Associated Comic:
Gainful Employment

When we’re children our teachers ask us what we want to be when we grow up. Kids say things like astronauts, not really knowing there are only about 300 of those in the entire country. So if the kid wants any chance at getting to see outer space, they have to study really hard, get a degree in science or math, spend 1000 or so hours flying a jet, and have near perfect physical health and vision. Or they can huff a bunch of spray paint.

“The Daily Grind” as it’s called. Whatever the task, “Grind” undoubtedly denotes burdensome physical labor. However, the grind is usually folding shirts, taking pictures, or being on a phone all day telling different people how to hook up a router. If you have a 9-5 job, you’re socially obligated to complain about it. A lot of 9-5 jobs demand that their applicants have at least 3 to 5 years of complaining about a previous 9-5 job, and the ability to frequently minimize and maximize windows to appear busy. The only amount of complaining that stands to supersede the complaining found with a 9-5 job is the complaining from not having a 9-5 job. So, no matter how much we don’t like our 9-5 job, we’re usually terrified of losing it.

These jobs are usually not what anybody would ideally be doing with their time, and certainly not that thing we told our teacher we would be as a child. The 9-5 is there for rent. For heat. For the Pringles contribution to the Saturday cookout. For that car trip up the coast, the late birthday gift for a sibling, for going to the dentist. It’s for replacing the belts on both your car and waist, and making sure the water you drink is filtered. Most importantly, the 9-5 job pays the monthly cable bill, to make sure that, even if you don’t ever get to go to outer space, you can see it on TV.