them as a child.
He felt calm when around his grandparents when younger because of how down to earth and grounded they were. He always noticed how their eyes glowed and the charisma exuded when they talked. Their homes were cozy and filled with unique items collected over the years not the sterile IKEA vibe his childhood home had.
His parents had always seemed to want to reject the type of mold their parents fit into. One of their commonalities as a couple was thinking far into the future about 401k’s and other long term investments and going out of their way to add titles to the end of their name or get awarded plaques from secular NGO’s.
After Thanksgiving dinner with his family he had seen them for a meal at Christmas. Although the conversation that day never was directed towards his life, his mother had texted him days prior and said that if he didn’t get Christmas gifts for anyone she knew they would understand. A subtle nod towards his current job.
He got gifts for everyone despite this.
Other than his grandparents, there was a moment that stuck out to him which led to him not utilizing his degree. A few years back, while still in collage, a water problem at a rental house warranted a visit from a plumber.
When speaking to the plumber, the guy had told him about how much money he made per hour, and his rental property portfolio
“So, you’re a millionare” the young man said to the plumber
“Multi-Millionaire” the plumber responded
The young man had been shocked at the time. Not from doubting the plumber’s intellect, he could tell the plumber was an intelligent man from speaking to him. The reason he was taken aback was because this man had more money saved up than his parents & from what he knew about his parent’s yearly salaries the plumber alone could potentially be making both their income combined.
He had told this story to his father during a day trip home but a heated argument about him wasting his education still ensued later that day.
The plumber had the same type of charisma and glow he had appreciated in his grandparents
Due to his own feelings of fatigue with the corporate and collage bureaucracy and seeing the spark in the plumbers eyes he decided to take some time off and get the jobs mentioned earlier.
He was more than willing to do the corporate monkey dance for a family in the future if need be, but at the time felt drawn to working at some normal jobs.
A variety of skills and valuable experience was obtained
While being a delivery driver he got to see people in the kitchen that were stuck with deep seated addictions to various substances and got paid to listen to audio books about various topics while on the road.
While working at a moving company he got to learn how to command a basic level of respect from coworkers if they test you in a polite but firm way. He was getting paid to increase his physical strength & enjoyed seeing how others lived by getting to take small tours through their homes while on the job.
In the last four months at his current job, he had gotten to increase his skills at having small talk while learning about a variety of different people as a checkout clerk. He also asked a boss for an hourly raise the first time and had gotten it.
He had never worked a night shift before so the next job he had been considering was the overnight shift at a nearby hotel. He imagined this would also allow him to get paid to read a few books he had in mind.
This was all while maintaining an above average level of physical fitness by sticking with his gym routine and doing fun activities here and there with friends.
The young man had been praying more frequently in the recent years & while not often asking for help from God on this particular day cried a little while succumbing to feelings of frustration due to not being able to mentally connect with his parents or siblings.
“I understand you”
A quiet but powerful voice whispered in his head