There are many different roads one can take in life, rather it be deciding to go to college or not when high school is completed, what profession to get into, whether or not one should marry, or whether or not one should stick with a given profession.
All through high school, I concentrated on my studies, but throughout most of my time spent there, I hadn’t considered going to college, because it was expensive, and I knew my parents couldn’t afford it. Scholarships weren’t an option, because they were highly competitive. They usually went to the rich kids who were good students in school, and in the top 1% of the class. They also didn’t need the funds, like those who were the poorer students of the school. Therefore, I elected not to go to college.
During my senior year of high school, my mother called the principle’s office telling them she wanted them to pull me out of class, so I could report to the guidance counselor to pick up an application for Kalamazoo Community College. Therefore, I was forced to go to college against my will.
Upon graduating high school in June of 1988, I started working at McDonald’s Restaurant. I didn’t like it much, because it was hard, backbreaking work for so little pay. The money I made was peanuts. In the beginning, the management there made life there for me most miserable. However, I stuck it out, anyway, because I knew I needed the money. If I didn’t need the money at the time, I never would have applied there for a job. Again, it was my mother’s insistence on my applying for a job there. I was again forced to do so against my will.
I started college in the fall. I found that I really liked college life. It was different from high school, because the were no tardy bells. Students took responsibility for themselves when it came to getting to class on time. If a student was late, he wasn’t punished for it by anyone of authority. It was he that usually did the punishing to oneself.
During my last semester of college back during the summer of 1990, my mother once again took over my life, insisting I apply for a job selling kitchen cutlery for this company that I’d never even heard of. Not only did she force me to apply, she made sure I did by driving me down to the place herself.
I did get hired to work there, but I hated it. I was so miserable, especially when I discovered how dishonest the boss and everyone involved in the company was. They’d train their employees to tell the customers how they weren’t obligated to buy anything, when secretly, the company had us convincing the customers to buy something. Not only did they have us trick the customers into buying the cutlery, but the company wanted us to sell all we could, because it was the sales that were most important, not the customers themselves.
Finally, I knew I had to come to a decision, I told my mother I was going down there to talk to the boss. Not only did I go down there, but I told him, “I quit,” and why. He did all he could to convince me to stay, and how I should forget about my job at McDonald’s, forget about my family, forget about my college education, and most importantly, he told me to forget about my writing endeavors, and my dreams in life for the future. I was told by him that there was nothing more important than the cutlery company I worked for. I told him what he could do with the company and his ethics. I collected my deposit for my distributor’s kit, walked out of his office, and never looked back.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015