When Monday comes around I’m a working stiff and to say I’m less than enthused about that concept would be an understatement.
I’m disappointed with the pay for one thing, I won’t say what it is because it’s probably more than some page 3 readers make and most of the people who work at the same place, so to complain about it just makes me sound ungrateful, especially in this state of the economy of (Mercy, 4 years ago CS grads were having jobs thrown at them and it was a requirement that all CS students have an internship, then the economy tanked. Jobs were hard to come by and that requirement was dropped. Hmm, four years ago the economy was on fire then all of a sudden the jobs were gone. What happened four years ago to facilitate this erosion? Seems like I should have something more to say here but I think I’d just be adding to the noise. Sorry for the political side tracking, I just love to get under Matt and Jon’s skin. Ok, let that be enough back to innocence again.) the last few years.
To start with I was looking around and doing some estimations, I got a decent idea of what was “going rate” depending on the area. Some were salaries I could only hope for as I had no real chance at the job. (The old “if every employer wants experience before they’ll hire someone where does anyone get the experience” situation) Others were low, some were much lower, but what I make is under the floor amount of even what I figured as a worse case scenario. It’s also much less then my classmates make, so compared to them I have a right to complain. So back off. As far as non-monetary perks, I wasn’t exactly on the edge of my seat as she told them to me. I mean I wasn’t expecting a company car but something more would have been nice, maybe flex time, or monthly 3 day weekends would be more than fine with me. I guess the only mini perk is that there’s pretty much no dress code, as long as I leave my vast collection of “Big Johnson” shirts in storage I should be fine. Needless to say I was kind of depressed.
However, the evening after I was officially hired (like 2 months after the company made the initial contact, 5 interviews, an aptitude test, and a tour later, assuming I hadn’t had any poppy seed muffins recently*) I went to the kitchen to get something to drink and my mom was on the phone with my uncle who wanted to congratulate me. After I explained why I wasn’t too excited he told me his first job after his 2 year degree (He didn’t say on the phone but if memory serves me it was in Marketing) paid $3.25 an hour. We would be talking mid 80’s since he said he was married at the time. He then moved to Target for $4 and, to put it in perpsective timewise, I actually remember going to visit him there. Now I know inflation has happened in the last 20 years but come on, I don’t think a person was meant to live on that much. The conversation raised my spirit a bit, since I had been quite depressed. I guess that even though the pay was a letdown in a way it was a beautiful letdown, even though I didn’t get what I felt was “fair market value” like I said before I bet I make more than most of the people in the plants there without ever being there a day. Especially in comparison to what I’ve made in the past, between the higher pay and working full time living is simple on this amount of money.
Forget it, you know what, in the realm of worldwide problems this has got to be the least important issue, maybe I should stop complaining now. Complaining about something so petty can’t exactly be a new way to be human of the year.
One more thing about this new “era” is that it’s really unnerving being done with school. We all complain to no end while we’re in school, and no one hated doing school work, especially reading or writing (no, the irony isn’t lost on me) more than me. However, there is something comforting about the schooling process. I can’t really explain it, I’ve erased about 7 attempts at explaining it that all seemed incomplete somehow, so you’ll just have to take my word on it. I guess the best it can be explained to those of you on the inside is to borrow a quote from a wise old man, “These walls are kind of funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them.”
Oodles of decisions, big and little, in such a short time period, are made that affect the rest of your life you always second guess yourself. I mean one wrong decision now and 50 years down the road you are stuck in the worst episode of “This is Your Life” ever. I know you aren’t necessarily stuck in the same city, or job, or what have you, forever. However, there really isn’t much of a chance of redemption, in a lot of ways you’re playing for keeps.
To demonstrate, I dare you to move to the other side of whatever city you live in. How big of an upgrade in living places would there have to be to make moving worth it? It’s really not as simple as just moving, especially moving to different cites/states, and especially once you and a spouse both have jobs. It really is quite hard to just pick up and set up camp elsewhere, so where you set up camp in the first place is where you will likely be for a long time. I mean how big of a raise would it take to have you go to a new job where you didn’t know anyone and had to “start over” in many ways. Even if that job allowed you to stay where you were already living it would need to be a fairly significant upgrade, how big of a raise would justify moving residences on top of that? How big of a raise for you or a spouse would there need to be to justify the other quitting and starting the whole job search process over on top of “starting over” and moving?
In other words if you choose to set up camp under the biggest evergreen tree don’t expect to end up too far away from that tree in 50 years.
And that to me is a tad unnerving.
