Congratulations! It’s graduation day and all your friends and family are here to celebrate. Grandma wants to know what you’re doing now that you’re done with school. You cringe, shrug your shoulders and say, “It’s not quite what I wanted, with the economy and all, but I’ve decided to ___.”

Illustration by Laura Garavoglia
Illustration by Laura Garavoglia

Work for Teach for America (See 2A)

Live at home while figuring things out (See 2B)

2A: Living at home

In the six months you’ve been bunking at your parents’ place, you’ve watched “The Wire” in its entirety but in no way gotten closer to finding a real job. While “borrowing” $10 from your mom’s purse to go to the bar, you find a new Pocket Rocket vibrator. Mom catches you snooping and says, “Relax. It’s for your father.” You decide you need to move out. It’s time to suck it up and ______.

Work nights at Jimmy John’s (See 3A)

Be a live-in aide for your senile great uncle (See 3B)

2B: Teach for America

Your first choice for your Teach for America location was New York City, but you were placed in Kansas City. You’re comforted that Kansan middle schoolers are probably easier to handle then city kids. Your first day, though, your students light a small fire in the corner of the classroom and then lock you in a supply closet where you’re trapped overnight. Letting tears fall onto your makeshift bed of puke-absorbing sawdust, you decide to ______.

Fight back (See 3C)

Kill the brats with kindness (See 3D)

3A: Work for Jimmy John’s

You’ve learned a lot working at Jimmy John’s. First, expiration dates on mayonnaise are subjective. Second, late-night delivery provides the opportunity to make a lot more than just minimum wage plus tips. At the end of a shift, your coworker “six days clean” Seth tells you that if a customer on your delivery route ever asks you to come inside, you should do it. Seth points to his new Audi — “Delivery guy sex fantasies, it’s a real thing.” From that day on, you ______.

Start prostituting on the side (See 4A)

Start throwing away the mayonnaise (See 4B)

3B Move in with uncle

When moving in with your great uncle, you hear a crash and a yell from upstairs. You’re afraid that Uncle Maury might have fallen and broke something, but it turns out he was just trying to kill a mouse with his bowling ball. You see what you can find in the medicine cabinet to calm Uncle Maury down. There is a stockpile of every painkiller you could ever be prescribed. Remembering your mother’s poor coworker with the Vicodin addiction, you get an idea to ________.

Deal your uncle’s stash to closet pill poppers (See 4C)

Reorganize your uncle’s medicine cabinet (See 4D)

3C: Fight back

You realize that becoming a successful Teacher for America is a lot like earning respect in jail. The next day in class, you pick out the biggest, meanest kid in the room and go about destroying his self-worth. “Don’t be like Sydney, children. Sydney isn’t going anywhere.” After two months, 15-year-old Sydney drops out of the eighth grade, but your class as a whole is now completely manageable. The school offers you a long-term position, which you _____.

Immediately accept (See 4E)
Turn down to try your luck anywhere but Kansas (See 4F)

3D: Kill with kindness

The next day in class, you bring in candy to give to students who answer questions right. Your students call your policy unfair and prejudiced. They revolt, tipping over desks and chanting. Panicked, you grab the first kid you can get your hands on. It’s Sherry Ann, the most developed girl in the school. She tells her parents about it and a week later, you are served with a sexual harassment suit. In turn, you ______.

Plead with the school administration to intervene (See 4G)

Hire an attorney, intending to go to court (See 4H)

4A Prostitute

You’re named Jimmy John’s employee of the month after a few customers requested that you deliver their Italian Night Club sandwiches. Despite the ominous burning feeling when you pee, you’re feeling pretty good. You now can afford health insurance.

4B: Toss mayo

The Jimmy John’s manager fires you for wasting ingredients. You’re forced to move back in with your parents. Dad makes a crack that you’re cramping their sex life. You shudder and continue ordering the sixth season of “The Sopranos” on Netflix.

4C: Deal drugs

At a party of your parents, you casually mention to your mother’s pill-popping coworker Denise the discovery you made at Uncle Maury’s. Denise says that if you’d like to help your uncle clean out the clutter, she knows a lot of people who would take it off your hands.

4D: Clean cabinet

Uncle Maury yells at you for messing up his medicine cabinet. Weeks later, you’re hospitalized after accidentally ingesting rat poison that Uncle Maury hid in a tub of oatmeal.

4E: Accept offer

You didn’t think you’d particularly like teaching, but now you revel in the psychological power. You settle in for a long, satisfying career of breaking down fragile preteen psyches.

4F: Turn down job

Teach for America turns out to be quite an effective résumé booster. While your college friends are still sleeping on their parents’ couches, you land a real job with benefits and everything… in Salt Lake City.

4G: Plead for help

Principal Thurber placates Sherry Ann’s parents. He says he has to ask for your resignation, but that the school system routinely rehires teachers who have had complaints brought against them to a position at another school.

4H: Find attorney

Your lawyer gets Sherry Ann’s parents to settle out of court at your parents’ expense. Having spent your paltry savings on your legal defense, you move into your parents’ house and apply for a job at Jimmy John’s.

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