Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some people like their jobs?

In the realm of work-life balance there are several classes of opinion ranging from [My job defines me - I love my job - I am a work-a- holic] to [I hate my job and only do this for the paycheck] with all shades of gray in between. I got to thinking about this when skuh posted awhile back and said: "I still am having trouble believing that people can like what they do for a living." Do I like my job? I wondered. Now, I will begin the investigation!

My first Job: Babysitting
(1) This job provides chance to earn tax-free money when you are under 16.
(2) You get a candid glimpse of what someone else's family is like.
(1) Your job security may depend on the whims of children.
(2) It was hard for me to stay awake that late at night.
To sum it up:
Being an awesome babysitter takes lots of energy, hard work, and slight manipulation. Getting paid 5 to 8 dollars an hour seemed great at the time, but I am glad that this is not my job now.

My first "real" job (ages 16-18) Hostess at a medium sized pasta resturant:
Summary (and Pros):
I totally loved this job. Here are the reasons:
(1) Working let me escape from my parents during the thunderous teenage years.
(2) I was "the favorite hostess" mainly because I wasn't an idiot like most of the other hostesses, and I worked hard.
(3) The (college boy) servers were constantly flirting with me.
(4) Working let me have some income that I could spend on important things like diet coke and CDs.
(5) Being a hostess means that there is lots of social interaction with minimal intimacy. Having a set script to tell people while I was seating them was about as much intimacy as I could handle at 16.
(6) I got to color with the children's crayons while I was waiting for people to come into the restaurant.
(1) Sometimes you have to work with really dumb and obnoxious girls that are also hostesses.
(2) Sometimes servers will direct the anger they feel towards their table at you because they lack emotional maturity.

Next job, age 18 into college: Server at various resturants
(1) Waitressing gives social interaction with limited intimacy.
(2) I had an inner desire to wait tables, and this was a realization of my dream.
(1) Your income depends on the mood of the people you wait on.
(2) If the restaurant isn't busy, you might not make any "real" money.
(3) Most other servers are not people that I would choose to be friends with.
Every time Jips and I go out to eat I am thankful that I am not working in a restaurant.
I liked this job while I was there.

College age: Student Worker
This marks the begining of my distaste for Academia.

College age: Farmer's Market Checkout Girl
(1) If the people in line get pissy, you don't have to worry about them leaving you a bad tip.
(2) The girls I worked with were awesome.
(3) The uniform consisted of a t-shirt containing dancing fruit. I still wear them today.
(4) You get to shop for fresh fruit and veggies after work. You know exactly when the fresh strawberries arrive.
(5) You work in fresh air surrounded by fresh produce. This is a beautiful environment.
(1) Working outside in the middle of winter means wearing 3 pairs of pants and 5 layers under your jacket.
I have fond memories of this job. I had a nice retired navy grampa as a boss. I loved the fact that I didn't have to care about moody customers.

Grad School age: Grad school, Teaching Assistant / Research Assistant
(1) Being a TA made me more compassionate.
(2) I am getting paid to go to school. Yes, they pay me enough to live while I focus on my degree.
(3) I split an office containing four desks with just one other female grad student that I like. (That means I get TWO desks!)
(4) I have met some awesome graduate students in my program.
(5) I actually enjoy learning and studying and researching.
(1) The pay is much less than my B.S. degree would allow me to earn in the real world. I earn less than a high school teacher.
(2) Most professors act like rich spoiled 6th graders. These "6th graders" have control over if I get my degree or not. Dealing with this has been difficult.
(3) It is hard to have any sort of relationship with your husband or "friends" when you work constantly.
I like research and playing around in a lab. But once I get out with my degree, I am never coming back.

Currently, I guess I do like what I do for a job on a daily basis. And I have even learned how to manage my boss!

If you didn't yet respond to Skuh's post, do you like your job?


Novella said...

For my day job, I work as an independent contractor for this media company that sells downloadable audio and video content. I work in the production department which means that I get to use audio/video editing skills that I went to school for. I have a hard time with most of the content that I work with though, which is a bummer. There's a lot of religious content and self-help material that I just don't enjoy or agree with. I like my job because it is pretty laid back and flexible when it comes to me taking weeks off to tour. When it comes down to it though, I wish that I could sustain myself by just playing music. It would be more of a possibility if I wasn't paying nearly $1500/month for rent.

Anonymous said...

My biggest passion is music which is why I decided to pursue it as a major in college. I've never really considered this a... "job" because I have much too much fun playing and making music that it can't possibly be called work or a job.

And everyday I thank God that I live this surreal life where I never have to "work" a single day of my life because it's what I LOVE. And I can't picture myself doing anything else :)

Fermi said...

@ novella:
I've always wondered about your day job.

@ lovelalaith and in general:
It is great to love your work. I have to wonder though, there are some parts of life that are always not-as-fun. Like in order to play shows you have to book your band in a venue. I am certain that booking a venue is not as fun as making music. I guess my question is, does doing this extra stuff: (Booking a show so that you can play music for money) detract from doing music as a job?

I guess for me it is a freedom thing. I love art, but I think that once I HAD to do it to get paid, I might not like it as much.

Thoughts on this?

Tino said...

Pros of teaching high school English:
1. I get paid a pretty healthy salary to read and talk about literature and writing.
2. When I do a really effective activity or discussion, I can instantly see the results of kids thinking about things they never thought about before.
3. I have a good rapport with most of the kids, and it's a special kind of relationship.
4. It makes me more compassionate and gets me out of my own head. I feel like I'm helping them in a way only I can.
5. My school is awesome--advanced curriculum and diverse student body.
6. My fellow English department coworkers are awesome.

1. Planning is so difficult for me that sometimes I carry around an enormous amount of stress. I think I'm never going to get it done and there's always something hanging over my head.
2. Grading papers sometimes takes over my life. I'm hoping to learn to be more and more efficient with assignments as I go.
3. Sometimes the students piss me off, like when they complain about the literature or when they get lazy and fail to turn in papers, or fail tests.
4. Sometimes my lesson is not effective, and I get mad at myself.