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Op-Ed: Actually I’m Happy to Graduate and Return to Work at the Naperville Public Pool, It’s A Good Thing

In just a mere few days, I will finally be receiving my bachelor’s degree in communications, which I’ve worked somewhat hard for over these past four years. Do I have a job lined up? Well, obviously I do; I didn’t interrupt all those beer pong games and hibernation periods to go to class for nothing. The rumors are true — I’ll be working at the concession stand for the Naperville Public Pool.

It’s not like I don’t have other options. I really want to work at the concession stand again this summer. A lot of people say they “feel bad for me” or that “my life’s going nowhere,” but joke’s on them because I actually love my job, unlike everyone else in the workforce. And Aunt Kathy, if you’re reading this, before you passive aggressively tell me I’m wasting my life like you always do, just remember last Thanksgiving when you drunkenly confessed to getting rejected by all of your male coworkers.

All these other people in my graduating class are acting so pretentious just because they’re already employed in “regular” corporate jobs, but superiority is temporary, and hating your job is forever. How’s that computer science career going for you? Oh, no one knows your name and you’re staring blankly at a screen for 10 hours a day? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

At the Naperville pool, everyone knows me and worships me. The staff has been there for me when no one else has, and my favorite coworker, Jessica, just got her braces off. What kind of best friend would I be if I couldn’t celebrate the end of her junior year of high school with her by stealing hot pretzels and eating them in the clock-in room? It might seem weird to you that I work with a bunch of teenagers who I may or may not have to drive to work because they haven’t gotten their licenses yet. But, you see, that’s not the whole story. At the end of last summer, I was actually promoted to concessions manager. It seems that I was just born to be a leader, and not all of us can be that gifted.

Thanks to all those hours spent memorizing nonverbal cues and social theories as a communications major, I can communicate the shit out of these patrons. Not to mention, this gig comes with a package of transferable skills that I can take with me to other jobs. Managing a concession stand is a lot more versatile than most people think, and if employers can’t see that, then I don’t want to work for them anyway.

Don’t even try to give me that “you’re not going to get a job if you don’t have anything else on your resume besides getting minimum wage at that shitty pool,” because I’m not listening! First of all, managers actually make $2 more than minimum wage, so nice try, idiots. Second of all, since I’ve worked at the pool every summer since I was 16, that shows employers I’m a loyal, trustworthy employee.

I’m not just saying any of this to convince myself that I’m not a complete dud. As anyone can see, I love my job, and I can feel my professional development growing with every hot dog I sell. Jealousy is a disease, sweeties, so get well soon.



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