A Wee Story From a Kentucky Worker

I’ve been very stressed lately.

Oh yes–worries lay heavily on my mind.

My job barely pays enough to cover my bills.

In fact, some weeks, my diet consists of ramen and Mountain Dew.

And I may not be able to work soon.

You see, some mule-headed pricks are playing chicken with my job. These guys are demanding more and more of me, and what do they offer in return? A raise, perhaps? Increased benefits? A bonus? Leave to work overtime whenever I want? Nope. None of that. They’re not even offering what I have now. They want me to work harder than ever, but for less. Less benefits, less pay, the works. Or, they threaten, it’s your job.

They’ll put me out of work.

Of course I could look for another job.

But the economy is still bad–I’ll have a hell of a time finding one.

And they know that.

They watch me squirm, sweating in the heat, forcing my fingers to go faster and faster, willing them to land always on the right spot, concentrating so heavily on the work before me that I don’t even see the notices being put up on the wall until the glue has dried and no one is in sight. I read them, shocked at the message, (“They’re doing what?“) and wondering what the hell just happened. And what the hell I’m supposed to do now.

Tsk, tsk! Better get back to work! they chide.

So I go back to my job, too busy to wonder what those pricks are going to do, too busy to do much of anything about it, until work comes to a standstill, and my coworkers and I flutter around trying to keep busy in order to avoid being sent home. Then I have time to think. Oh, do I seethe. How dare they! I should give them a piece of my mind! I should call someone to report them! They have no right to do this to us!

My adrenaline has surged. My heart is pumping. All I want is to let them have it, between drags of a cigarette (oh, that sounds so good right now). My heart rate increases to the point of bursting and then…my mother calls, asking if I can bring her some groceries. I remember I’m almost out of my medicine. A coworker admits she brought nothing for lunch, and has no money.

I let out a breath, a veritable gust of air that disturbs the draining heat of the office, and sit. I glance at the clock, and see that, in thirty minutes, I can at least have that cigarette. But I don’t have time to do anything but work, pay my bills, sleep, and snatch a few moments of quality time with friends and family to keep my sanity.

So I wait and worry.

Wait to see how far Republicans are willing to go to get their way, and worry what will happen to me and my family if they do get their way.

And resolve to sit on Mitch McConnell’s doorstep should I lose my livelihood because of his “family values.”

 

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About Brittany-Ann
Brittany-Ann is a proud, self-identified feminist with fictional tendencies. She currently writes for LouisvilleKY.com and moderates at My Fault I'm Female. She smokes camels, reads Dumas, and navigates a conservative state as "one of them darn liberals."

2 Responses to A Wee Story From a Kentucky Worker

  1. And you know the saddest part? There are so many people who are in this very same situation right now. Besides those who are out of a job and haven’t been able to find one.

    We are a majority. The exhausted, the drenched, the permanently worried about where the next bill payment will come from. We are a majority, yet we allow a small group of folks to reduce us to this. Is that fair? Just because that small group can’t live without yet another jet sponsored with public money.

    Does that make any sense at all?

    • Brittany-Ann says:

      It doesn’t. And that’s the maddening part.

      I know I’m not alone–I took this job out of desperation. It has nothing to do with my degree, I’m ridiculously overqualified for it, and yet, it’s all I could find. I had to have something to pay my student loans and to help my family.

      I’m not the only one who’s been homeless since the economy crashed. I’m not the only one to rely on the likes of ramen to keep my belly filled. Yet, aside from platitudes from politicians, that serve to only further their agendas, no one is talking about it. My family and I have banded together to take care of one another–because we can’t do it alone. My co-workers and I do the same–if someone can’t afford food, one of us is always there to get them something to eat.

      It shouldn’t be this way.

      We’re so tired from fighting just to live, but we’re going to have to find the energy if this is ever going to change.

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