The theme of jobs in America isn’t really taking a turn for the better. The rise of automation has crept into restaurants, retail stores are claiming bankruptcy at alarming rates, and the industrial sector is taking hits from the receding coal industry. That about takes care of all the avenues of work in the town I live in.

Between a general lack of information and the amount of misinformation combined, it has caused a lot of things to be said and written that are untrue about people who are unemployed, millennials in particular. A lack of empathy is as dangerous as too much of it.

I spent the majority of my adult livelihood serving the public in one way or another. The fry station at McDonald’s, running a register at Wal-Mart, being a server at Ruby Tuesday, and even playing a role in mining coal from underground for consumption.


When I see the same public that I served to earn my paycheck turn and look in wonderment as to why no one wants to serve them anymore, I have to laugh a little. These are the same people who made fun of me for working the fry station at McDonald’s in my twenties, called me vulgar and profane names for not giving them their money back per policy at Wal-Mart, purposely left low tips or even no tip at all just for their own amusement at Ruby Tuesday, and bullied and harassed me out of a number of jobs, including working underground, for many different reasons.

I can agree to a point that gainful employment in this area isn’t for everybody, without flinching. I don’t see why saying so should disturb anyone else either, especially if I was told during my first week on-site at the mine I worked for was, “Coal mining isn’t for everyone.”. I’ve even had family members wholeheartedly agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Hobby Lobby’s Christian Values over federal legislation because, “If they don’t want to work for a Christian company, they can work somewhere else.”. You’re right, somewhere like Chick-fil-A or Cracker Barrel even…


I don’t know all the answers to employment in America but here is the conclusion I’ve gotten to in the end of all the conversations I’ve had about employment on a personal level. If you can find dignity in employment, then dignity can be taken away in employment as well.


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