If we agree to place a price on our time, we are essentially assenting to allow others to objectify us as they would a piece of tile or an automobile headlight. Allowing ourselves to become objects while still alive is a flat denial, though rarely identified as such, of our tenuous humanity. I do realize that I am simplifying certain things and hyperbolizing others to make a point, but I do so with the hope of making a point I feel passionate about. We aren't as worthless as we are. Not to ourselves. And this is why retail jobs and similarly-structured fiscal situations often wound our self-esteem and result in bitterness. We know we're worth more than these people say we are, but we agree to be treated as if we are only so much, only a few dollars an hour. And the indignation that arises is not the anger we feel towards annoying customers or mundane tasks, but a subtle form of self-loathing, an anger tinged with the unneameable shame we feel at what we know we allow ourselves to become. It is, all too frequently, a recognition of our own weakness, our own failures and shortcomings, often things we know we coula, shoulda changed. We know we've accepted something we've rejected and, in so doing, we realize we've rejected a fundamental piece of our selves in the process. We can come up with thousands of excuses, only a handful of which are truly acceptable. And for those lucky few whose reasons are valid and noble (I accept this wage-job because I am building something, etc.), these critiques are irrelevant. I speak to those of us who settle for too little and know it, those of us who fail in achieving what we know we can and want to do. I speak to those of us who drop the frightening responsibility we have for our own existences to hand control over our lives to someone or something else. And we know it if our excuses are excuses and not reasons. If it is a valid reason, we're not dissatisfied with ourselves. If it is an excuse, no amount of disguise will hide the truth from ourselves. We'll feel it every time we get annoyed by "dumb" circumstance, each instant of ennui, each recognition of a second lopped off irrevocably from our ever-shortening breath on this earth.
"A sinister cabal of superior writers."