Roz left university five months ago. Once a week she has a panic attack about the direction, (or rather lack of direction) that her life is taking and usually comes to the conclusion, with the ‘help’ of her boyfriend, that firstly, she needs to stop thinking, and secondly she needs to go to sleep.

Below is a monologue that she’s written, from the point of view of a waiter trying to tempt her to taste some ‘panic canapés.’ Or as Roz has called them – ‘Canopanics.’

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Canopanics

“Madam, I have on offer today some wonderful Job Canopanics. We have a wide variety here to suit every mood.  So Madam, what can I tempt you with?

This one to the left is a delectable blend of the bland. It has a minimum wage, long, unsociable hours, with a drizzle of knowing it’s not at all what you want to do and you won’t get anywhere -unless of course, you ultimately desire a low paid career in waitressing.  Yes Madam, as you can see, I have myself gone for this option, but don’t worry about me, because I’m only doing this to fund my acting career.

Not to your liking Madam? No? I have to say it’s not that popular with graduates such as yourself.

Well how about this one? This one is on the house.

It has a bitter, nutty and sweet centre. What’s that?  You don’t like nuts?  No problem. There are no nuts. Just a bittersweet centre for you. Regular, sociable hours. Five days a week, a bit of overtime here and there. It’s not exactly what you want, but it’s close enough for you to get your foot in the door. Fantastic opportunities for development.

What’s the catch you ask?  Catch?  Ha, let me think. Oh yes, I’m afraid this one doesn’t pay anything.  No Madam, I don’t mean its badly paid – it doesn’t pay at all. It might cover your travel card. As long as you’re within zones one and two. Yes Madam, it is laughable isn’t it. I quite agree.  But it’s surprising popular actually. Rather reluctantly popular, I have to admit.  Yes I expect their parents are loaded, yes. Or living at home for free, yes. Pardon? Really makes the equal opportunities of going to university redundant? Might as well be putting two fingers up to those families who can’t afford a pied-à-terre in the city for each child? I quite agree Madam.  Quite agree.

Perhaps this one’s not for you then.

Now this one, ah, this one’s coated in gold leaf, and stuffed with a diamond paté.  There are certain things you’ll need for this one though. Well first, you need to be able to commit to, well I’d say about 72 hours a week, say goodbye to your social life.  Oh and it is a seven year unbreakable contract.  You’ll also need to have absolutely no scruples at all and be able to adopt nauseating clichés, such as “Work hard, play hard”, and “Blue sky thinking”.

Not a fan? I have to say the people who choose this one are very well paid, but it’s true, they have no friends.

Well, our final Canopanic might be more suited to you then.

With this one you get a job doing precisely what you want. What is it you want by the way? Really? Right. Well, this will let you, what was it, write? You’ll get paid for it. And have free time to keep up your social life. You can probably travel in a year or two if you fancy it as well. No glass ceilings here Madam, you’ll get right to the top.

You want that one do you? Yes, I have to say that one attracts a lot of people. Can you have it? What a question Madam. Of course not. I’m afraid you’re not allowed. Why? Do I need a reason? I’m afraid I can’t answer that Madam. I could ask my Manager, but he’s bitter and twisted from being stuck in this menial job (Pption 1, yes Madam), so I doubt he gives two flying fucks about your situation.

Yes it is a bit sad isn’t it.

I suggest you reconsider our selection of Canopanics and try our next best option.

If you’ll excuse me Madam, there’s a man over there who clearly hasn’t washed in a while – I expect he’s working for free don’t you?  I’ll see if I can tempt him. I reckon he’s just about ready to sell his soul.”

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.