Worked

My name is Kaitlynn Mockett. I’m 22 years old. I work 25-30 hours a week and I’m a full time art student. I work in order to sustain myself and continue my education. I don’t sit at a desk and answer phones. I don’t schedule appointments or verify insurances. I don’t make food and I don’t take people’s orders (at least not anymore). I work in a warehouse. I work at Check It Books. My job is absent of glamor, comfort and bragging rights. It’s physical labor. It’s dirty; it’s monotonous, and it’s tiring. But, it pays the bills.

This series focuses on what American youth do in order to get by and how many of us actually do work to sustain ourselves, and sometimes to sustain someone else as well. In my near year at Check It, I have met some amazing people who have shown me that I am not alone in my struggles. Some 18, some 22, all young, and most in school or working toward it.

Some describe us as the lost generation. The aimless, irresponsible wanderers who have no path, no drive and no gumption. This series begs to differ those points. I want to show everyone what I see each and every day. These are the people who break their backs alongside me, doing whatever they must to get to the next place in their life.

Working a job like this makes most miserable, and for a while I felt that way. Some days I still do. This isn’t where I want to be; this isn’t what I want to be doing; I could be so much more than this, couldn’t I? But the truth is, this place keeps me grounded and grateful. I love my life and I love this job. I love knowing these people and what they bring to me week after week. I love knowing there are others who will work as hard as I do (and sometimes harder) to achieve the life they wish to have. They have taught me patience, humility, and appreciation. To my scanners, shippers, shelvers and warehouse men: you are my treasures, the bright parts of my days in the midst of monotony, the laughter when I feel my feet dragging… thank you, for all that you do, and know that I am with you. I understand you. I walk beside you. We are worked.

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5 responses to “Worked

  1. Love it! I feel the same way at times. It gets so hectic but I wouldn’t trade my job for anything at this point in my life. It’s the one thing that provides for my family and get’s me through college. I am pretty content with that.

  2. Kaitlynn, these photographs are so beautiful and powerful. You reached into everyone of us and grabbed the essence of what, who, and why we are. Your description of this series as well as the story of where you are in life brought tears to my eyes. The way you pulled aside the curtains of “I’m okay” and looked past the tired, half-hearted smiles shows such a gentle, and maybe sometimes hard to face, truth: this is hard. But, Kaitlynn, you have given us all a gift. You have shown us we are not alone. And though our struggles may differ we are all going through them. I believe that self portraits are not necessary in series of this nature, because when one photographs well the viewer can see the photographer’s soul as clear as in any self portrait. That is what you’ve done here, Kaitlynn. We are you and you are us. Thank you for seeing, truly seeing.

  3. These are amazing, you are amazing!
    You truly are an artist ;) Love you! I love where you pull your inspiration from, keep it up!

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