I've been hanging out at some online forums for the past 8 or so years, and I post a lot of these blog entries there. The people there all know me pretty well, and they of course all know that I work at 7-Eleven. For the most part everybody there gets a kick out of my frequent descriptions of 'life at work' and what-not, but one guy in particular apparently would like to see me doing more with my life because he sent because he sent me a private message asking this question:
"Just curious, you obviously seem like a very intelligent person; so why do you work at a place like 7/11?
I don't mean to pry into your life, just seems very out of place."
His screenname is Prosperous, by the way, and he makes about $250,000 a year. Here is my reply:
Hmmm... well, first off money isn't important to me. Oh, sure, I like it and we all have bills to pay, so I need it. However, I really don't care too much about it beyond what I need to survive. I guess that's why I've never been very motivated to take more of an active part in this 'life' thing. I could have gotten a degree in a more lucrative field like accounting or business or something that would have guaranteed me a more comfortable income, but no; what did I do? I got my degree in computer animation, the most competitive field other than politics. So I have a kick ass demo reel and no connections, and as a result I'm paying back 30,000 dollars in loans with no career to show for it. I could really be pissed off about that I guess, but fuck it. It's only money, and it was a good experience.
What is money anyway? Just something that most people are addicted to and will do lots of unsavory things in order to get more of. I have my own addictions, but thankfully money ain't one of em. I'm also thankful that I don't need money in order to be happy, as most people think they do, as I have been at my happiest during periods of my life when I was flat broke. Most people who do get money find out that it doesn't make them happy anyway. And what would I do with a shitload of money? I'd buy all of the things I wanted all at once, and I'd wind up with nothing to look forward to; nothing to work towards. Life would become boring. Personally, I would like enough money to buy a house and set myself up so that I would be in the black for life. I don't really want any more than that, and I'm probably not ever going to even get THAT much, anyway. So, I'll continue to work Joe Schmoe jobs until I retire... maybe. Who knows. I might go back to school when my loans are out of default, because then I'll be able to qualify for more loans. Maybe I'll get a library science degree. One of my co-workers has her masters in library science, and it's something I've often thought about pursuing. It would be nice to be able to have a career doing something that I enjoy (and I definitely enjoy books); that's why I took the risk with the computer animation degree.
Why do I work at 7-Eleven now? Because I needed a job and I have no pride. I'm not ashamed because I work at 7-Eleven. There are some good folks working there, and if I had never gotten that job, I never would have met certain people. I can't say that I really enjoy working there for every hour of every day, but it certainly is interesting. And strangely enough, I do make enough money to get by, and what with all the training they're putting me through, soon I'll get another raise and who knows? Maybe I'll decide to stick with it and manage my own store some day. I could make up to $60,000 a year doing that, and that's definitely enough for me. My only debts are my loans, and a few piddly little tidbits on my credit report. I certainly wouldn't need any more money than that.
So, intelligent though I may be, I choose to live life by a set of rules which puts money low on the list of my priorities. Instead, I use my intelligence to try to comprehend things that are important to me, like what is the universe? Why is there anything as opposed to nothing? How much of it is within my ability to understand before I croak? I do a lot of reading, a shitload; and it's probably the thing that gives me the most pleasure in life, other than friends and family. Luckily for me, knowledge, friendship, and books are all pretty cheap.