AdviceNew YorkSlider

Doing What You Have To Do


Don’t you wish that you could meet the person(s) responsible for the existence of money just so you could strangle them?  Wouldn’t life be much more stress-free? Sure, bartering would be an equal pain in the ass, but you’d still be living for yourself, instead of somebody else.

I understand that it’s wishful thinking on my part, because we do need some type of economy to maintain some order in society.

I guess I’m just tired of looking around the trains, buses and the city streets every morning, witnessing people rushing to jobs that they don’t want to go to. I’m tired of seeing the person behind the counter, moping around, waiting for their shift to end. And I could do without the sales associate assisting me, only because his/her supervisor is in the area. Most of all, I no longer want to see a person’s talent go to waste just because their day job is a lot more vital to their survival.

I’ve seen and known gifted people with unmatched skills in their area being forced to live the life of a regular Joe. They’re stuck working a nine-to-five just keep food in their belly and some type of roof over their heads, and it’s sad. All of that potential and nothing to show for it, except a bullshit job taking time away from their true passion.

Then there’s the college graduates in similar scenarios. Their fresh-out-of-school faces gets drop-kicked with reality once they find themselves struggling and working the same jobs that they had attempted to avoid all along. This is evidenced by the YouTube video posted almost a year ago about Maurice Johnson, a homeless man with a Masters Degree in both Plasma Physics and Electrical Engineering. How does that even happen?

Some days you don’t want to go to work, but you have to. Other times, working one job isn’t enough. Some people don’t want to take certain jobs because they feel they’re above doing that type of work. Sometimes those people end up doing things that they don’t want to do. I’ve heard enough stories to leave me numb to the world that we live in. I’ve watched friends and former classmates walk down the only path they felt they could. I no longer see the kids I played with during recess. I now see a jaded soul walking amongst the zombies that have accepted the working man’s lifestyle.

It almost seems like we’ll go down in history as the generation with the lost potential. “The Insomniacs,” that’s what they’ll call us. “The generation unable to dream.” I can envision the media looking back, asking what happened. We’ll look around and some of us would have avoided the insomnia, others, well, they’ll be sleep deprived. Those of us yearning for sleep will whisper, “I did what I had to do.” Guess what? There’s still time. Just close your eyes and do what you want to do.

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Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

My father came, my mother saw...and I conquered. I encourage children to do drugs, I buy alcohol for teenagers, and I drink beer with the homeless. In my spare time, I attend art galleries for the FREE booze while rubbing elbows with modish elephants. I also hammer six-inch nails into small penises. Stuart knighted me as Broke-Ass King of New York. You've been warned.


  1. Angie
    April 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    this brings me to tears. I hope there is a day where I can go back to doing what I love and being able to pay my bills with the money I make.

  2. Erica
    April 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    This touched my soul.

  3. Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
    April 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Great piece Enrique! A lot of people I came across yesterday told me they loved it!

  4. Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
    April 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Also, this song is pretty perfect as the soundtrack for this post

  5. Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage
    April 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks, Stuart. That song is actually a perfect backdrop for this post. I’m glad to see that everyone enjoyed it. I hope it helped people realize that they’re not alone.

  6. April 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Man, I know how it is, but it’s worst when people tell you what you are capable of doing and not doing all because of whatever stupid reason they can come up with when really, it’s not their life, it’s your’s. People said that according to these test results and my behavior they believe I wasn’t good enough for college, but right now, I’m proving those hypocrites wrong by showing them what an aspie (person with Aspergers Syndrome) can do. I know what I’m after; to become a cartoonist, even if I have to fight for that dream.

  7. Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage
    April 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Hey, Eli. Life is all about perseverance, especially when you’re attempting to reach a goal. You’ll have your doubters and detractors, but like you said, it’s your life. You only get one and we should be able to live it the way we want to. It’s the only we’ll ever be happy. At times we must fight for what we want, and you’re fighting for your dream which is something not many people have the heart or opportunity to do. I wish you the best and I hope that you do live out your dream, to be a cartoonist.