new_releases No Explanations, No Apologies

by Jeremy Worsham

Published in Issue No. 13 ~ June, 1998

God, this old fuck is going so slow! You’d think if you were a meal away from dying you’d be in more of a hurry to get where you’re going! And this crackhead next to me, how can you pick your nose and shift into 3rd at the same time? Meanwhile I’m on my way to corporate hell; You’d think a company who just made the fortune 500 a month ago could afford to pay me at least $7.00 an hour. But what am I saying that’s how A company gets to be on the Fortune 500 by sticking it to their employees. Of course with the record these clowns have got I shouldn’t be surprised with anything they do. Barnes & Noble is the only company brave enough to announce to its employees that it will now start to offer benefits to part-time workers (20 hrs or more); then hire on twice the number of people needed to do the job while giving the employees who are already there 16 hour weeks. This is also the same company who brings in a manager of a department store who knows nothing about books to be the head honcho at a place that needs someone in charge who at least knows who’s on the NY times bestsellers list for that week. Meanwhile they close down a smaller store (which they run under a different name) and put the manager there, who is a book lover and knows the book business better than anyone in the entire area, under this idiot who only likes books with pictures. The only reason she didn’t get the job at the new store was because she’s a woman. I’m just glad this is a temporary gig until graduation next year. I can’t imagine myself here like some other people working for $8.00 an hour as an assistant manager with a bachelor’s in History.

Of course when I get to work I’ll be hit with a million stupid questions like where are the cliff notes I have a test over Moby Dick tomorrow? Or questions like my all time favorite from some dumb ass jock “do you have any books on the use of anabolic steroids?” Hello?! Isn’t that crap supposed to be illegal? Then there are those brilliant minds that believe that Oprah is the be all and end all of book recommendations. Or what about the best sellers list? If a foreigner looks at this list he would have to believe that we are a nation of Leonardo DeCaprio worshippers (What am I saying? We are!) I believe that best sellers should be charted by which books are most frequently stolen from bookstores. If a person is willing to go to jail for a book it must be pretty damn good.

But why am I getting bummed out so early in the day? I haven’t even made it to work yet. HONK! You asshole redneck bastard. Oh yea! That’s what I want a Ford truck that stands about 6 feet above the ground. That way I could drive around and cut people off as I intimidate them with the size of my piece of shit automobile. Or better yet I could lower my car to about 3 inches off the ground and jack out my tires about a foot outside the wheel wells of my car. That way when I hit speed bumps I can hear that lovely sound of asphalt scraping against the underside of my car. I could even put in some hydraulics so I can bounce my car up and down to impress all the passers by.

I guess What I’m really pissed off about is the senselessness of it all. Here we are working our asses off just to make ends meet so we can retire when we’re too old to enjoy not having to work anyway. We are a country of workers; we are identified in society by our occupation and, when we’re tossed out of the machine like an old cog, we find ourselves bored to tears not knowing what to do with all our time. The bums on the street are the only ones to see the real stupidity of it all. Only they have the balls to stand up and give society the big fat middle finger while trying to drink away the reality that death will equalize us all. Fuck it all! At least there’s vacation and at long last bookstores. One last check of the hair, tie on strait? O.K. here we go again…..

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Jeremy Worsham attends college in southern Texas. His experiences in the state universities, there, have convinced him that academia is in serious trouble in this country.