There aren’t many things I would change about my college experience. I was blessed with a fantastically weird group of friends, infrequent (albeit well deserved) hangovers, and even more infrequent cancer-worthy sunburns despite an albino complexion. I managed to get good grades and get laid, nipped the combover hairstyle in the freshman year bud, and only biked into a fence on my way to class once.
Sure, there are some things I could’ve done differently. I probably could’ve gone without peeing in the Cost Plus parking lot and receiving a $1,225 fine for “public dumping.” I could’ve done more to help our beautiful campus beaches than inadvertently pledging Calpirg and recycling old hookups.
But one of my biggest regrets is never working at the See’s Candies store downtown.
I’m aware this sounds silly. It’s like, woah kid, dream big. But it’s not just because I have an unhealthy addiction to pumpkin pie truffles, or because I would rock that white uniform so hard Mary See would applaud from her grave. I just regret not following through on something I thought could be a good experience.
I’m pretty spoiled. In high school my only part time job was filing paperwork and licking envelopes for $10 an hour at my mom’s print shop. Throughout college I had a few unpaid internships meant to ~*help me grow as an individual*~ and make my parents think I had other things to do with my time besides binging on Cheeto puffs and playing Katie Edwards 40 hands. I still wear $3 Goodwill dresses and try not to spend too much money on Indian buffet every week, but I lead a cushy life.
I’m not saying working at See’s would have been some challenging, character-building endurance test (although who knows what’s behind those sterile white doors, could be a freakin’ Oompa Loompa sweatshop for all I know). I just think it would’ve been nice to have a job where sure, to most you’re not saving lives (seriously, try the pumpkin truffle and get back to me on that) or starting a lifelong career. But you’re serving people chocolate AKA happiness and getting paid to stand in a room with superb air conditioning. You’re actually earning whatever sad little paycheck you get each month instead of having your dad’s inheritance spoon feed you via online banking transfers.
Growing up I didn’t understand why some kids were mowing lawns and washing cars when all I did was run around my living room ottoman pretending I was in a jungle. At school I watched my friends make minimum wage erasing pencil marks in library books and try not to lose their sanity while assisting incredibly obstinate office administrators. Not one of them ever came up to me with tears in their eyes gushing Oh god, I feel so fulfilled by this entry level position, kill me now so I can die this satisfied, but I bet they learned the value of a dollar past how many Taco Bell items you could buy. I got things handed to me, and I was grateful. I don’t think that makes me a bad person. But it makes me admire those who have done a lot more with a lot less. It reminds me that even on my worst days, when nothing is going right and I can’t find parking and my boss is frustrating and a seagull poops on my arm, at least I have a car, a job, and limbs to get shat on.
Post-grad I managed to find two jobs relevant to my interests–a pretty remarkable feat for a mediocre art major. But a small masochistic side of me wishes I had to “struggle” a teensy bit more to get to that point. Or at least had the conviction to pretend I’m more than merely a whiny middle-class beezy, even if it just meant selling one nougat filled center at a time.
OK, well, why didn’t I just fill out the dumb application and start livin’ the corporate dream?
Thwarted by derpiness again. I tried, but when I went in I was running late for something and didn’t have time to magically conjure up all my references and imaginary past employment on the spot. The dude told me I couldn’t take the application out of the store, I got flustered, knocked over some promotional signage for Valentine’s tuxedo boxes, and left without even taking my free sample. I didn’t go back for about three weeks, and I swear Esteban looked weary every time I got near tippable objects.
Maybe someday I’ll actually get to make Old Lady See proud, but I’m pretty sure they still have my partially filled out application on file with a sticky note referring to my inability to function even in low stress situations. Guess I’ll learn to appreciate my “big girl” jobs and continue slowly killing myself via diabetes and self-loathing. Yum.
PS: if you haven’t been to See’s or experienced this pumpkin business I refuse to shut up about, shame on you. Get your shit together.