You know, I got to thinking the other day, a lot of jobs today kind of suck. I remember when I was a boy, it seemed people got jobs and then stuck with them until they retired. That isn’t so any longer, for the vast majority of us, is it?
I'll start right off by admitting that no, I'm do not have a Master's degree, and I'm not particularly talented in anything except for writing and event then, once the blinders come off, I'm seeing I'm likely mediocre at best when compared to the hard-hitters like Stephen King or Ray Bradbury or Clive Barker.
As my new favorite saying goes, "I'm just smart enough to know I'm not smart enough."
Oh well, boo-hoo, whoa as me. This isn't a pity party, folks, I'm just being a little realistic. Take me out of the equation for a minute; I still don't know anyone but one guy who might retire from his actual job. One motherfucking guy. Do you realize how many people I know? I'm sure more of my buddies have jobs they will or can retire from, but there's only one that I know for sure.
Now, that being said, most my friends are fuckups and drunks, because that's the way I like it. But still, I know a lot of people who aren't and they struggle just the same as I do.
Each time I get a new gig I think to myself, oh boy, milk this one for all it's worth because I just know it's not going to be there long. And I'm always correct.
AutoZone broke my heart, I'm not above admitting that. I saw a career there, even though the work itself wasn't necessarily glorious or always fun. I was good at what I did and they knew it. But reality sets in when I'm not even making one fucking dollar more than a brand new hire who may or may not know what a fuckin' battery is and I'd been there two years and was ASE certified. Get my drift? I had keys to the store and the combo to the safe, y'all, and I wasn't even a buck over minimum wage.
Jesus H. Pumpernickel Christ.
I have another buddy who got his JD for law and then passed the bar and couldn't find work, literally for years. He finally gave up and went into business for himself. It took a long time, but he's finally making a respectable wage. But still, does this man have a retirement? Only the one he makes for himself. Another friend is a high-tech computer programmer web guy and, although he makes a hell of a living, he's not sure where he'll be working in five years I guarantee that.
I finally found a wonderful gig editing full-time but they refused to hire me on and instead, kept me as freelance. This means I'm a 1099 employee, I pay taxes up the ass and am responsible for figuring all that out on my own. Which means you can take three to four dollars off my current rate and that's more like what I see come paycheck time.
Now the place has cut my hours by more than half, so I'm scrambling for work. I jumped through a thousand hoops and replaced the windshield in my F-150 and paid for a background check to get hired on by one driving/delivery place, who told me: You did it! You're in. Now sit tight and wait for us to announce that the Inland Empire program has been set in motion.
That was about $200 I didn’t need to spend on a job I can't fuckin' work.
I applied for an editing gig for a semi-local auto magazine, and I actually heard back! The ad said bennies, full-time, a Macbook, paid time off, the works. Know what I'm offered? A few freelance articles. I just signed my W9 yesterday so that I can do more fucking taxes for another damn place. And it's slower than molasses, I haven't heard back from them at all and he said on the phone I'd be receiving a 1,500 word article.
What happened to the days when a company picked up employees, quality employees, with the full intention of taking them to the end of the race? Today, good writers get bumped in favor of ESL East Indians willing to whore themselves out for pennies. Today, good managers don't get paid for shit and completely incompetent, problem-creating employees stay on and on and on for decades.
Today, I think most of us had better become familiar with IRA and 401(k) accounts, and use them, because nobody is looking out for us. Our Golden Years happiness is solely up to us. More and more folks are being let loose one year, two years, three years from their retirement dates and that's bullshit, y'all. That's straight-up bullshit.
I encourage you to get a job with a big company and keep your head down for the duration. Don't stand out for any reason, be it good or otherwise. Do your time, look at the ground, collect your pay and slowly move through the ranks and, God willing, hopefully one day retire.
Stater Brothers is good, UPS and the USPS are probably great, and I imagine being a teacher is probably by far the best bang for the buck out there, but ya gotta be educated. I mean, what a gig! Three months off per year on top of your regularly scheduled vacation time, off work by like 3:30, don't work a single holiday no matter how miniscule and ridiculous, and once you get tenure, you'd have to show up naked and burn the school down to get fired.
Shit. Gotta go, I have to clock in for 3.5 hours of editing writers who do not know that punctuation goes inside fucking quotation marks or that the word "president" isn't constantly capitalized, no matter what.