It’s getting to the point where Green and I are going to have to start looking for “Real Jobs” if we are going to continue eating and living in a place with a roof. Theoretically, this shouldn’t be that big a deal. I’ve had a billion jobs. I know that I can do any job I am hired for because most jobs that don’t require a degree are not hard at all. Unfortunately for me, it’s not a matter of hard. It’s a matter of I’ve had SO MANY JOBS that I just don’t wanna anymore.
Here’s the present scenario:
-I think about something I want.
-I realize I can’t currently acquire said thing due to the present state of my bank account.
-I think, “That’s okay, money will materialize out of nowhere and I can get the thing I want.”
-Money fails to materialize out of nowhere.
-I think, “Hmm, maybe I should get a job for a little while to pay for the things I want.”
-I consider nearby options for jobs and realize I have no desire to pursue any of them.
-I play Plants Vs. Zombies to avoid thinking about jobs.
-I get hungry and think about food it would be awesome to eat were I to have the appropriate amount of Federal Reserve Notes to exchange for it.
-I log into Craigslist and poke around for jobs that wouldn’t make me want to claw my eyes out. I send a few e-mails and pat myself on the back for being so responsible and productive.
-I get overwhelmed by how hard it is to look for jobs and play Animal Crossing to forget about it.
-I ponder how much simpler life would be if all you had to do for money was shake fruit off of trees and catch bugs, then sell the fruit and bugs to a local raccoon.
-I make a feeble attempt at crafting something other people might want to pay for.
-That’s hard so I stop.
-Green and I watch some re-runs of Buffy.
-Then we’re both tired so we go to bed.
I’ve decided I should be a bit more proactive about this whole “job” thing. What components would a job need to have so that I’m not miserable with it? I’ve decided to go through all the jobs I’ve ever had and determine what I liked and disliked about each of them to see if I can solve this problem.
ALL THE JOBS I’VE EVER HAD:
~A list by Jessica Wagstrom~
1. Subway Sandwiches
I LIKED: My manager thinking I was the best employee. Knowing how to make every single sandwich very quickly and getting to show off my skills to the customers. Eating cookie dough I stole from the freezer. Making “meat sandwiches” with meat and cheese and dressing, but not bread, because the owner counted the bread. Goofing around with coworkers on rainy days when no one came into the store.
I DISLIKED: Sweeping. Closing (I was really slow about it and always left an hour after I was supposed to). Having to come in when I wasn’t scheduled because someone else didn’t show up and at the time I was too polite to say no. Recording the food temperatures. Cleaning the oven. Working with employees who didn’t know the store manual front to back and did things wrong.
2. YMCA Swim Coach
I LIKED: Only having to work one hour a day. Not having to do much of anything on swim meet days other than watch my kiddos be awesome. Theorizing about Harry Potter with the older swimmers. Making up silly inside jokes and rituals with the kids (mostly involving lemurs and Harry Potter). Doing team cheers. Being largely left alone by the YMCA higher ups who didn’t know anything about swim team.
I DISLIKED: Fearing the parents might notice that I never actually planned anything for practice. Having to stay organized and remember things. Having to get up insanely early for swim meets. The stress of trying to keep track of kids’ times and when to run time trials so that they could enter all the events they wanted to at state meet. Trying to come up with things for the kids to do on days when I didn’t feel like coaching.
3. Assistant to a CPA
I LIKED: Learning how to use QuickBooks. That he didn’t care what I did as long as I was there to answer the phone. Being alone most of the time because he was usually off meeting with clients. Having a boss that was insanely laid back and low key.
I DISLIKED: Pretty much nothing except that he couldn’t afford to keep me on, so I got laid off.
4. Alamo Garage Door & Repair
I LIKED: Being alone most of the time, therefore getting to listen to whatever music I wanted, generally as loud as I wanted, until customers came in. Lots of free time to futz around online. Figuring out how to thwart my boss’ attempts to keep me off the internet. Getting to eat at my desk.
I DISLIKED: Everything else.
5. RAZ Imports
I LIKED: Learning how to do different things in the company. Getting to decorate my own cubicle. Having lots of free time to futz around on the internet. Getting to wear whatever I wanted to work. Getting to dye my hair however I wanted. Getting to listen to music and podcasts while I worked. Getting to eat at my desk. Having an exercise room to go to on my breaks. Eventually getting laid off and getting to file for unemployment.
I DISLIKED: Having to be on time every day. Having to work five days a week. Having to submit vacations for review rather than just saying “I’m going on vacation so I won’t be here.” That girl who came to talk to me on her breaks regardless of whether or not I was on my break and didn’t get the hint that I never listened to a word she said. Having to hide the fact that I spent most of my time online from my bosses. The fact that they tried to shame and guilt me into get the flu shot (it never worked). Hiding from my bosses to avoid getting assigned “busy work” during the slow seasons.
6. Tom Thumb
I LIKED: The flexible schedule. The people I worked with in the cash office. Getting to work with money. The process of going from knowing nothing about the workings of the office to knowing almost everything. Being alone in the office for long stretches on slow days. Getting to eat in my office. Getting “perfect” reviews when secret customers came in. Challenging myself to get all the closing procedures done as quickly as possible. Not having to get up early. Managers with good senses of humor.
I DISLIKED: Having to work on Christmas for the first time in my life. Getting written up for being late all the time. Getting written up for even stupider stuff. Customers who tried to manipulate the system and bitched at me when I wouldn’t let them. Having to sell lottery tickets. Having to sell cigarettes. Managers who felt they weren’t doing their jobs if I was smiling too much. Getting called away from the comfortable office to work the cash registers from time to time. Getting hours cut because other departments went over. Not being able to futz around on the internet.
Having tabulated the results, it looks like a job that I could actually stand would: Either allow me to spend most of my workday alone, or surrounded by people I like and enjoy. Allow me to eat on the job. Challenge me without placing too much singular responsibility on me. Be flexible enough for me to take time off when I want or need. Not make me work holidays. Not chastise me or discipline me for my difficulty with being on time. (This is probably my biggest weakness when it comes to working, one I try to be upfront about. However, most jobs still bitch about it despite me doing an amazing job that they love once I am on the clock, and essentially saving them money since they don’t have to pay me for those fifteen minutes.) Have lots of down time for futzing around on the internet without getting in trouble. Allow me to eat on the job. Not require me to get up early. Have laid back upper management that largely stays out of my business once the training period is over.
It’s nice having it all laid out like that. Now comes the part where I actually need to find this mythical Perfect Job. Even if I don’t come up with anything that fits all the above criteria, I feel a bit of relief seeing the patterns and knowing what I can tolerate and what I can’t. Still, it narrows the job market considerably. On the other hand, perhaps I can figure out a job that encapsulates all of it and start working toward that! Any suggestions?