Voices from These Times: ‘Looking for Work’

Merian Richardson

In These Times has partnered with the Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA) to amplify the stories and struggles of ordinary people, including workers in the United States. This piece, part of an ongoing biweekly series, originally appeared in the Journal of Ordinary Thought, published by NWA. Find more stories and voices at the NWA’s blog.

It’s not always easy to find a job these days. I know a lot of people
who would like a job, but it is impossible for them to get a job because the jobs are so hard to get to. And sometimes people have handicaps that stop them from getting a job. One thing is the distance and where the jobs are. And another is whether you are trained to do what the job requires of you. Some jobs require something that you don’t know how to do. So that makes you go out and try to learn the skill that the job requires.

But it’s hard to learn something in the later years of your life. You do have to start over to learn new things or a skill that was not around in your time of schooling. I would like to get a job where I can get to make some money. A good job helps you have a place to stay and helps you have food on your
table and clothes on your back. You can have things you want and things
you need.

A good job helps you to pay for a house or car. I know I need
a job to help myself. Things are not easy to get without a job, so now I
am looking for a job. And it’s not easy to find one. There are a lot of jobs around, like working with computers, with people, and in factories, working as a driver for the CTA, or working with children, but you need training and a degree. There are lots of jobs. I wish I had one now.

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Democratic Rep. Summer Lee, who at the time was a candidate for the state House, at a demonstration in Pittsburgh for Antwon Rose, who was killed by police, in 2018. Lee recently defeated her 2024 primary challenger.
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