Reality Check

Jeremy Henderson, Staff Writer

Welcome to real life. When college ended you quickly found a promising job that you wanted to make a career. Nevertheless, everything seemed to fall through unexpectedly. The boss was not very productive and supportive. Your coworkers left you high and dry when faced with adversity. Your apartment had issues and the future wasn’t clear enough to make you sleep comfortably. As a result, you put in new applications for different jobs across the states. Surely, there is something better out there for you. At least, you were able to get out of a lease you signed with your current apartment complex. You were able to get out of it because of break ins and drug activity near you at neighboring apartments.

Within six months at your first job after college, you are set to move again for another job opportunity two hundred miles away. Again, your car is packed with your stuff ranging from clothes to food. You spill toothpaste on the backseat and mouthwash on the dashboard. Driving down the interstate to your new job opportunity, you begin pondering if your new boss will be the same as the old one. Will your coworkers betray you again? Anyway, this job looks more promising, and the pay is a little better. You arrive three hours later after heavy rain on the interstate. You move your stuff into your new townhouse. The next morning you are out early and make it to work on time. Your boss is waiting for you in the front lobby. She is exciting to meet you. You walk in feeling fresh and she asks, “Are you James Newell?” You reply, “No, I am Timmy Billings.” You immediately release that you may have competition for this job, and it may not be a sure thing. Your new boss apologizes for calling you a different name. Nevertheless, she doesn’t seem to be taking you seriously as a professional. She even acts as though you are expendable. Her attitude was much better over the phone and email during the application process.

Your first day on the job you meet your coworkers and have lunch with your boss and her husband. After orientation and multiple training sessions, you are drained. The company chooses to hire you and sends James out the door with a weak promise to follow-up. Competition is a reality, and it is truly not always an indicator of the best candidate for a job. Nevertheless, you are glad to survive your first day and head home with aspirations for your new job in the coming weeks. However, there are deadlines to be met.

Before the end of the week, you have to complete more training and paperwork. You have to give weekly briefings about products you know little about. You are expected to participate in a chili cook off and you can’t cook. Also, everyone is married except you. You are expected to be at work thirty minutes before your shift starts. That is pushing it because you like long showers in the morning and fresh bagels with coffee. Also, the drive to work is through heavy traffic and ten miles of red lights. To make matters worse, your license needs to be renewed, and you don’t know where to go for the transaction.

You call your mom and dad for emotional support. Your mom is slow to answer the phone. You say hello unconfidently, and she quickly asks, “How is the career going?” You reply, “I’m stressed out!” “I feel alone and suffocated,” you add. “Do you want to come back home,” your mom asks?” “No, I want to try this out for a while,” you explain. There’s a long pause. You hear the refrigerator open and your mom sneezes. “Well, I’m proud of you, and I will pray that you find joy in all that you do,” your mom says. The two of you hang up. You hug your pillow and fall asleep within minutes.