John Crawford '01MFA | January 7, 2016
I once worked with a guy who claimed to be a male witch. A warlock. His name was Stephen. You never called him Steve.
This is at Staples, back in my college days. Stephen staffs the copy center and the computer aisle. Those are his domains, and he rules them as if he’s the wise man on the mountaintop, imparting wisdom to customers asking questions about toner cartridges and paper weight.\
I’m a merchandiser, which is basically a glorified term for stock boy. I work at the store a few days a week, and my shifts are spent in the aisles, straightening and stocking. We unload a truck, and, soon enough, another truck comes. And another. The store is just down the street from my parent’s house, which is where I live. There’s no shame in that. It’s actually standard in the working-class neighborhood where I’m from. We don’t stray far. Going away to school and living in a dorm seems like such an ambitious idea, not to mention an expensive one, so a bunch of us at Staples commute to local colleges, putting in our time until our degrees lead us to better things.