After months of deliberation, UNC Charlotte senior Mel Fielding finally made the decision to continue working her on-campus job at the movie theater indefinitely.
Fielding, a psychology major, said she first had the idea during her junior year.
After being told by her manager that she wouldn’t be eligible to work a student job once she graduated, she decided that she wouldn’t graduate at all. “I was trying to get a degree to get a job, but now I have a job so I don’t really need that thing anymore.”
Dale Klein, Fielding’s coworker and friend, expressed his doubt over her choice. “The job is easy, and it pays higher than minimum wage, I’ll give her that. But is it a viable career option? The answer is most certainly no.”
Fielding said the things she likes the most about the job are the hours and the light work load. “The job’s entirely at night and only on weekends, and I essentially get paid to just sit at a table and watch Netflix. If you know about any better jobs out there, I’m all ears.”
Planning to switch her major soon so that she can extend her stay at the university by at least a few years, Fielding confidently added, “I know I can’t just flunk out of my classes, because I might get kicked out, so I’ll just jump across majors for a while. I’ve been pretty into Grey’s Anatomy lately so I might try pre-med next.”
Sonny Robinson, the head of the theater department in the Student Union, noted Fielding’s strong work ethic. “She’s probably the best employee we’ve ever had. She picks up any shifts that need to be covered, and she’s always on time. That doesn’t mean I want her to stay here forever, but as long as she’s a student we’ll keep her on the team.”
In 2012, a similar incident occurred in which Allen Durham, a 10th year senior working at the UNCC Call Center, was finally forced to graduate after being unable to continue paying tuition.
“My current financial situation is good, so I don’t think that’ll happen to me,” Fielding said in response. “And as long as I keep telling my parents that I’m getting good grades, they shouldn’t care.”
Fielding, who currently lives off-campus at The Edge, said she’s currently trying to work out getting more hours with her boss. “Right now I’m technically not allowed to get paid for more than 20 hours a week. But if I’m really in this for the long haul, I’m not gonna be able to live on that no matter how much I lower my quality of living. Right now I’m shooting for 30 hours, but who knows? If I can hit 40, I could really do this until I die.”