Clean up on aisle twelve

I’m writing this probably because of the attitude I’ve seen from recent graduates at the prestigious university I work at… or maybe it’s just because I’m bitter…who knows. Too many of the graduates here have this expectation that because they graduated from this place, companies should be fighting to pay them $80,000/year for a BA in Philosophy. They actually EXPECT companies to come here and recruit them. I mean really…you don’t need need to be a brain surgeon to understand that it doesn’t work that way. But perhaps they just never learned….
Which takes me to my next point. I think at some point in a person’s life you should work 3 months, at least, in a retail job. Whether you do it as a teenager for extra cash or a part-time job in college to pay the books, a retail job is key in understanding how much of our world works. 2 key things I learned when I worked retail:

1. People are dumb. I’m not talking about text book dumb. I still don’t know what train would arrive quickest if Train A left at 4pm at 75mph and Train B left at 3pm at 85mph with 2 stops and a delay and then the axis of the earth was tilted on a leap year. But who would even understand that? The type of dumb I’m talking about is the gentlemen who comes in 5 minutes before the bookstore closes demanding we find last month’s issue of Forbes because his name “might” be listed in a blurb. I’m talking about the woman who screams at the cashier because she can’t find the latest fat-free chewing gum when actually she is standing right next to the 10 foot tall display with flags and banners. We can all laugh at how silly these people are but the most important thing you learn from this is how NOT to act. Don’t be an ass. Don’t scream at the cashier. Don’t scream at the barista who didn’t put full fat milk into your latte instead of soy milk. It happens. Don’t be dumb.

2. Retail sucks.Therefore do everything in your power to get out. Go to community college at night. Get an internship so you learn skills that are actually marketable. Sacrifice everything so you can get a better job then slinging corndogs at the mall.
Chuck Davis’ Walmart people are very similar to the ones in my retail past. Though I’ve never had the pleasure of wearing the smock at Walmart, I can understand the quality of customer.

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