Professor For A Day (WORK-IN-PROGRESS)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
An extremely unlucky young man recounts his first (and last) day as a community college English professor.

Submitted: July 11, 2015

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Submitted: July 11, 2015

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Having recently gotten my master’s degree in English Literature, I did the only thing I could do with a Master’s Degree in English Literature and got a job as an English Literature professor at Northern Essex Community College.  It was great, because it’s in Haverhill, and my parents live nearby in Merrimac, so I could live with my parents while I cried over my lowly community college professor’s salary and wondered how I became such a failure.  Anyway, last Monday was my first, and last, day.

I started my day by getting up at 6:30 AM and brushing my teeth.  I started to turn on the shower when I heard a loud knock on the bathroom door.  “David?” said my Dad’s angry voice.

“Yes, dad?”  I said, trying not to sound annoyed.

“What the hell are you doing up this early?” he said, getting more annoyed

“Today’s my first day of work, remember?”

“Oh, right.  You’re a janitor at Northern Essex, right?”

“Um, no.  I’m a professor of English Literature at Northern Essex.”

“Then why the hell are they paying you a janitor’s salary?” my Dad grumbled.  “In fact, my company pays our janitors more than you’re getting paid.  We’re looking for a new one.  Want me to recommend you?  Maybe that way, you could afford your own apartment.”

“Are you quite done yet?” I sighed

“Yeah,” my Dad muttered.  “Just try to keep the noise down, Professor.”

After my shower, I went downstairs and poured a bowl of Reese’s Puffs.  As I sat eating my Reese’s Puffs and watching SpongeBob, I thought “It’s like I’m a kid again.”  I wasn’t sure if it was a good or a bad thing.  At 27 years old, the realities of adult life were starting to hit me.  Sometimes it seemed like it would be nice to be in high school again.

Just then, my Dad came downstairs.  “By the way, how do you plan on getting to work?” he asked.

“I’m driving.” I replied without thinking.

“In what, my car?” my Dad said.

“Yeah…” I realized what he was doing. “Can I use your car?”

“No.” my Dad said flatly.
“But you said you didn’t have work today!” I shot back

“I know,” my dad mumbled.  “I just thought that maybe… I might have to go to the supermarket later… or something…”

“Are you hearing yourself right now?” I said.  I was getting mad now.

“Hey!’  My Dad shouted.  “I’m your father!  You do not talk to me like that!”

“Dad, I’m 27.” I said.

“Yeah?  Well you live in my house, you live by my rules.  And in this house, you do not talk back to your parents!”

Remember that thing I said before about how it seemed like it might be nice to be in high school again?  Scratch that.  It would not be nice at all.

So anyway, after giving me a big lecture about how I shouldn’t be so entitled as to think that I could use his car without asking, he said “Maybe your mother will let you use her car.”

I went upstairs to my parents’ room where my mom was still asleep and knocked on the door.

“Mom, can I use your car?  I gotta go to work.” I said.

My mom, clearly annoyed that I woke her up, muttered “Take the bus.”

So I walked to the bus stop on Middle Street, which was the only bus stop in Merrimac, and also happened to be in front of Merri Village, a public housing neighborhood full of drug addicts, alcoholics, and other low-lifes.  I mean, I probably should be glad that there was a bus stop in Merrimac at all, but this was not the kind of neighborhood I wanted to be waiting for a bus in.

Anyway, I waited for the bus with a few other people:  A woman who was about my age, but already had a teenage son.  An old homeless-looking man wearing a winter hat and thick jacket even though it was 80 degrees outside.  An obviously drug-addicted middle aged guy who may have been asleep but may also have been dead.  Soon enough, the bus arrived.  The door opened, and I started to get on.  The bus driver signaled me to wait.  A tiny old lady with a cane and about ten Market Basket bags slowly came hobbling over to the door, and started to get off the bus.  She spent about two minutes trying to step from the bus to the curb without losing her balance.  And honestly, I couldn’t blame her.  I she didn’t seem like the kind of old lady who would have LifeAlert.  So she had to be careful.  Finally, after she had successfully exited the bus with all her groceries, the driver motioned for me to get on.  

Having never taken a bus before in my life, I asked the driver “How much?”

“Dollah Twenty-Five” he said with a thick Massachusetts accent.

I took out my wallet, and to my horror, I only had a twenty-dollar bill.

I motioned at the farebox, “Does this thing take twenties?”

“It’ll only give you a ticket” said the bus driver.

“But it’ll take it?”

“Yeah, it’ll take yah bill, but it won’t give any change.  Just a ticket.”

Not quite understanding what he was saying, I put my $20 in the slot, and the machine printed me a ticket.

I took the first open seat I saw, behind the plexiglass partition after the rear door.  I looked at the ticket.  It said: “Stored Value.  Initial Value: $18.75.  Can be used to pay fare at ay MVRTA farebox.  Can not be redeemed for cash.”  

Can not be redeemed for cash.  I had just lost a week’s worth of lunch money paying a $1.25 bus fare.  Great, I thought. Well, at least this day probably couldn’t get any worse.  

Little did I know, I was wrong.  Very wrong.  Extremely wrong.

 

The second part of this stiry will be added soon! 


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