Thursday, May 19, 2022

Living in a Red State

I still like exercising, but it is less pleasant when I have to listen to my elders explain to one another that even though being gay is a sin ("It says so in the Bible!"), they still love their gay co-worker; or that a friend's daughter's friend really shouldn't dress so immodestly. (Apparently she wore a sports bra and shorts to a BBQ.)

On the other hand, my kid and his boyfriend pissed off another elderly couple as we were going into the local thrift store. "Are you a socialist or aren't you?" my friend demanded of his boyfriend, and the couple gasped and shot each other offended looks.

Though to be fair they might have been offended about the early part of the conversation, where my kid and his boyfriend were discussing how much loyalty the boyfriend owed his boss, a small business owner who pays minimum wage to all her employees and won't schedule anyone for more than 20 hours a week and is insisting the boyfriend (somehow) buy a car if he wants to keep working there. (He's been cadging rides from other employees.)

Does the boyfriend owe his boss loyalty? Should he keep working there, or should he quit and get a job in town? Does it matter if he likes the job, mostly? That's what they were discussing.

The kid's position is that no, someone who pays minimum wage and won't schedule you full-time is owed no loyalty. Here in Arkansas, where bosses run their businesses like personal fiefdoms, and workers are serfs who should be glad they have jobs at all, that part of the conversation may have been what offended the old folks at the thrift shop.

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