Hard Sell

By Brandon Patrick

6a0133f30ae399970b01a51188eb4a970cIt’s 12:45 on a random Tuesday, and I’m taking one of my extended lunch breaks. My boss doesn’t have a clue what I’m doing. My job is entirely dependent on my own effort, and right now, I’m putting none in. I’m currently in the parking lot of a shopping mall getting a mediocre blow job; I’m technically being paid for this. According to my title, I’m a Junior Account Executive, but if you followed me around for a day, you’d see that I’m a salesman (and a shitty one at that). I sell cell phones door to door at businesses for the 4th largest cell phone provider in North America. I’m very bad at my job.  Continue reading


Missing Reservations

DSC_0564By Amber Robbin

At five minutes past five, I’d race in through the revolving door and shuffle my way across the floor, shooting a smile over to the corner where the server staff sat half-listening to a dozen suit-jacketed managers, then down the line past the wall of Spanish whispers, and into the kitchen. Only a few minutes later, we’d be waist-deep in hundreds of dinner reservations, hosts rushing up and down the faux-marble staircase with flushed faces and tight fists holding short skirts close to tired thighs. Food runners balanced steaming plates of pasta high above the oblivious crowds, servers worked the floor with their tableside flirtations, and I ran with the bussers, a host not quite in line with the rest, popping up tabletops left and right and hoisting chairs above my head en route from one side of the room to the other.

This is how the dance would begin each and every night amid the small plates and large egos, between the tiled walls and wooden floorboards of that packed two-story.  Continue reading

Merry Christmas, To Whom It May Concern: Part 2

By Amber Robbin

'What do you want to do today --hunt, gather, or just hang out?'

Around week five, Will and I had concocted the perfect business model to save us from our job search (or at least from having to think about it by making ourselves laugh):

“Man, Will. Your apartment is turning into an internet café.”

“Haha, totally.”

“We should just invite people in from off the streets. It could be a café for unemployed people! Think about it: a place for us to meet other pathetic, jobless folks and commiserate together.”

“Yeah, Logan Square would dig something like that.”

“And we could serve food! You make such good sandwiches, sweetie! We could call it…The Well Fare Café…with Sandwich Art by Will.”  Continue reading

It Wasn’t the Garden of Eden, But It Was Our Town

It wasn’t the Garden of Eden, but it was Our TownBy Michael Gutgsell

“I want you to try and remember what it was like to have been very young [..] You’re just a little bit crazy. Will you remember that, please?”

            – Thornton Wilder

One of the best things I did in college was work with an intergenerational theater group combining my college and the neighboring retirement community. The group was the brainchild of a fellow student who was gifted at organizing a diverse group of people. Once a week, a group of ten or so students walked the short distance to Edenwald Retirement Community, where we were met by a smaller group of residents in their theater.

Our leader, Eryn, would lead us in (too long, too gentle) warm ups, and then a few standard theater games. We would write skits to be performed at Edenwald by both the residents and students. In one of our shows we wanted to show the similarities of our community living experiences (and there were a surprising amount of those). It was like the Golden Girls, only more risque. Continue reading

A Joint Affair: Episode 1 – Bloodshot Disguise

By Lirot Comma Brian

Everyone seems to be a little shell-shocked after the past winter, but since the Midwest began to boil, my loving locks lack practicality. I didn’t cut my hair while studying Art & Design this year in downtown Chicago, but now that I’m back in the west suburbs, I can’t walk around looking like a fuckin’ hippie…or so my parents say. Oh the irony…

“Have any summer plans yet?” the European barber says under her thick accent. Why does she always think I want to talk to her?

“No not yet, I’ve had a couple interviews since I got home from school, but I haven’t heard anything back yet.” I reply while a couple hair follicles fall into my mouth.  Continue reading

Merry Christmas, To Whom It May Concern: Part 1

By Amber Robbin

me and carl

I heard the sweet, familiar sound of Will whispering faintly behind me: “Amberrr…” It was the last time I’d see that crop of wavy brown locks he referred to as his “basket of curly fries” emerge from behind the wall that bordered my desk. I swiveled in my chair to take in the sight of his affectionately nicknamed “gooseneck” arching over the partition like one of the Land Before Time longnecks, but this time, I saw a faint redness in his gentle eyes. “They just fired me,” he said, accent on the “fired,” and the frustration. We knew the company had been thinking about making cuts for a while, but I didn’t think they’d actually cut him. Just me: the inattentive, not-to-be-bothered, please-leave-me-to-my-feminist-blog, yes-this-IS-my-fifth-Kit-Kat-from-the-office-snack-bowl receptionist. “I’m so sorry. They just fired me too.” “Oh really? Ok…I’m gonna go call my mom in the bathroom and then get my stuff together. Meet you by the elevator in twenty minutes.”  Continue reading