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My parachute is black

March 31, 2009
Me, but with bigger breasts.

Me, but with bigger breasts.

The more bored I am at a job, the more I torpedo it.

The more disgusted I am with godawful management, the more I try to undermine it.

I have had a hot job losing streak going on and off pretty much since I moved to New York.  The last one was extremely amicable and now I get to claim unemployment.  Sweet!  I may even get a raise for being unemployed since I took a 65% paycut for my last job.  Does anyone else think it’s bizarre that unemployment penalizes you working part-time or going to school?

Anywho, I went through a pretty brutal time of self-recrimination in the past couple months.  Ok, so I lost one job because a coworker threw a piece of office equipment at my head (because I changed the office radio station).   Then I started to think about all the jobs that I had had where people had genuinely liked me.  I’ve been asked back to work at places after being laid-off, I have a LinkedIn recommendation list longer than my arm, and I’ve been promoted.  Even the most casual look at my good vs. bad jobs shows a lot of commonalities.

Good Jobs:

  • Temping.  Temp jobs are the best because expectations are clear and you’re divorced from manager/employee power dynamics and office politics
  • Doing what I love.  So far, that’s been teaching and being a receptionist (ha!) I have to admit that I just won’t be successful doing jobs where I wake up in cold dread.
  • Doing….anything.  I found out that its not even tasks themselves that kill me.  I once had a very successful run in data conversion, which is about as interesting as it sounds, because there was a ton of work, I had complete autonomy, and I really had to think about the best ways to progress.

Bad Jobs:

  • I attract psychotic bosses the way some women chronically date abusers.  In my second to last job, I had an “stress interview” with the boss where he pointed out problems on my resume, asked me why my GPA wasn’t higher, and made me feel like showering afterwards.  Even though I’ve spoken many times about how I abhorred stress interviews and thought they were ethically dubious, I though nothing about it and was even satisfied that I wasn’t so rattled that I didn’t take the job.
  • Keeping busy.  Nothing would make me happier than having a results-oriented job.  Busy work has been getting me in trouble since I was in the 2nd grade.  When it comes to work, I tend to work faster than most people and then I get bored.  That’s probably the reason I love reception work; there’s no expectation to “keep busy”.  The same thing with teaching…as long as the kids are being taught, no one cares if I work on the great American novel all Friday when I have no classes.
  • Responsibility.  Atlas kept the world upon his shoulders and I wouldn’t mind helping out.  Two of my dream jobs for a long time have been police office or EMT.  In fact, I moved to New York to become a police officer, but I became so repulsed by how the city treats its police force, I knew I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy.  That includes qualifying for welfare as a trainee because the pay (even after completing training) is so abysmally low.  The pay is even worse for EMTs who have to pay for their own training.  Even teaching didn’t seem realistic to me.  Everyone is talking about the ridiculousness of executive pay, but how about the fact that the more you want to help people, the less you make (and the more willing you are to screw them, the more you make).  Am I wrong?
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