by E.B. Bartels
For the full essay, see it in Volume 1, Issue 1 of Agave Magazine.
Originally published in August 2013.
Since it opened in 1930, Andersen Insurance, in Somerville, Massachusetts, has offered incredible job security. I started making photocopies and filing policies when I was ten years old. I began to answer phones and process payments when I was fourteen. I worked at Andersen Insurance every summer during high school and the ones in college when I wasn’t abroad.
This summer I am twenty-four years old, and I am at my desk in the office again. I am unemployed after two years teaching fifth and sixth grade girls on the other side of the river, in Dorchester, in a summertime life-lull before moving to New York and starting graduate school in September. No interview, no cover letter, no questions necessary; my grandfather simply asks what day I will start in June.
“It’ll be good to have you back, pal,” he says. “Especially with your mother away all summer. It’s nice to have another body in there in case it gets busy.”