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Life Is Uncomfortable

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Life Is Uncomfortable

I used to sell life insurance which is like the punchline of jobs. On this week’s TFM Podcast, I told this to Tucker Max and he instantly laughed in my face. It was like I had just admitted I accidently made out with my sister. His reaction was half “you idiot” and half “you loser.” I’ve seen that face before and I get it. I’d argue in favor of the job of Life Insurance Salesmen. Everyone dies and everyone has responsibilities like kids and mortgages that need to be paid if they die too early. That’s why I used to cold call because everyone dies and everyone needs money. I’d make like 300 calls a day to people working at high paying jobs, make meetings with them, and then a senior guy and I would go to their offices and try to sell them something. In my years of cold calling I met with enough people to know who would be a “good” meeting and who would be a “bad” meeting. Here’s an inside scoop: I hated meeting with Asians. Not because they were bad people or anything, but they’d never buy something. They always had a need (especially if they had recently came to the country) and they’d be really interested in learning about the products but they’d never buy. NEVER. I asked a few Asian guys at work and they’d laugh because they knew that Asians buy from Asians. It’s just how it goes. They had more in common. They had more trust. I guess that’s some form of racism. But what could I have ever done? I either try to change the minds of a culture that isn’t mine, or I keep moving forward, keep trying to pay my rent.

This is why I don’t give a shit about anything happening at at Yale, Missouri, and now Ithaca. And I tried to care. I’ve tried reading about all of them. I tried finding articles where all the facts were set out in bullet form. I wanted to get to the end and know that “racist guy said this racist thing” and that’s why these students are arguing for him to step down. But I couldn’t find that. How is that even possible? In an age where Buzzfeed is just an adult picture book, I couldn’t easily find one article to boil down why one person needs to lose their job. This seems strange because I know clickbait very well. I title every article I’ve ever written as clickbait. When Paula Deen used the N-Word, that was the title of every article. I knew the “bad guy” and the crime and, right or wrong, she lost her jobs. So where is the “Missouri President Said N Word” article?

Those don’t exist because all of these protests seem to be about “a culture of intolerance” and a feeling of being out of place at their campus. And I know that’s a weird thing for students because college is very comfortable. You get the syllabus at the beginning of the semester that tells you everything you’ll be learning. It also breaks down how you’ll be graded. Then each week, a teacher reminds you of the reading and the assignments. And if you do all of these assignments, and read all the chapters, then you will earn the grade you deserve. And if the whole class doesn’t get a good grade, the teacher will bump it up because it must have been his fault. That’s about as close to life as Saved By The Bell was to high school (that much locker time?). Life is moment after moment of discomfort. It’s walking into any building that’s not your own home and feeling a culture of intolerance for the suit you chose to wear. It’s studying for the test, knowing all of the material, and failing because you’re not Asian enough.

So, no, I don’t really care what’s going on at any of these schools. If the crime isn’t in the first sentence of an article, most people just don’t care. I don’t even care about the people who are outraged at the outrage. To most adults everyone is just wasting their time. Good job getting the president to step down, but what’s on the agenda today? Oh about a million years of racial tension? So how does this all pay my rent?

You’re going to graduate and get a job and meet a girl or guy and then have a baby and each day you’ll care less about micro-aggressions and intolerance and poop swastikas. You’ll only want to read headlines because the only time you have to read is during lunch at your desk. You’re going to try and sell something to an Asian man and he won’t buy even though it makes the most sense in the world. You won’t get mad, you’ll just move onto the next Asian man and try to sell to him even though it’s really uncomfortable because you’re pretty sure he’s got another Asian guy that will sell it to him too. But you know what? You got to eat, pay that rent, and feed that baby. So you just push through because maybe this time will be different, and you can take that vacation. Everyone dies. Everyone needs money. Asians buy from Asians.

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Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a New York City-based comedian who has been featured on MTV’s Failosophy and is the host of The JTrain Podcast presented by TFM.

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