First off, let me start by saying how fortunate I am to have a job in the first place. There are a lot of people who are hurting and too many of my co-workers and bosses are my Facebook friends for me to say anything that would get me fired.
That all said, I am way too useless of an employee and undeserving of a reasonable salary to earn what I describe to my creditors as “A living wage.” Between splitting my time between working various day jobs and being a full-time student in screenwriting, the hours don’t exist to make a living. Even if they did exist, I made the massive error of choosing an education in inventing dialogue between imaginary people, so it’s not going to pan out from a day job perspective regardless.
So considering the facts that I get paid poorly, don’t deserve to be paid any better or don’t have the available hours to work a full-time job, it’s left me only one option to earn a reasonable living: office supply theft. And on a grand level, too. This is not to disrespect my employers or hurt the company. Rather, it is the only way to earn a respectable living in accordance with the Department of Labor. I steal office supplies to do their work for them.
This isn’t your occasional pencil or paper clip stealing either. That isn’t going to add up to enough to justify the work that I am taking off the hands from The Department of Labor. Essentially, I need to steal enough office supplies to add two or three dollars-per-hour to my hourly wage.
This is how the middle class was formed.
It is a sort of subset of the middle class. One existing entirely on ink toner, file cabinets and ergonomic chairs that are stolen to edge my way into some sort of tax bracket. Any tax bracket. One that justifies that I have a high school diploma. This raises a separate question: why don’t tax brackets have names?
You could do this the way that divisions in the NHL used to have really nifty names to them. They used to have the Adams Division, Smythe, Norris, Patrick, etc. It was really nice before they switched to the boring Eastern, Central, Northwest and so on. We could have tax brackets like the Wendy’s First Date Tax Bracket at the lower end. Work our way up to the Groupon Dinner Party Bracket a little higher. Step up to the Android Beta Bracket. All the way up to the Wiping Ass With Hundred Dollar Bills Tax Bracket.
And if I am going to make the jump from the Procrastinating Starving Artist Tax Bracket to the Soulless Day Job Failed Artist Tax Bracket, then the only way to do it by stealing enough office supplies that does the Department of Labor’s job for me.
If I can slowly roll an office chair out of the building. Or hide a filing cabinet under my shirt. Or place a hat on top of the printer and pretend that it’s my robot friend. Tell one of the interns that he has to sell one of my fledgling screenplays. Something that, over time, adds up to an extra two dollars an hour, then at least I can feel like a respectable member of society.
A respectable member of society with stolen ink toner all over his hands and face because I don’t know how printers work. Only then can I feel like a true American tax payer. One that knows how to steal and how to complain.