Last week I received a nice little visit from Satan while I was on the clock at my job for all I know. No, I’m not referring to my job as a freelance reporter covering the Milwaukee Bucks, but the job on my school campus working in production. It’s not because of the fact that I only managed to get 5 hours of sleep the night before I had to wake up before the sun, it’s because of the management above me. Yes, this blog post is a soliloquy about the treatment I have received as an employee at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Before you judge me (If you already have, it’s okay), I want you to understand that I skipped the opportunity to have a huge nap for this. So let’s begin.
First off, I want you all to understand that most people can attest to the fact that I have a phenomenal work ethic. I’m not a slouch, and I didn’t write this post because I wasn’t doing anything on the job. I value hard work and dedication towards anything that I do so this post is not affiliated with any sort of laziness whatsoever.
This past Friday I worked a general early morning shift around 7:30 a.m. CDT. A general shift for production workers at my school mostly consists of us doing miscellaneous work by our desks. Let me reiterate that I worked at 7:30 a.m. on a Friday, aka the most uncommon time for events to happen on my campus. So after checking the event system that had absolutely nothing for me to do, I open my email us. The people above me always mentioned to us as employees to leave our email accounts open just in case any work related information is sent to us while on the clock. So that’s that I did. Moments later, one of the higher ups scrolled down by the desk and asked what I was doing and of course, I told him I was checking my email. He was furious, so furious, he informed that me HE doesn’t pay me to “surf the internet all day”.
Sir, it’s 7:30 a.m. on a damn Friday, relax. Now here’s something funny, when he asked what I was doing on the computer, before I even had the chance to reply, he pounced like a cheetah on a baby gazelle over the screen and said, “Are you on Facebook?” Yes, because every single college student who just wants to earn a decent paycheck checks their Facebook account at 7:30 a.m. on a Friday before even clocking in for work. Great job, old man.
But here’s the defining factor that actually persuaded me into writing this post: He told me to clean a bathroom.
Let’s all take a step back here and remember that I work in production. The job title on my name badge clearly says, “Aron Yohannes, Production Services” and not “Aron Yohannes, Janitorial Worker”. That was the most degrading thing I’ve ever heard a boss say to me. In my short 20 years of living, outside of internships, I’ve had six jobs since the age of 17. I worked in kitchen’s dealing with the elderly, and seasonally dealt with customers who don’t know when to stop ordering pizza, but never in my life have I heard a manger or boss say something so vile. Really? You’re telling me to clean a bathroom when it doesn’t even have a spec of relevancy to my job? In the words of my good Twitter friend Chad Johnson, “child please.”
My father occasionally gives me great advice from time to time when we talk personally or when we’re not debating about something. He told me that right now is the old time in my life when certain jobs that I have don’t matter to future employers for my career because I’m enrolled in college. And for what it’s worth, I know many journalists that bounced around with different odd jobs in college. But I will and shall never be talked down to by somebody as if I’m a peasant or second class citizen. There was no way in hell I was going to clean that bathroom. If I got fired at that desk, then so be it. I told him that I’m a production assistant and it’s not in my job description to clean a bathroom. I got up and “pretended” like there was something for me to do upstairs just so I could get him off of my back.
That situation was the first time in my life that I was talked down to by a person of higher power over me. Personally, I don’t have any respect for the man at all and never will. What actually shocks me now that I think about it is that he didn’t talk to me in that tone because of my race, he did because of his position of power over me. Still, you don’t walk around a college campus degrading student workers who are there to just make a check. Maybe this post was a mini Kanye West style rant on how I have no respect for people who think they’re above me, but so be it.
For now, I will continue to keep my job here on my campus considering I need a way to put gas in my tank and pay bills. But that conversation on Friday morning will stick with me for a long time and is one of the many things that will keep me level headed to strive for success in what I do so that I don’t have to be around that type of stuff ever again. I carry every part-time job that I’ve had with me because it instills the mindset that I will eventually break free and achieve great things soon.
And that’s what fuels my fire.
Behind the Broadcaster
This blog displays topics that interest me -- including culture, entertainment, music, and life experiences.