The Daily Grind

Eyes weary, he gets up out of bed. Dried rheum impedes his vision as he squints to get a good look at the blazing red numbers on the alarm clock. The annoying ring ring ring at 6:30 a.

m. has become so common after all these years that sometimes, he wakes up a minute or two before the bell has even rung. It was another long day at work coupled with a late night trying to get some assignments done that were due this morning. His bosses were so unforgiving when it came to late submissions and he didn’t really want to fall behind the rest of his coworkers. With barely enough time to get a decent breakfast down, he packs his stuff and heads off for the one place he sees almost as often as his own home. The workplace is pretty quiet.

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As he walks through the giant, monolithic doors, he looks around and catches a glimpse at the usual crowds; a couple of little cliques here and there that had formed over the years. If you didn’t manage to get yourself into one at the beginning, you were hard pressed to find a clique to join now. Sigh. The daily grind was only made even more exhausting when you didn’t have many people to go through it with. After 4 hours at a desk doing mind-numbing work while listening to his bosses give lecture after lecture, it was finally lunchtime. It would have been a more honored break if not for the fact that our friend wasn’t much of a cook and the local cafeteria wasn’t exactly known for its nutritious meals.

After a quick, hour-long break from the monotony of his life with nothing more than a cold bologna and cheese sandwich to help numb the pain, it was right back to work for another four more, seemingly endless hours. But our friend wasn’t at work all of the time. Surely, his weekends must have been a nice time to relax, right? Sadly, the answer is no, my naive reader. For our friend here, weekends are full of more assignments and work. His bosses sometimes forget the meaning of “free time” and interpret it as an opportunity to pile on more work. “We’re preparing them for the real world”, is what they’d probably say.

And this is why our little high school friend gets upset whenever adults go on about how kids have it easy these days at school. He is privileged in many ways, but “easy days” have long been left in the realm of kindergarten. Oh, did you think I was talking about an adult’s life this whole time? I guess the daily grind really is something we can all relate to.