Lately, I’ve been feeling unsatisfied.
See, I graduated from college, and I had this degree in English, which meant that I have spent the entire time with my nose in a book. This wasn’t work: I enjoyed those books. College was basically a four year trip to the library, which was great.
I always knew that college was in no way going to prep me for post-college. Despite what they tell you, despite the fact that I went to a decent school and did well, college was basically an incubation period. I was old enough to not have full time babysitter, like in high school, but I still needed to be monitored. Especially since I was not only an English major, I also have the mindset of an English major, and have these little fantasies about doing something with it.
Now I am scot free, on my own, and hating every minute of it.
The problem with “making your own way” in the world is that you typically have to accept whatever kind of work that they’ll give you- I’m not going to say “start out with,” because I am not positive that this career I am in now will ever lead to something better, and I don’t want to get my hopes up. I don’t mean making your own way, as in paying for everything- I helped pay for most of my college, and I will be writing checks for those students loans until the time the pine box is nailed shut. What I mean is, if you’re not paying for it- if, in fact, somebody is paying you, you pretty much get stuck with the slop pile.
My “slop pile” came in the form of an assistantship forÃ¢Â?Â¦well, suffice to say, he does editing and publishing work, and I am his hired plow horse. Which he verbally whips at will. At first, I was stunned that I could even get a career in an area at all relevant to what I’d majored in. I thought that I’d be waiting tables my entire life. But despite the fact that I kind of enjoyed waiting tables, made decent money, and used the daytime hours to pursue my own writing, wielding that college degree made me feel obligated to do something with it.
It has been a humbling experience. The only perk is the title of what some people might call a real job. I am here to say otherwise. I took a major pay cut by taking this path (I made more than twice as much waiting tables,) not to mention major cuts to my freedom, patience, and tolerance for other people. My boss has the world’s most incomprehensibly inflated ego- It is like a tumor, growing helter-skelter in his head, expanding it to three times the size of what is normal or acceptable. I make a crappy ten dollars an hour, and after three months of abuse, I was given a 35 cent raise. This is not because I slack off. As my boss so snidely reminded me, there were college students that would do my work for free, just to claim intern experience.
Today, I went to a job interview, and accepted a bartending position. I already met my co-workers. They are my age, seem friendly, and I am excited to start. Tomorrow, I am quitting my first real job, and going back to what I know. I don’t know if it’s the right or wrong thing to do: maybe you have to struggle for a long time for these things to pay off, and I’m taking the easy, instant gratification route out. But it will be nice having enough money to eat again, and never having to “fetch a nonfat caramel mochachino with three shots and a splenda from Starbucks” again.
All I know is that I’ll never derive so much wicked pleasure from another moment as I will when I tell that cheap jerk that I QUIT. Go find yourself an intern.
I guess we all have our own paths.