Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Day Job

I have mentioned on occasion a sad truth: I don't like my day job. Most people don't. I knew that going into the workforce. I've had a wide variety of jobs over the two decades I've been earning a paycheck. Motel cleaning, security guard, waitress... all of which weren't that bad, but I longed for a 'real job.' One that was a 'career.'

Sometimes I miss being a security guard. I didn't do much. I patrolled a 19 story building in downtown Denver, but mostly I did a lot of reading. There's no time for that at my current job. It would take pages to explain what I do, and if I said my job position, you would make assumptions about how easy it is thanks to media misreprenstation.

My company constantly tries to retitle my job to make it seem more... something. I don't know what the hell they're doing, actually. Every title does nothing to explain my job. In fact, it makes me think of things totally different than the title suggests.

The last three:

AGENT. That makes me feel like a spy. I feel like I should be combing over secret documents in search of damning evidence which will lead to the coup of a dictator. Or at least give away top secret technological advances which will be the turning point in the Great Vegetable War of 2015 (if we survive Armageddon 2012, that is).

REPRESENTATIVE. Seriously? Me? I can barely represent myself, much less be someone a major corporation wants speaking on their behalf. I'm not sure they thought this one through. I'm not saying they're stupid yes I am, but considering me a representative of... just about anything would be -at best- ill-advised. Unless we're talking about chocolate. That I'd rep on the barter system in a heartbeat.

ADVOCATE. This one is the most strange to me. I feel like I'm supposed to have a hand-made sign and be singing a catchy protest jingle in front of the White House. Or maybe even be a lobbyist in D.C. Or out saving puppies. Or seals. Or sea kittens. (seriously, GOOGLE the last one)

What about you guys? What do you do for a living? Are you like me and dream of making enough money to quit said 'day job' and maybe go back to full-time easy, low paying job with authorly royalties to supplement the difference?

You know what we need? A writing commune. A big farmhouse in the middle of nowhere (that has internet, of course) and we can all have low paying jobs that support ONE mortgage/utilities/food bills. Who's with me? We'd play Scrabble, of course, because we're all wordsmiths, and have our own rooms where no one cares if we showered this week because they can't smell us through closed doors... um... too much? Oh, look! A chicken!

Anyway, I think it'd be grand.


The Words Crafter said...

A funny and interesting post. Why don't we just take over Biltmore House? It has hundreds of rooms, places we could gather to talk, critique, and play, as well as enough space for guest quarters where we could invite successful authors and other speakers. We could host conferences and such to help supplement the mortgage...lots of gardens for contemplative thought...just an idea. I work in childcare and it's extremely stressful. But my director and co workers, as well as some of the kids, make it okay. So, um, what DO you do....?

Nick said...

Or we could build a commune of small cabins in Nebraska or one of the Dakotas, grow our own food, build it near a lake or pond or something so we can use water and maybe wind power for electricity. The internet conundrum can be solved later.

Me is unemployed. Mostly happily so, but I need to earn money fast if I want to go to the UK and not take out way more loans than I already have to (recession pretty well wrecked my college funds). So, yeah. Hunting, but mostly half-assedly.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm in!

Wait - I love my dayjob, but it still sounds fun! My job takes up a HUGE amount of time so that's my biggest problem. If I could somehow keep it and not work 60 hours a week I'd be thrilled :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Sorry about not visiting more : the burst blood vessel in my right eye, weariness, and an ill friend in the hospital -- all take what time and strength I have lately.

My position is Product Management Technician.

LOL. My blood center stays away from the term "blood" lest it ... ah, be clear in what it says I guess. You know large businesses -- never say clearly anything lest you be understood and criticized!

I tell people think of me as "Pony Express for blood." It's more than that, of course.

There's filtering, Quality Control work, Bacterial Testing of rare blood products, computer work, temperature monitoring, 24 hour on call for much of my time. Whew!

Have a better time at your work, Roland

dolorah said...

LOL. No children allowed at our commune, right? Or significant others.

