No Longer a Member of the 47 Percent

A friend heard of an opening at a manufacturing company.  They were looking for an office assistant.  The pay would be  owhere near what my last salary had been.  In fact, the position was cut down to a part-time job for a three-month trial period.  No health benefits.  No sick days (not on a part-time basis, at least).  No vacation for a year (I’ve been on a 9-month “vacation”) so that’s no problem.

Big Brother wasn’t happy when I took a clerical position not even in my field.  I tried to explain to him that all the jobs in my field are in the City.  Jobs with the major networks are out of the question.  I made that choice long ago.  Professionals in the broadcasting industry are required to work their way up by moving from little station to little station across the country until they’ve built up their credentials.  That kind of lifestyle just didn’t appeal to me; I’m a hometown girl.

I do have editing skills and could get a job with some New York publishing company.  But without an advanced degree, I’ll never get anywhere.   I was never promoted to a managerial position and never wanted to be.  At this stage in my career, I should have been.  Since I wasn’t, prospective employers will hold it against me; the advanced degree might mitigate that “failure.”

Besides, there’s something all-American about working for a small company like this, even if the laborers are all Hispanic and the engineers mostly Indian.  They’re still Americans.  The company is doing well and looking to expand.  They need someone who can get them organized and urge them on to expansion (they said so).

It’s good to be part of the working class again.  At first, I was relieved to have the Unemployment Benefits and take a break from working out; I was burnt out.  But I’m getting close to my personal fiscal cliff and I feel guilty.  I know I should be out there working with the others.  As time went on, I would envy the drivers commuting home from work at night.  They’d spent their day usefully, earned their income, and were going home to reap the benefits of that hard work.  I spent my days usefully, although I had no money coming in other than what was being taken out of their taxes.

I still retain my goal of earning my Master’s Degree in Library Science.  Without the grant, I’m going to have to pay for it myself.  This company doesn’t have that sort of grant program and neither does the government.  That’s okay with me.  I’d rather go to school on my own terms.  If I have a bad day and get a “C” on a test, I won’t have a supervisor or HR representative breathing down my neck.

Some people resent the day of small things.  My mother and father were highly intelligent. My mother became a bus driver; my father, a security guard.  You could say they “settled.”  Or you could say they did what they had to do.  There’s not much opportunity for growth in this company.  However, in working in New Jersey, I avoid the double-taxation of working in the City as well as their increased transit fares.  I will get home much earlier and when I finally have enough money to start my degree, I’ll have the time and energy to do the work.

Yesterday, as I drove home amidst the commuter wolf-pack, I was proud to be amongst them again.   Best of all, I’m working and making a salary (although not much more than UEI benefits at this point).  In this bad economy, I’m grateful to have a job to go to.  I’m relieved not to be dependent upon government relief any longer.



Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 7:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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