I have spent my entire life in the education system. And have been very successful throughout it. Not with natural innate cleverness I might add, but instead through consistent hard work at every level of qualification.
All of this was for a reason, of course. I had spent the entirety of my teen years and my early twenties with the resounding dream of teaching. Preferably Secondary School or High School English. And then suddenly, with all the As and A*s in the bag keeping the Degree cosy, I hit a hole in the road.
Well more like a crater.
I was told ever so politely that my dream wasn’t going to be a possibility. Epilepsy, you see. Now of course there are conditions to epileptic teachers leading a classroom. Completely understandable. However, unfortunately for me, I don’t fit under any of those conditions.
So then, after all the years of effort, essays and exams, everything that I had worked towards had been brutally dismantled before my eyes.
That left me with the awkward question of ‘What am I going to do now?’
It was when I started browsing job opportunities that I realised that I had become a Villainous Job Snob. I began deciding that I wasn’t going to do ‘that type of job’ before I’d even read the requirements or the full nature of the employment.
Now, supermarket work, which seems to be available at will, has always been off the counter for me, because of the correlation between my presence inside of one and the amount of seizures that occur. But retail wouldn’t have been.
Now, one thing that everyone here has to understand, I do not judge those people that work in retail, restaurants or call centres. Fair enough on every count. If you enjoy the work itself, the people, being able to provide for yourself and your family or even just being in a stable nine to five. That isn’t what I judge. What I judge truly is myself in that position.
I see myself in those uniforms and feel such a heavy wave of disappointment. As though all those years, all that pushing, all those well earned certificates were and are wasted. And if I began stacking shelves every day then I may as well take all those glittering bits of paper to the back of my house and burn them.
I sound like a horrific human being and I know it. I sound like a judgemental snob and I know it.
But I can’t help but judge myself by a certain standard. The standard representative of my hard work, the results and qualifications that came as a result of it and therefore the level of employment that would be expected to follow.