In history class I’m learning about child labor and how it is the worst thing in the history of the world. Children were brutally put into the work force at ages as young as five to perform hard labor without pay, benefits, or a 401K. Older kids were made to do the tedious tasks that adults deemed dangerous, such as substituting at a middle school. Innocent children who worked in the mines would die very young due to lung problems or even collapses, and because life insurance was unthought-of in that day, dead children were usually unable to work anymore.
Being a young kid for my grade, I truly wish that child labor was still legal. As of this point all my friends have jobs, and because of that have money to spend in the essentials of high school living (drugs, alcohol, condoms, etc.). Since I am only 15, I have nothing to do but sit around and wait while all my friends live the American dream of doing what every sophisticated businessman does: hate his job.
Back in the early 1900’s, kids had an infinite number of jobs opportunities to hate, the majority of which had no age restrictions. Six-year-olds were making cigars, eight-year-olds were running newspaper routes, and toddlers were hired for cleaning sewing machines. And by having shitty jobs that were dangerous and life-threatening, the youth of America was not only able to provide for their family, they also built character. In fact, the main reason these kids tolerated such laborious jobs is because they had nothing better to do than build character. There was no Instant Messaging, text messaging, or internet; kids couldn’t just go to the movies or a rock concert. They lived in hell. Back in the 1900’s, building character was today’s equivalent of snowboarding! The children would wake up at dawn, build character for 9 hours, and then reluctantly go home. And when they weren’t at work and they wanted to have fun, they would basically sit around and so what every other teenager did during that time: play with rocks.
Kids today are spoiled, flawed, and disfigured and a little bit of elbow grease could do them right. Most teenagers—myself included—cannot spend ten minutes without checking their phones, emails, IM buddy list, etc. The thought of having to act responsible enough to hold a steady job is enough to make some teenagers uncontrollably convulse. Because unlike the lame-ass living conditions of the early 1900’s, our lives are filled with many opportunities consisting of and endless selection of reading books, infinite sources of video entertainment, and DDR. And it is because we have to spend our time doing hard labor and missing all the entertaining selections we normally have that we wind up hating our job.
No matter what job you chose you’re going to hate it. There are going to be responsibilities that you don’t want to have (like showing up) and rules that you don’t want to follow (like not killing that obnoxious kid who thinks you’re his best friend despite the fact that you only see him Sunday mornings from 9-12), but a job is a job. And when choosing the proper career, there are a few options you have, especially when you’re just starting off:
1) The Hook Up Job- Your mom’s friend’s sister’s nephew knows a guy who met a lady who called her mother who can get you a job as a cashier at a Taco Bell in Michigan. This job usually has you working at a job people five years older than you aren’t legally allowed to do, but you don’t get in trouble because you’re best friends with the manager. Jealous that your job is better than theirs, your friends never speak to you again and attempt to murder you.
2) Your Brother’s Job- This job is an employment you take because your older brother/sister worked there. Chances are you hate the job as much as they did and manage to become closer siblings by mocking your boss.
3) The Easy Job- You choose this career because it’s convenient for you. Either it’s close to your house; minutes away from your school; or your inability to drive leaves this as your only option. You’re probably still the tool of this job even though you’ve worked there for three years, and chances are you’ll find a new job the second you get your license.
4) The Friendship Job- Probably the most common of all employment options, this is a job you select because your friend’s work there. As opposed to other jobs where you are doing manual labor for minimum wage, this job has you doing manual labor for minimum wage with your friends. The amount of hatred you and your peers share for your boss brings you closer together and the job sucks just a bit less.
So go out! Find your perfect job and earn yourself some money. Working 12 hours a week may be tough, but I’m sure you can do it. And it will all be worth it when you get your paycheck and have enough money to buy whatever you want. As for me, I’ll be playing with my rocks.