“These are not rants against the system. They’re not anarchist manifestos. They’re not calls for a revolution. They’re small stories of people who played by the rules, did what they were told, and now have nothing to show for it.” Sounds familiar.
I’m 32 years old.
At 16, I got my first job working as a Dietary Aide in a Nursing Home.
At 18 I graduated high school and went straight to college like “a good little young person.”
I worked all through college first in the college’s TV station, back at the nursing home as a housekeeper and, during my last year, as a receptionist in a mammography center. I didn’t have all these jobs at once and I did play once in a while, you know, drinking, smoking, and clubbing. I didn’t take out any loans and put my tuition/ books on my credit card and made payments on that. Living with my parents helped, thanks Mom and Dad!
At 22 I graduated from Community College with a degree in Radiology. I picked Radiology as a major primarily because of the money but also, at the time, Healthcare was a rapidly growing field. In June of that year I got a job at an Occupational Health center. In July of that year I got my own place. In November of that year, I met my husband. (2001 was a big year for me)
At 24 My husband and I bought our house. I stayed at the Occupational Health center until 2003 then took a chance on a position working as a Cardiovascular tech. That lasted for 3 months. Then I was on unemployment for a month until I found work through a temp service. In the Spring of 2004 I found a job in another Occupational Health office.
Spring of 2005- Had a kid. Husband went to school to A+ certified.
2006- dealt with postpartum blues, became increasingly unhappy with my job but, like a “good little taxpayer” waited until I found a different one before I quit. That new job lasted all of three months because I “wasn’t the right fit.”
2007-2008 on unemployment and took the scant temp service work offered. When I say ‘scant’, I mean it, no one wants an x-ray tech now. Husband worked 70 hours a week, most weeks.
2008 had another kid. (Don’t worry, that wont be happening again)
2009- Not much on the temp service front, in fact I think I worked a whole two days that summer.
2010- Grudgingly dragged my ass to the WIC office. We qualified because husband’s overtime at work went away. I got ‘lucky’ and found a minimum wage job in retail with part-time hours mostly 3 hours an evening; two or three nights a week.
Now I just found a second part-time job to carry us through the Holidays. It will help us pay one more bill, I’m going to keep my mall job because I like it.
My husband has Type 2 Diabetes and our health insurance just went up. We refinanced the house last year. We have two beautiful, smart children and I hope they use their brains better than their parents did.
Am I the 53% or the 99%?
If I am the 53% I promise not to shove it in your face. If I am the 99% and you call me lazy, I will kick you in the nuts.