My first job as a kid was a barback/barboy position in a large fancy restaurant. I was barely of legal age to work, and my tips far exceeded my wages. I still have a $10 check from them borne of a 10 hour shift handling crates of hot glasses, busing tables, and dealing with an angry bartender who didn’t seem to like his employees very much. I only started working there to pay off the $100 phone bill I racked up on my Dad’s account for dialing into a non-local BBS(This was the mid-90’s).
Another job I had, the very next one in fact, was more stable, with higher pay($5.25/hr) with which I kept myself happily in stock of a local variant of Yoohoo, Spicy Beef Jerky, and Heavy Metal Magazine. I was never really fast enough to be a cashier, so most of the time I was building up my muscles pushing carts(I know Cart-Fu).
Jobs like this are meant for young people, just to give us a taste of what it means to work. Or, maybe it’s to show the wide gap between the effects of a middle school and a high school education, not to mention the legendary leap in salary once the holy grail BS degree is achieved(in theory). Or, all of that might be a nice way to cover up general corporate needs in American Society for inexpensive child labor.
Flash forward(mostly because my Marine Corps experiences might seem like overkill for this post), and you see me in Boston, barely able to make ends meet while shopping at Whole Foods exclusively. I had a $1400 apartment(remarkably cheap for Boston), and I had a rich social life. I was barely making it, but my life was my own.
You made changes to your life. Good on you. Take risks. Get hurt. Bleed. Cry a little, or a lot. But get back on your metal horse and ride to new destinies when you don’t find the world you thought you wanted, which you might find if you search for 30–50 years. Many never find it. You have a small taste of the world, and you are doing better than most.
The 36 year old in me wants to shout you down for being a spoiled brat who complained about a good situation. The 8 year old in me wants your shiny credit card with all the good and bad that comes with it. At my core, I know that you got fired for this article not because of your financial situation, or your age, but because you were unabashedly unpleasant towards people that gave you more riches than you could dream of, which you squandered.
If you want to live richly, learn to live as common people do. Learn to cook on a pauper’s budget. There are a lion’s share of people earning less than you who are feeding 3 kids on a shoestring, all of which probably eat much better than you. Independent living is a skill, like anything else.
Lastly, I have to sit back and applaud your entrepreneurial spirit for the paypal collection basket. It might impress me more if you started producing something of merit. Perhaps you should start a webcomic with an attached Patreon, telling the story of your wild and crazy adventures in SF. I would read it, and I would probably be on your $15 tier.