Short Story Press Presents Poor Choices by Robert PorterThe short story Poor Choices takes inspiration from real life experiences by the author in working retail at a large used video game chain. Those who work retail know how frustrating it can be in many regards, especially once you have worked your way up to management. Retail has been known to turn those with hearts of gold into cynical jerks. Sometimes the expectations of upper management in these video game retail chains can seem too lofty to the employees out in the field. The disparity between what the higher-ups desire and what the employees can realistically do brings about conflict most often. More than just being about retail though, Poor Choices is a story about the protagonist Dan trying to figure out his life. As the book starts Dan explains that his love life has recently took a turn for the worse. As a man in his late twenties, Dan is at that critical point in his life where he really wants to figure out where he wants his life to wind up. Working a career in retail is not something Dan ever thought he would still be doing this late into his twenties. He had higher aspirations for himself. He’s an educated man as he has an English degree, but he just never wound up using that degree to pursue a career. There are many twenty-something’s who can relate to the notion of being unsure about life. Sometimes individuals find themselves just going with the flow, working small jobs and doing their thing as the years fly by. The years have started ticking down for Dan, and he isn’t where he wants to be. The responsibility of paying the bills and maintaining a normal life has him fearing a possible failure if he tries to break out of the box he finds himself in. Sometimes this fear leads Dan to make decisions that are never the best for his life. Despite his good qualities, he seems to lack the self-confidence needed to really stand up and make his life what he wants it to be. The character of the best friend, Adam, is a very goofy sort of guy that people can relate to. Most people have a friend like him; the one who is just a little bit slow and sometimes too fun-loving. The time Dan and Adam spend interacting at the Game Swap is probably one of the things that most help them get through their times in retail land. Having a friend to help shoulder a burden is certainly a good thing.Aside from that, Poor Choices is also a story about a desire for love. Dan had very strong feelings for the girl he was seeing prior to the story’s start, and things not working out has torn him up inside in various ways. When you truly desire settling down and finding a permanent partner the thought of starting again with someone new can be frustrating. Dating life is an intimidating thing. This short story explores the desires for companionship but also the fear of putting yourself back out there. Dan is struggling with the want of finding someone to share his life with. His head isn’t entirely in the right place, and his being prone to poor decision making could cause him to stay in a rut of meaningless relationships.