An Inconvenient Summer in New Paltz

This past vacation, I leapt at the chance to stay in New Paltz. The possibilities were endless– I had the whispers of a summer job and a lease on a cute, funky house. I could spend the whole summer just grinding, making money, hanging with my friends and, what’s more, no parents to ask where I’d been when I came home after midnight.

What I didn’t realize is that, like, nobody is here from the end of May until the end of August. My summer job didn’t work out and I got stuck, literally, working at an unnamed deli in town that, for the sake of this article, we’ll call… Convenient. The scent of rotten meat still adorns my nose-holes to this day. 

Working at Convenient (which is definitely not the place’s real name) was rough. On my first day, my boss (one of New Paltz’s most prominent landlords, who holds within her a whole world of passion for scuba diving despite living in Upstate New York) demanded that I put my phone in a basket on her desk and leave it there until the end of my shift. She explained that my shift was nine hours long and that I’d get two, ten-minute cigarette breaks. This is very illegal.

“Whatever,” I thought. I needed money really bad, so I stuck with it. 

For almost the whole summer, I worked at Convenient. Not only am I vegan, I’m also left-handed, which means that my shifts consisted primarily of me cutting meat on a meat slicer with my non-dominant hand. BRUTAL. The worst job I have ever had.

The eggs and cheeses are fine. Please don’t buy prepackaged subs at this place, which I reiterate is NOT named Convenient Deli. They are made out of the ends of the meat, up to two weeks old. Yikes! The sauce on the tortellini salad is straight-up mayo. 

I guess what I’m saying is that it was arrogant of me to assume that everything would be just fine. Living on your own is such a huge adjustment! I don’t know what to do when shit breaks in my crusty house, when I get wood bees, or when my roommate clogs the sink with her cat food– I am utterly clueless. But that’s life, I suppose.

It’s nothing short of rejuvenating for me to start the school year. Even though we’re all already super stressed, I love being a busy bee and having tons to do. It’s also so great to see New Paltz populated by students again, rather than just old people. 

This summer may not have been one for the books, at least not for me. However, it was huge in terms of personal growth and was rather humbling. I like school, so I’m happy to be back, and I’m glad to let you all know that I don’t have to slice meat with my non-dominant hand any more.