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the least possible amount of responsibility

by bornfamous at 02:02 PM on February 01, 2002

Just call me Mary Tyler Moore. I am gonna make it after all, dammit.

Did I tell you I lost my job last week? It was my own fault so I don't blame anyone else, but I've been freaking out trying to figure out what to do. I even went to the welfare office Tuesday to apply for aid - a humiliating experience, I can assure you.

But thanks to a very kind anonymous benefactor and the Tokyo Jar [where we save our spare change for a dream trip to Japan - and then spend it in emergencies], I think I can scrape by on the rent this month. Tokyo is just gonna have to wait a bit longer.

So I'm going to cancel the final welfare appointment today. I made too much money in January anyway - they'll just send me home and tell me to come back later when I'm facing homelessness.

I've decided to apply for a minimum wage job at the Arby's across the street. It won't be enough money to cover everything but it will buy me time. I can go to welfare later and get some extra help if I need it without having to go through the humiliation of being told, "You have a responsibility to take care of your own children." That's what what they said Tuesday.

I know that. Why do you think I'm freaking out? Those people are hardened. They made me ashamed and angry at the time but now I feel sad for them and their clients. I'd hate to have their job.

This job, however, feels right. I've always hated office jobs and the pressure and fragrance [i.e., migraines] that come with them. Fortunately, there doesn't seem to be a fragrance problem at Arby's when I visit, and as for pressure - well, it's not the busiest place around here by a long shot.

I know it's corny, but I feel happy about this when I think in terms of the idea of being of service. Feeding people - even fast food - is giving service, and doing it with love is the best thing I can do. I've been feeling very frustrated about having so little contact with people because of my fragrance problem, and not feeling like I'm helping anyone.

This will also take the immediate financial pressure off and let me spend my free time working on BlogRadio and writing. After all, isn't this in the long tradition of artists working menial jobs to support their art?

Of course, it will take awhile to recover from the shock of working long days on my feet - let's face it, I'm not 25 any more - but yoga will help with that. Yoga and lots of aspirin.

My son Robby suggested the idea after we saw "American Beauty" on cable for the seventh time. We both love the scene where Kevin Spacey applies for a fast food job, saying, "I want the least possible amount of responsibility."

Yeah. Me too.

comments (4)

well, there's a lot to be said of a place that's across the street, has frequent if not constant positions open, & has a not-unpleasant working environment. chris took exactly that sort of job (except in his case, it was a car wash) when we lost the taxis. since he's twice the age of most of the employees, he gets given responsibility more readily, & one day he'll probably be running the place.

i love my job. i love my job. i love my job. if you ever hear me bitching about it, please slap me silly. thank you.

by kd at February 1, 2002 3:00 PM

will do, kd - you sure chris isn't working in the carwash next to my apt? i picked up the application tonight, btw, and also applied at a little mexican place near here. brings back good memories from my mother's diner.

by lavonne at February 2, 2002 2:46 AM

It's funny, I thought "American Beauty" as I was reading this. There are worse movies on which to pattern your life.

I'm lucky I don't have kids yet. I've never done food service, but I have done some other crappy jobs. I'd hate to have to go back to that. But, you do what you need to do, and let us know if you still need help in March.

by mg at February 5, 2002 11:54 PM

This is the first time I've ever contributed anything to a blog (that is what this is, right?). I found this site by stream of consciousness googling on what has come to be my favorite line perhaps in all cinema. I'm a lawyer and some days I sit at my desk and dream of walking up to that fast food counter and saying those words, and I think how satisfying that would be to say. I'd probably even go in my work suit, in the hope that the person behind the counter would look me up and down and say, as she did to Kevin Spacey's character, "We don't have any management positions open right now." And then, I'd reply with that line, that I've been wanting to say for the past 10 years, smiling as I emphasized the word "least."

by nveus at December 4, 2004 12:34 AM

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