If the Occupy protesters are “just kids with nothing else to do,” I would like to thank them for doing what millions of people would LIKE to be able to do, but whose work schedule doesn’t allow for. Like the 20-something Wal-Mart employee I chatted with last night who had a 14 hour day yesterday and who has a 12 hour day today. When I said, “Oh my God, girl, how are you supposed to get anything done for your life?” She said, “WHAT life?” We laughed maniacally and I said, “You’re going to lose it.” She responded, “No, I’m trying to FIND it, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen.”
We laughed raucously again, and I told her to engage in some small form of rebellion, like riding the electric carts around the store at closing (she said that employees weren’t allowed to ride them). I left the store with my cheap crap from China, and a few prescriptions.
A few minutes later I drove through the McDonald’s window (don’t judge, it was just a very all-American night) and another 20-something was there to serve my consumer needs. He had run out of pennies and said, “Do you mind if I steal a penny from you?”
I said, “OH SURE, this is how McDonald’s makes a few extra billion dollars a year!” And he said, “I know, right?” He showed me the nametag on his uniform. “See this? Check it out, it’s so [expletive] flimsy. You think they could spend the extra thirty cents to get a decent nametag.”
This was a new one on me, as I have never considered the relative flimsiness of nametags I have worn in various jobs, but I said, “Yea, well, they need to save money so that their CEO’s can make, like, 4,000 times what you make to work for them.” “Yea, RIGHT?” he said.
This transcript does not reflect this kid’s sharpness. He was very edgy and funny. This came through even in this brief encounter through a drive-in window. So I said, “Occupy! Do you know about this Occupy Wall Street thing that’s going on in Boston?”
“Yes, I do,” he said. “Yes, I do.” Little bit of a righteous edge in his voice.
“Well, you should GO!” I said. “Go in!”
“I really should,” he said.
“Wear your McDonald’s uniform and GO!” I said! And we both laughed raucously and I pulled out to pick up my Diet Coke from a nice young lady at the next window.
These kids were born at the height of the rise of the religious right in this country. It occurs to me that if every anti-choice zealot who was picketing abortion clinics back then really cared about babies, children and choosing LIFE, and had starting working toward a society and legislation that actually supported LIFE, then these 20-somethings would have a whole hell of a lot better quality of LIFE right now.
The government cared more about them when they were fetuses. It’s the damned truth.
UPI/Matthew Healey | License Photo