Fries with that?

Fascinating guy, this: The Language Guy

My Current Fortunes

All my life I have had career difficulties. I don’t even want to count the difficulties I have had in pre-graduation “jobs”, because those jobs are not your career. Jobs are what you do to make money. Your career should be something that lasts through your life and continues on with you.

I am taking classes right now to lead me to another career, and it is maddening, because I have not found a job in that career yet. The instructor of these classes said tonight that “You are all valuable people. You start this career, and you pay attention, and you will have job security. They need you.” But I, at the Underemployed Table, feel distinctly unvaluable and unloved. And insecure.

Yes, I have a “job” right now, but it is fraught with difficulties and as unstable as a cat on rollerskates. It cannot be a career because there is no way up. Up is irrelevant. You are on a flatline career path with this company, and there is nowhere else to go. This job doesn’t lead you to other careers, it simply is.

In college I was the web designer and assessment coordinator for a lovely group of people, and I loved my job and I loved my boss, and everything was great. But it was a student job, and as a graduate, it was no longer mine.

I moved to TX, started working at the community colleges, but those jobs are dead-end, too. Unless somebody dies or retires, and you get a full-time position, which won’t happen, because they already know this guy from the accounting department or somesuch who is taking classes right now and would be a great fit because, well, we like him. OK, maybe that’s unfair. It wasn’t accounting, it was from their own department, she was just OK with working some paltry hours for anemic pay and uncertain employment for 5 years. She paid her dues, sign her up. The last straw was when two of my three assigned classes didn’t make and I was down to a $300/mo salary. Nope, time to move on.

So, desperate for enough money to pay my bills, I started working at my current job, and driving all over N Dallas. Students cancelled, my car got worn out and eventually died, and then one day, a few months after I started working there, all of my students cancelled. For the month. So, once again, for a month, I had no income. I had. To. Do. Something.

So I temped, and then got hired on by Mr Worthless and the Sycophant Clan. Got forced out of that job in 6 months.

Came crawling back to my current employer, and for more than a year now, have been at this. Decided to change paths slightly, not completely, just slightly. Started taking classes. Was told it was sooooo easy to get a job. Even the others in my class have jobs. Some don’t know what the fuck they’re doing, but they have jobs. With insurance (can you imagine?!?!?) And vaCAtion. And a working bathroom right down the hall. And lunch. And air conditioning. And their job follows a set schedule, and they never have to worry if they will show up to work that day and the work will be gone, or off shopping with its friends ’cause it forgot about you completely.

But I remain, new-job-less.

Somehting in me makes me wonder what the hell is going on. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Not a “divine plan” but a sort of karmic pinball game in the dark with the flippers moving occasionally. Sometimes you score, somethimes you tank, and it’s all out of your control. All you can see is the direction of the ball. Try hitting the machine on the side, and boom, the ball skews off in some other crazy direction…The landscape of the game’s surface is the plan, and the ball rolls across it with unceasing forward motion, but you never know what it’s going to hit.

My dad sent me an email tonight asking me to respond to a website proposal that he is advising on. And I think about how much money I am wasting on these stupid fruitless classes, and how I will get a job someday, but will it be good for me? Am I new-job-less because my Plan knows that it is not right? Am I being steered in another direction, inexorably, flapping my flippers when I shouldn’t? Why fight fate? Chicken with its head cut off desperation aside, I have to make a decision eventually, don’t I? Shit or get off the pot, right? Am I just too stubborn to see clearly?

They say good things come to those who wait.

But they also say God helps those who help themselves.

I know what I want to be doing, and it isn’t this. And I don’t know enough about what I want to be doing.

Fuck me. I should just work at McDonalds.