I'm an Integrated Case Worker (ICW) III. In a nutshell, I'm a combinitation eligibility and employment services worker. I've been call a case worker, case manager, eligibility specialist, employment specialist. Lately my clients have taken to calling me (and my co-workers) their social worker. My clients are normally involved with a number of social service agencies, many of whom are actual "social workers" (yes I have a social worker degree, but that isn't my current position) and I guess it makes them feel better to lump me in that field.

Sounds much better than welfare worker, don't you think?

I work at the Human Resources Agency (HRA) for our county. Formerly known as The Welfare Department, until it changed to The Department of Social Services, now we're HRA. I'm sure someday soon, someone will come up with a more "user" friendly (as in polically correct) term.

But, I do like my current day job - even when I complain. I must enjoy it; I spend 50-60 hours a week there.


JE said...

I'm in, too!! But, I need to bring the kid, you know. And the dogs. And the cat. And the horses. Is that okay? If we live out west (not too far) we can have farm! Grow our own food! And just ... write! That's the bestest idea ever!!!

As for my day job? Mew. It's okay. I manage an office full of college students. I work at a University. I like the students and all that jazz, I just wished I had more time to write.


Kellylou said...

I'm in! Although I would sort of like to bring the family... After all, someone needs to grow our food while we're busy writing, right?

I teach, and I love working with my kids, but there are so many unenjoyable parts about the education system, and as much as many people think that we all head home at 3:30 and laze about by the pool all summer ... Being good at what I do means a TON of work after hours and all summer. When I take time to write, I have nagging guilt that tells me I should be working on lesson plans and new exciting instructional possibilities!

vic caswell said...

Work isn't fun- that's why they pay you to be there. If it were fun, you'd pay to be there. See? :) So it is up to us to find the fun in our work!

Me, I work in a hospital cafeteria. The fun? We get to use the BIG HOSE!! Those things can blast a coworker at fifteen feet easy! Just.. um... not when the boss is around. :)

commune sounds great. but if we all live together will our cycles of writer's block synchronize??!?!?

sarahjayne smythe said...

Great idea. I could give that serious consideration. :)

Aubrie said...

I'm a flutist for a living. I teach 30-40 flute lessons a week and play at weddings and other events on the weekends.

It's totally neat, but a little stressful and unstable.

Elizabeth Poole said...

A writer's commune sounds like it would be loads of fun. I think we should just apply for a government grant or something and let them pay the bills whilst we toil away on the next Great American Masterpiece.

I am a massage therapist by trade. I love making people feel better, and it's good, flexible hours. The downside is it's somewhat unstable (when the recession hit we were one of the first professions to feel it) and I use my hands at my day job too, so I have to take extra good care of them, or I am doublely screwed.

I like your new blog design, btw. It might not be new, but I have been BUSY these past two months.

Alleged Author said...

I could definitely go for a writing commune! I used to do house cleaning for my college during the summers. It was sad that the worst room to clean was always mine. :P

Lisa Gail Green said...

Oooh Chicken! Where's the chicken??

Tamara Narayan said...

The Biltmore House would be awesome. I love that place, plus my parents live ten minutes away. Maybe they'd take my kids. I know they'd take my husband. He's their favorite--grrr.

As for the job, I am spoiled rotten: stay at home mom who sends my kids to school from nine a.m. to three p.m. Those writing hours fly, but I still get my panties in a wad when anything interrupts them. Today I lost almost two precious hours when a car batteries died. Oh Wah!

Susan Fields said...

I'm so happy to say I don't have a day job. I'm totally spoiled, I know, but I do keep really busy with kids and volunteer work. Plus my husband's plan is to support me now so someday I can become a famous author and he can retire early. :)

VR Barkowski said...

Count me in and I don't even have a day job! Truth is, when I worked, I had more time to write. Now I'm in charge of all household related duties and unlike a 9 to 5, it never ends. Gosh, I sound ungrateful don't I? Sorry.

Kellye Parish said...

Your writer commune concept kind of sounds like the way things work out at my farm, right down to the

I feel you on the day job thing. Mine is as an editor, so it's a little hard to switch hats at the end of the day.