Why Am I So Lucky

August 10, 2011

Today I was at the county office for some more paperwork and meetings in order to make my hire “official”.

Everything went smoothly and I am all tidy with that. At the end of my entire day, I needed to do one last thing, and that involved using a computer. (A very slow and outdated one). So, I was in the front office, where the computer was located, for about 20 minutes.

While I was typing and clicking a middle-aged woman walked into the office and talked to the receptionist. She wanted to know if there was any way for her to check the status of her job application for the county. She was trying to get hired to become a custodian. The receptionist informed her that it had not been received and she may want to try the website again. So she showed her over to the other computer next to mine.

She was going along just fine but she was looking for a little small talk. So she tried talking to the receptionist despite the pane of glass between them. During her mouth diarrhea session with a glass wall (maybe I didn’t look friendly enough to talk to) she mentioned how she had been trying to get hired for a month. Money was tight and she had already lost her house cleaning business a few years ago. She really even tried to show enthusiasm for the whole idea of cleaning up classrooms during the summer.

She just wanted to work.

Then I said to myself, “Why am I so lucky?”

Allow me to tell you something that will disgust and sicken you…

The job I just received, is my very first.

:::Spits drink out all over computer screen:::

That’s right. Not only am I a rookie teacher, I’m a rookie employee of anything.

I’ve never had a summer job, paper route, or lemonade stand. I’ve never been told to get one and I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve needed one. That also means I’ve never paid taxes on “income” because I’ve never had any. I’m sure Uncle Sam has secretly worried about my economic condition but now he’ll be receiving my little bit soon enough.

I’m so lucky.

Somehow, I got hired during one of the worst national economic conditions since before my grandparents were born. Despite my lack of professional experience. Despite my lack of any experience at all. Despite my age. Despite my youth. Despite my crooked nose and eyes. I still have a job.


I want to apologize to anybody who reads this and has gone through those weeks where you’re not sure how you’ll get by. Or maybe you’ve gone through your checkbook and don’t know how you’ll eat after Thursday. There could have been a time where you have had to make the decision to not pay your house mortgage so you can keep your car. Maybe you’re two months away from collecting your last unemployment check and aren’t sure what happens after that.

I’m sorry I’ve been this lucky.

But I promise I’m not going to take this for granted. I will always be mindful of how I got here. I will not waste my money because I can. I will not complain about not getting my paycheck soon enough. I won’t say bad things about how much time I spend at work. I will not say that the whole idea of retirement is a waste of time. I will not scoff when I see somebody use food stamps in the check out line ahead of me. I will be mindful of what I have, what I need, and what I don’t need.

I may not understand why I am so lucky but I will always keep in mind to not waste the opportunity I’ve been given.



2 Responses to “Why Am I So Lucky”

  1. I love your blog and your writing style. You make me laugh.

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