Quips and Quirks and Plenty of Derps


I’m 27.  A perpetual college senior that is stuck between that supposed “American Dream” and the harsh reality of being a lowly retail specialist.  Definitely out of place, I live in a city classified as the leader of the heroin epidemic.  Lovely sight I’m painting, huh?  I’m not done.

Aside from living with my parents at this age, I’m still trying to finish college.  College, in my opinion, has become this over-hyped and over-priced stigma that this country spits out.  I know, other countries have colleges too.  My point is that the idea to get far in life is college.  That is the biggest point my high school made.  Graduate from high school, go to college, graduate from that, and get a job.

What high school failed to put forth in our little impressionable brains is that college isn’t made for everyone, meaning that those with no resources, money or networking (socially).  My University has shown me that numerous times, to the point where graduation is bleak.

The past year was tough for me.  I worked at Kroger (the most backwards retail conglomerate ever) for five months.  I quit because of the wrong treatment of management and the severe pain I was going through.  I was a cart pusher working for minimum wage.  Eight dollars and twenty cents per hour.  This job paid two dollar less than surrounding areas, took almost eight dollars for “union dues” and hours weren’t the best.  Why’d I choose that job?  Sometimes I wonder.

2017 was a testicle-grabbing year financially.  Our car just gave up.  I spent $1800 for a paperweight.  I spent all of my money, out of desperation because I had no means of transportation for most of the prior year.  Anywho, when the car broke down, my college semester had spoiled.  I tried to explain that I’m completely broke, and what money I did have went to food and medication because well, the potential starvation or deterioration triumphed over pesky classes.  Call me stupid, but my (along with my parent’s) well being had to come first.   My professors did not care one bit and my Ethic professor suggested me taking an Incomplete, which allows me to retake the course at a later time.

Since the semester was shot, I took the job at Kroger.  It was offered to me through good faith from my first stint there.  I thought that I could use the quick buck to get the car fixed and get back on top of things.  I didn’t though.  The car was beyond repair, so we had to get financed for a car far too expensive for it’s value.  So, I had to use this job to help with any bills lagging.

When I was working at Kroger, I had somewhat decent hours.  Even though I was getting paid an awful amount per hour, I was getting by.  Not as a livable wage, but something nonetheless.  Halfway through my tenure, management changed and things went awry.  Reasonable management was out and stupidity floated in.  The new bosses hired a slew of children.  Literally hired a dozen high school freshmen.  Thanks to that, my hours were cut.  I went from 30 hours to 17-20 hours.  During the peak of the Summer, I accepted it.  It was hot.  92 degrees hot.  That was not too good.  Since we had new people and new management, laziness ensued and I got the bulk of the work.  I worked 6 of my 8 hours on hot pavement and nobody would listen to things I had to say regarding that.  Supervisors never supervised.  I asked about having help and questioning why I was not getting it and the Supervisor literally said “What do you want me to do?”  especially when I asked why the kids weren’t doing their job.  I had the idiotic assumption that um, they’re suppose to run this Titanic.  I ended up working most of duties.  That’s not me trying to come off as Superman.  Ask the cashiers.  I was dying out there.

One day, I was shoveling in a dozen carts (the recommended amount).  I pulled it out of the corral and my back popped.  I didn’t think of it immediately until after break.  The rest period had my back in agony.  Welp, I finished the day.  After a week, something didn’t feel right, but I was accustomed to feeling awful, especially through the heat.  After another week or two, I wasn’t feeling right at all.  My fingers started to tingle and go numb.  I went to management and found out that I didn’t have nor qualify for insurance.  I asked for a little help because my grasp was off and something just wasn’t right.  What was their response?  “Suck it up, that’s life”.  Seriously.  I may be funny, but I wasn’t joking.  I tried working but I was nowhere near the level I could’ve been.  Nevertheless, I was outperforming the other cart pushers by a wide margin.   To this day, six months after I quit, I’m still in pain.  I’m nearly 6’4″.  You wouldn’t know it because it hurts to straighten up.  It’s very likely I herniated some discs and Kroger did nothing to help the problem.  I quit in August because I was working too hard and a new temporary manager was putting me down as did her supervisor.  She told me to clear the lot.  I was trying.  I was exhausted.  I told her that the kid I was scheduled with wasn’t doing crap.  She called me a liar and told me that I’ll be written up if I didn’t.  I tried to plead my case and she called me a liar and accused me of not doing squat when in reality, she was the one loitering around with cashiers.  I snapped.  I laughed in her face, took off my vest and clocked out.  If you were there, I would totally have your support.  Cashiers had my side and tried to vouch for me, but the manager didn’t want to hear it.

I quit Kroger shortly before the Fall semester.  I thought I would take another crack at the University.  Nope.  It didn’t work out.  Power got cut off and I had to pawn my laptop.  I couldn’t get anywhere either because the intermittent shut down of the car or conflict doctor appointments.  I just couldn’t make it there because of financial and medical hardships.  Again, my classes tanked.  I applied for course forgiveness in the way of a petition.  I attached receipts and detailed accounts of my issues.  I went into a lot of depth to plead my case.  The dim committee said that wasn’t enough.  They told I had to do things I already did.  They didn’t care.  They even said they didn’t read some of it.  So, what part of that was my fault?   Because of being broke and living in poverty, I can’t graduate.  The backwards college doesn’t seem to get that some people don’t have a trust fund and some people run into issues.  Maybe it’s insensitive, but I hope they get a taste of what happened over the past two semesters.  Things happened beyond my control.  I don’t know what to do and frankly I am losing my touch on giving the slightest bit of crap.  Everyone I know is becoming a success and I’m watching myself grow old and depressed.

