Work, Grad School, and Other Things

There’s something to be said about a job to which, on average, about 50% of the office shows up to perform and no one gets fired. This is called a “professional” job, to be differed from other jobs in that it requires a college education and a high-end wardrobe. It’s a “minimal effort, maximum rewards” job. And it’s also a pain in the ass, if you happen to be on the lower end of that job latter. Enter the assistant (that’s me). On a nice day like today, in which the sky is slowly darkening with ominous storm clouds and absolutely no one but three other women are in the office, I am stuck in my cubicle like a good little worker pretending to get sh*t done (I confess this job kind of pays well and I don’t want to lose it so I am doing some work). In reality, since I have no supervisor today (or, well, most days) I am also trying to finish a final paper for a philosophy seminar that was due last week but the professor took pity on our poor (both literally and spiritually) graduate souls and gave us a one-week extension. That extension is up today and I am still one page short of the maximum requirement (which in grad school is really the minimum requirement) and have read 50% of what I said I would. Welcome to my life. It’s 18 hours of work, one meal a day (due to lack of time, not funds because I do work I just don’t have time to spend the money), and zero social life beyond the guy who sits next to me in bed staring at his computer while practicing French (AKA: The Boyfriend). On most Friday afternoons and nights you will find us as we are now: finishing work for one of our three employers (at least one of those is ourselves because it is the 21st century and everyone has a start-up of some sort) and reading or writing for one of our graduate courses. It is our life long dream to never have to do this again. Or, at least to spend the time reading, writing, and working on what we love, but that’s the long-lost American Dream. Academia is dead, we’ll never find good-paying jobs with benefits (because we’re not into media), and we’ll pay for our vacations with our blood and sweat or loans. It’s supposed to get better after your twenties. It’s only another five years, if I’m lucky, but that light at the end of the tunnel sure looks far away.

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