Why is the “get a real job in retail” talk from family still a thing? And why is it always writers and musicians who have to put up with it? I’d expect that kind of coarseness from a drunk stranger but not a family member in this day and age.
Honestly, has nothing changed in fifty fucking years? I think I
might have heard it when I was Phil… if I was Phil. Honestly, why can’t inflicting this attitude on people we profess to love just go to the dustbin of history, quietly and passively, like ear-boxing or birching?
To those who say this to your family members, let me tell you something about writers: all we hear when someone says that is “you’re not good enough to ever make anything more of yourself than a night stock clerk at a Wal-Mart, but I’m too chickenshit to say so to your face.” You may not mean it, but when you say that to someone with a fragile ego it might rob them of the only chance they ever had, and if you say that to someone with an overly strong ego (like mine), you’ll only make us more militant about ignoring you and going forward with our dreams.
I have things can sell before it gets to the point where I have to work retail. I’m in a position to take a risk. I can survive on less than $10K a year and I can make my own choices about how I pursue work. I don’t need a lecture on how low status jobs “build character” because I know from firsthand experience that’s a load of horseshit.
Most of all, lest anyone think this is all about entitlement, quite the opposite. I’ve been working hard to get myself out of working those kinds of jobs and I think I owe it to myself to try for something better now that I can. I had a difficult time in school socially, and I had a lot of problems, but I still kept my grades up and finished with an excellent GPA. I can say with utmost confidence that I deserve at least an entry-level professional job, because I did what I had to do to earn that. Telling me to get a “steady job” in retail as if it were anything more than a last resort is like saying all that hard work didn’t matter.