Thank you Kroger and Wright State University.  Maybe I’ll become out of touch and garner the strength to ruin other people’s ambitions and work ethic.



A Life of Something More Than Nothing


“Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end”

I had a newfound chip on my shoulder eight weeks ago.  It was the beginning of some new.  The overwhelming staleness of Earth Science and it’s department at Wright State was gone.  Anew was the visions I had for a career in the “real world”.  I had these ideas and theories running through my head.  I thought of innovation and beneficial programs and it all seemed to fit like a lovely educational 1000-piece puzzle.

The real world arrived.

Three days before the semester started, I got hit with the flu.  Getting hit was an understatement.  I got slammed by some virus.  My Dad said it could have been pneumonia.  Without insurance, I had one of two choices, go to the hospital and be in debt trying to repay them for their services or ride it out.  I tried to ride it out.  It wasn’t my inner miser taking control.  I thought it would have been out of my system in time.  Guess what?  It wasn’t.  I was out for 11 days.  Women have this assumption that men milk their illnesses for all it’s worth.  I read scientific articles that men do get sick worse and have trouble getting over it.  We’re not those strong women that can do anything.  Men have the disadvantage of being ill!


I was out and missed three classes of one specific class, four of two other classes. I was already behind and I hadn’t had a chance to step onto campus!  I finally returned to campus for the final day of the week.  My Dad picked me up around 5pm and when he tried to get out of the stellar parking lot, the car popped.  The car wasn’t right to begin with.  Prior to the beginning of the semester, the real issues of our car began to show.  When he turned and the car popped, we knew something was wrong.  The car began to whine and resist any long turns.  The steering was failing.  On top of that, we had a major gas leak.  So, forcing the wheel could break something.  When metal breaks, sparks form.  When sparks meet gas, well… you get the picture.

I went online and bought a Rack and Pinion.  This car helps with the steering.  Without that, nothing works.  You can reverse and go forward.  Turning is disabled.  I had spent $200.  We called the mechanic down the road and he said that all of the work would cost $400.  A total of $600.  It was a lot of money, but it was worth not blowing up!  With this, I started to get comfortable and relaxed.  I thought that I could go back to class and resume anything I had previously done prior to the vehicular mishap.  Guess what happened next?


The mechanic told us that the car was beyond repair.  The frame was too damaged and that if he had attempted to repair the rack and pinion, that the car would be finished because everything would have fallen apart right there.  It was like the rust was holding things together at the moment.  It was a $2,000 repair.  I didn’t have that kind of money.

I tried to explain things to my professor.  I asked for work to do from home and submit it through email.  I wanted to show them that I had a legitimate issue (I provide receipts) and they wouldn’t work with me.  I was willing to put forth more work and effort than I should so that I can pass, but that wasn’t good enough.  I don’t like to blame others for some things that happen in my life, but they’re probably going to be the reason I stand a very high chance of not graduating.

I don’t get why they will not work with me on issues like this.  After all, my loans are paying for their income.  Students are the reason they eat and have a place to go and sleep.  I am going into debt, paying for their class.  The least they could do is accommodate students in their desperate time of need.  But.. no.  I have to hitchhike or grow a set of wings and make it there just to listen to them parrot their PowerPoints.

As of now, I am not able to graduate.  I can’t.  I have two semesters of financial aid.  That’ll pay for all but three classes that I need.  My professor is suggesting that I drop the course.  That just irritates the F**K out of me.  She’s paid, so seeing me drop the course is obviously the logical thing to suggest.

I just cannot catch a break.  I tried to beg to the Department of Education about forgiving a portion of my loans due to hardship.  I’ve been attending college for eight years.  I had to stop doing what I was doing for the sake of my family.  I’m not complaining about helping them.  I didn’t have a problem helping out.  But, I had to stop.  I had to use some loans to pay some bills because we were broke.  The so-called biological mother was as useful as a  stump. She did not contribute.  So, with my Dad taking care of my ailing Grandmother and paying the mortgage, I tried to cover anything else that was needed.  That was my only method of income.  Adams County was (at the time) the second most unemployed county in the state, and this was at the peak of the recession.

I had explained that with this situation, having to move to Dayton because of the increasing debt of the house, and helping my parents that are disabled, that I’ve used my loans just to stay afloat.  I haven’t been doing too well financially.

It’s almost not an exaggeration.  I’m too poor to go to college.  The DOE told me to discuss this with my lender.  Makes sense, right?  I did discuss this with my lender.  They told me that they cannot do anything and that I have to discuss this with the Financial Aid office.  They (Wright State) told me to discuss this with the Lender.  The lender said that they’re not a lender.  They are too!  Are you confused?  So am I.

So I cannot get help.  I don’t know why.  I just want to graduate.  I don’t care if I have loan debt.  I just want to get a career and live a life above the realm of poverty.  Is that too much to ask?

This is the end.  The chances of living a life of something more than nothing is nothing more than a pipe-dream.

Of my elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end