Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"A & P" by John Updike

Tomorrow, our class will be discussing the oft-anthologized short story: "A & P."

Lots of students find this story interesting and amusing. Some students hate it -- or just don't get the point.

To me, this story resonates because I freshly remember those days of working in retail, working with customers and idiotic co-workers, ringing people up, and listening to complaints. Some of those teenage jobs were more wonderful than horrible -- such as working at the movie theater or working at Disneyland. All of my jobs during my young adulthood were bearable -- with the exception of one.

There was one job in which my employer was verbally abusive. She called me "dead brain" from time to time. She claimed that her ten year old son had a higher level of maturity (and to be fair, perhaps she was correct -- but she didn't have to be so mean about it.)

After six months of working for her, she decided I wasn't competent enough to deserve 8 dollars an hour, so she was going to dock my pay down to $6.50. When she told me that, I took my lunch break and then I never returned.

Have you ever walked away from a job? (Or have you ever wanted to?) What's the worst you ever felt while at work?

Oh, and if you are interested, here is the link to John Updike's "A & P." 

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