“My life is crap“, moaned the 23-something-year-old retail sales clerk to his friend who was posing as a customer, but really just visiting him and to hang out.
At this, my ears immediately perked up and paid attention (how could they not?)!
As a side note, I eavesdrop not because I actively want to but I’ve found that if you are a native English speaker and you hear English, you’re attuned to the conversation to eavesdrop whether you want to or not.
Does this happen to anyone else?
I can’t help myself, I’m sorry; but if you do not want me to consciously or unconsciously eavesdrop on you, speak softer, don’t speak at all, or use another language I don’t speak (er…. but not French either, because I tend to WANT to eavesdrop on you actively just to see if I can understand what you’re saying and practice my French comprehension).
Anyway back to this poor newly minted college graduate.
He’s there working at some big-name retail store for electronics at minimum wage (which by the way was just hiked to $11/hour from $10.75/hour), talking to his friend about how things are going.
The main topic of discussion?
Student loan debt.
I didn’t catch what college he attended let alone what he studied, but I’m going to take a stab at computer science or something like that.
Suffice it to say, he expected to make more money than minimum wage after graduating with said degree.
Friend: I couldn’t even get OSAP*!
(Ontario Student Assistance Program; or Ontario’s Student Loans)
Guy: I got it, but I also got a grant for $4000 which helped out a bit but wasn’t enough.
Friend: Oh yeah?… So.. like.. er.. *lowers voice down to a whisper* … how much do you owe then? Like $10 grand?
Guy: *sigh*…. *lowers voice*…. no.. more. Way more. Like $30 grand.
Guy: Yeah but it could have been worse.
Friend: So.. what’s your plan then?
(I kind of got the impression that Friend is not working at a retail store but in an actual job or office somewhere because he was in the store looking to buy a new laptop.)
Guy: Well I am thinking I can just work here for now. If I stick with it, maybe in 2-3 years I could be a manager here, then my pay could maybe go up to $18 an hour.
Friend: That’s a plan at least.
Guy: I dunno. It’s still a long time and not enough money to clear my loans. I was thinking I could maybe just become a plumber but that’s a lot of hard work.
Friend: Plus.. not to mention that I mean.. what’s the point of you having gotten a degree if you’re just going to become a plumber, right?
Guy: Yeah. *sighs heavily*. MY LIFE IS CRAP.
Guess this reinforces my previous posts on college and how cynical I am about the whole situation.
I will still definitely NOT be paying for my kids’ college educations because a college degree doesn’t necessarily mean you have any skills because a lot of people still don’t realize that you may not even need a college degree anyway (especially that guy above who was willing to just become a plumber but thought it was too much work).
Otherwise, pick a college degree that will make you money.
It made me think of this article shared recently by eemusings: Highly Educated, Highly Indebted Lives of 27-Year Olds which shows this rather telling chart: