This shit might be ruining our lives. I’ve been in both spots on this. When I was a young teenager, being around construction workers, or seeing people doing do-it-yourself home repairs, or car repairs, I would look on at them and what was going on. When I’d say, “that looks like hard work,” or anything thereof, I’d get back, “What do you know about hard work? You don’t know anything about it, so don’t even talk to me.” You what comes next, right? I stood there quietly, until about 2 to 5 minutes later, I would either walk away to do something else, or they’d tell me to stop to bothering them and they’d send me away. Being 14, what could I do?
When I was 16, I got my first job at Food Lion. I wasn’t flipping burgers or anything like that, that would be considered wasting my time. Then again, I was working at a place where people didn’t like me based on appearance, and mob mentality. I worked my ass off getting carts in the rain, dealing with customers who couldn’t wait to say something harsh, no matter how well I bagged their items. I’d hear that I was not doing anything special, and my work was meaningless.
I was not in a race or anything trying to find a hard working job, but damn; I was frustrated with hearing how I did nothing. After IBM, what was like Food Lion, I worked as a dock worker for boxed freight at IBM. That was routine enough, but not easy, and taxing on the body, and yet, even the people there than new better from their own words, would tell me, that I was doing nothing. After that, I worked at a sign design company. I came home spelling like piss due to the fine wood and plastic in the air, and then my dad said to me, “You’re busting your ass. You’re busting your ass.” He seemed… happy about it… kind of proud. That troubled me. Why be happy that someone is breaking their back to gain money? Can any of you out there try to answer that for me? I got some assumptions but let me know in the comments, what you think. Ok, moving forward.
I worked some odd jobs here and there afterwards and they were not easy, but each one was claimed to be lazy work. I never understood it, considering how I and my peers were breaking our backs to load and unload trucks by hand; no jacks or anything. Soon, I found myself incapable of getting a job. I was claimed to be lazy, useless, and anything else one can think of. I’m sure you all have heard your fair share of it in your lives. Later, playing my first MMORPG titled, Final Fantasy XI, a game that gave me joys that I could not get in real life. There, I met a type of people I never thought I’d meet; the middle-class people. This is a whole new level of being disconnected.
At the time, I lived in a 10×10 room with my woman, playing this game. I get into it a lot, and gained new ideologies about gaming, and what is and is not important. Even there, people claimed what hard work was in the game, and out. They talked about having all systems, tons of games, hiring people to mow their lawn, do the gardening, and complaining about one of three cars being broke down, so they can’t go anywhere, because they didn’t want to drive the other two.
Listen, ok, I’m just saying’: even at that stage of my life, I was called spoiled. I being spoiled was based on two things. One was being that I got things for Christmas, and second was, I got disappointed and after some years, frustrated that I didn’t get the few things I deeply wanted for Christmas. I only got frustrated because I did what I was told, was not a problem kid, and when someone makes a promise to me, I expected it to be kept. I can’t find that being spoiled. Keep your word. From something like gifts to a business deal; keep… your… word.
To swiftly explain it to you all, I was asked what I wanted, and to list the top 10 things first. I made my list, put prices next to it all, and asked what could not be gotten. I was told I could get the first ten, and the rest was iffy. I was cool with it. I’d get like 2 things of the top ten and then tons of tiny crap no kid would want, or find an interest in past 5 minutes. So yeah, keep your word. If that’s spoiled, people, then good grief.
To me, these people online were spoiled. Years removed from my childhood, and yet, these people are talking about priced items in the multiple hundred like they were chicken nuggets. I didn’t talk to them about it then. I just read the chat in the Linkshell and in shout in lower Jeuno of the game, and usually shook my head in disbelief of their gripes. I read about them not happy with the $500 entertainment system and they should have gotten the 1K system since it would have come with a few extra items like a cup holder, one more cabinet for games, and it was 3-inchs off the floor so they could recline further back for playing. I was playing with the PS2 on a bookcase next to the TV, with controller in hand, and keyboard propped onto a duck taped tower fan box. The fan was 26 bucks and set us back a bit at the time. Now, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t hating. I was learning. This was new to me. It was a whole new world and I wanted to understand it. That would slightly happen years later when I started playing a different game, on Team Speak.
I started playing Battlestar Galactica Online. In short, I listened to two different levels of middle-class people; the adults and the kids. It was and still is amazing. The adults play the game, and get what they call “wife-aggro”. The adults seem to play in the open, with not much worry and usually it is noisy around them. It’s fun and you don’t feel like there’s a screen between you. The kids are different. It’s often quiet. I mean really quiet, and they usually play in the basement. Ok, detachment here for me. I was like, “DAMN! Your parents don’t like you! Go to your room and play the game. It’s ok man! You sleep there, I’m sure you can play a game in it, too.” I could hear the smile on their faces as they believed I was joking. Nah people, I was not joking. I thought it was cruel until they explained what was around them. They were not happy about it, and were not, unhappy about it. They didn’t care at all. Their basement was like a room or small one-story home without a bathroom. Ok, some had bathrooms.
I was beside myself. I sounded calm but oh hell naw I wasn’t calm. I wasn’t all frazzled or anything but damn. Then, they asked about where I play the game. I told them at a desk in the main room of the house where I can also watch TV, and keep an eye on my daughter. They would ask why I don’t just go into my basement and play, and let her have the upstairs. I was stunned. I mean, I’m not leaving my kid unsupervised, and I said, “We don’t make 50K a year. We don’t have a basement. We have a crawlspace.” The next question is not only a display of detachment, but one that annoyed the hell out of me. The question was, “Why”. I repeated their question, interrogatively. They would elaborate enough. “Why don’t you have a basement? Why not get a house with one so you can play the game in it?” In my head, I laughed as much as I imagined myself strangling them to death. I spoke with a jovial voice and sarcastically said, “Oh yeah, just move out and find a home with a subterranean room just to play BSGO.” You guessed it. Their retort was, “Yeah. I mean why not? Finding a larger home isn’t hard.”
I didn’t want them to know how pissed I was at that. I just simply said, “It’s not like that. Some people, no matter how hard they work, just don’t make that kind of money.” So I got back the typical, “work harder”, “find a better job,” and “stop being lazy, because they are out there.” And in full circle, I thought, “You don’t know what hard work is.”