Charlotte Vents her Problems

This post is made in response to the weekly VNLink discussion question: "Let one of your characters vent their problems." The following text is written from the perspective of Charlotte, a character in Employee A.

I'm sick and tired of being demeaned. People I recognize come into this cafe every day; people who know my name and face, people who keep coming here because they genuinely like the food and drinks I make them. People who tell me the coffee I make is their favorite. And yet, when I hear them talking amongst themselves at their tables, I hear whispers of their contempt.

"If she were more educated, she wouldn't have a job like this one."

"She's nice, but I hardly think she contributes anything of value."

"If contractors were worth hiring, I'm sure we'd hire them."

Bitch, I feed you.

Don't tell me I'm not educated. I have an MFA in English Literature. I speak four languages. I've played Ophelia in community productions of Hamlet. These, in my mind, are not the marks of an uneducated person.

And likewise, do not project value onto me based on my job. Every one of your lives is enriched by the delicious coffee and sandwiches I make. And not just those things either, because I am not an automaton: I live a happy life, I don't mind doing this work, and when I smile at my customers and remember their names, I can see how it brightens up their day just a little bit.

The people who come here, enjoy my food, whisper their consternation about my life choices and shuffle back upstairs to their offices do not seem happy with their superiority. Are their relationships suffering? What about their sense of self-worth? I feel good about my choices and I feel satisfied with my life, even if they pay here is a joke. How do the genius engineers, meticulously tweezed out of an endless candidate pool by what I hear is a grueling hiring process, feel about their own lives?

Get Employee A

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