1) Following graduation my brother was still in school. My workplace had contacted me before graduation and there were times that I was waiting for phone calls. Before High School’s summer vacation the phone rang very few times, so there was a good chance they were calls from the HR woman. Once summer vacation started for the High School students the phone rang pretty much non-stop to the point where I stopped checking if it was for me, or answering it all together if it was after 5. Then one time I got a call from her at nearly 7 p.m. so it turns out one of those calls might have been her after all.
2) Should I be upset that the only thing I’ll be doing is using a language I don’t know, which means they’ll spend a while training me.
2a) This means I wont get to do anything important for quite some time.
2b) Also, if I was going to go through a lengthy training process to do something I’ve never done before I could have been trained 4 years ago.
3) How many interviews are too many? Are more than 2 pushing it? I would’ve been fine with doing 5 if they weren’t essentially the same interview with 5 different people. Turns out they just had to draw out the process because they were interviewing like 700 people and wanted to add more. I guess I was the loser in that setup. Although since I got the job I must have nailed their questions, especially the one about houseboats.
4) I haven’t experienced a two hour mood turn around quite like taking that aptitude test. I went in all cocky expecting like an ACT style test and instead got this really weird, really hard, test.
5) It really hasn’t hit me yet that working is all I’m going to do from now on.
6) Soon after I was hired we visited Sarah’s friend Jamie who was working on chemistry homework when we got there. It brought back fond memories of 7th hour chem.
6a) It also reminded me that the “stock” page 3 photo of Jon was actually taken in that class, which makes it like 5+ years old.
6b) Jamie brought up the fact that she lost some points on her last test due to rounding mistakes which reminded me vaguely of a big debate we had with Stanley in that class about significant digits. I couldn’t remember what our specific beef was with it, maybe Jon or Micah does, I just remember there was one aspect that seemed backwards and that by the end of it Stanley thought we were right.
1) My mom used to be (and might still be) a big Amy Grant fan. I remember getting our first cassette player (not too long before cd’s hit big, we just got an answering machine last year) At gift giving occasions we would always get my mom an Amy Grant tape. As such they were pretty much the only tapes in the house and ran 24/7. Then for what ever reason I never heard Amy Grant for years and years. Now all of a sudden I’ve heard her songs at pretty much every buisiness I’ve been at. You know Amy’s song that goes, “Stop for a minute
Baby, they're so glad you're mine, oh yeah
And ever since the day you put my heart in motion
Baby I realize that there's just no getting over you.”
It’s that one. If you know which one I’m talking about it’s stuck in your head right now. If you don’t recognize the lyrics consider yourselves lucky, but I know you’ve heard the song.
2) What the hell is with anyone younger than the Page 3 staffers and their ability to absolutely just pour their hearts out via their AIM profiles or Away messages? I mean seemingly very private stuff is just displayed for the whole world to see. Seemingly “cool” guys will leave lame sappy messages, usually God awful, homespun, poetry like:
I mean they are always the kind of things that, if I were them, I would feel lame writing to give to just my girlfriend, let alone letting everyone I know see them (especially since any person younger than us staffers have roughly twelve thousand people on their buddy list.)
Real men use Simpsons quotes or obscure references to early 90’s pop culture, or obscure references to the Simpsons as away messages, or the source of all their humor in general.
3) Is there a lower life form on this planet, Al Qaeda excluded, than the poparazzi? Tune in to “Newlyweds” on MTV this week for what will apparently be an episode dedicated to Nick and Jessica’s harassment by the poparazzi. Previews of the episode include a scene where a guy in a SUV literally tries to run Jessica off the road. Apparently they weren’t happy with just killing Princess Di. The funny thing is that the poparazzi really have nothing to gain, and Jessica and Nick aren’t really losing anything. Their whole life is being filmed, so they aren’t losing any privacy and the poparazzi aren’t getting any thing “exclusive” but, the pop will never leave you alone. The really sad thing is that the people who usually feel strongest about the poparazzi are the people that buy those crappy tabloids and thus create the demand for the photos.
4) Lastly I just thought I’d let you all know that someone tried, unsuccessfully, to take out the Switchfoot rocket. The WB has a new show called “Pepsi Smash” which is a “battle of the bands” type of thing. It was apparently erroneously reported on the show that Switchfoot lost to their opponent Sugarcult. Luckily for Swichfoot the WB likes to declare the band that actually gets the most votes the winner. After an error was determined in the code used on the internet Switchfoot was allowed the encore on the following show. They played “Dare you To Move.” I forgot to watch both shows. Seriously though Switchfoot rules, get on the rocket.
-Jeremy Lindgren marvels at another literary masterpiece.