Monday, December 13, 2004

if i had a hammer

I love the Salon advice column guy. I love advice columns in general, including those about sex, in TV show format, conducted by elderly ladies, or all of the above. But Cary Tenis is particularly awesome. I can relate to this question from last week for obvious reasons, except for the whole still looking for jobs part. I realized very quickly into my workforce foray that I only like (er, I guess "tolerate" is a better word) jobs where I actually, like, do stuff, which is why my favorites so far include my work writing and grading exams (mmmm...power!), making ridiculous coffee drinks and smoothies, and picking up dog doo. And which is why my last two "real" assistant/bitch jobs have sucked my proverbial you know what. When my parents get sick of me and it's time to find employment again, this paragraph shall be my guide:

So, in addition to getting off my chest my continuing rage at the conformist culture of mediocrity one encounters in the American workplace, I will say this: There's nothing quite like having a real skill. If at all possible, make your entry-level job one in which, even at a low level, you produce something tangible: for example, the proofing or editing of copy or the production of tangible new knowledge by, say, conducting phone interviews or doing research. That is much better than simply arranging the movement of suits from business-class seat to boardroom chair, in my opinion. The relevant motto here is not, I believe, "Bring coffee to power." You need a productive skill independent of their notions of who you are. Dig? If you cannot land a job producing things yourself, then find work assisting those who do produce things, so that you can learn.

Get a skill. Seriously fucking brilliant.


petientje said...

i supposedly assist those who produce things. try last week, when i spent 45 minutes replacing quotation marks in someone else's paper. and this will help me to later produce my own tangible work? i think not.
but on the whole, of course, i must agree that our silly B.A.s really don't count much in that oh-so-precious "skill" department.

Gina said...

Yeah, the whole learning from superiors thing doesn't work that well when you're too busy doing their dirty work and/or are not deeply fascinated by what they do. But I guess that's why so many people go back to scool.

Robo's Drone said...

You'd be right, my G-ness. That is certainly why this drone somebody is going back to school. Certainly ain't 'cause I just love to roll around in bill collectors' correspondence (i.e., school fee payment reuqests). My precious B.A.'s currently making my studio apt. look really official.

lengli said...

I find it sad that the only job I've ever been able to last more than five months at has been slinging coffee. I recently ended my Computer Science desk job career to go back to the hallowed halls of Starbucks, which more than slightly disturbs me. I suppose it is all about production, even if it's only the production of a Gingerbread Latte.

Fat Asian Baby said...

I feel pretty alienated from any labor or skills I allegedly do or do not possess. I think I'm going to take a nap.