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It was a brisk day in early November of last year. I left my temp gig 10 minutes early so I could find a quiet place to take a phone call. It was a preliminary phone interview for a full-time position, and I wanted to make sure I was composed before I started the conversation.
An unfamiliar number buzzed on my phone minutes later. Taking a breath, I accepted the call. We exchanged pleasantries for a minute. Finally, the guy got down to business.
“Can you tell me what you’re doing right now at (Huge Audiobook Company)?”
I paused. Should I tell him the truth? I didn’t have long to deliberate, so I decided to be up front.
“Oh yeah, I currently curate erotic audiobook content.”
The guy on the other end of the line laughed for a full minute before responding.
“That’s not something I’m used to hearing.”
“It would be a lot weirder if it was.”
I didn’t get the job.
In the past year and a half, I have listened to excerpts from books where men turn into bears and then fall in love with women who turn into deer (this, if you dive into “shifter” romance novels, is of course forbidden). I picked up a side gig hosting trivia where I dispense useless knowledge at bars throughout New Jersey. This past summer, I worked for Samsung fact-checking and proofreading marketing and promotional copy. My sole highlights were correcting the spelling of “Fortnite” and lecturing a CEO about imperative sentences (I’m highly employable). I also worked at a consulting firm where, on the second to last day, I learned the company made $7 million in one month.
I made $18 an hour. I almost called Nived on the spot to start the revolution.
My resume at the moment quite frankly looks ridiculous. The downside of most of these jobs is they were all temporary assignments. I quickly have to remind recruiters and HR that I’m not blowing through these jobs and getting fired after 8 weeks. Surprisingly, there really isn’t high demand for anyone who could tell you the subtle differences between good and bad erotica (we seriously had SEVERAL meetings about this at (Huge Audiobook Company)) nor is there any need for someone who can find errors in subject-verb agreement on the second-to-last page of a tedious financial prospectus. I look at LinkedIn the same way a lovelorn adolescent looks at his phone waiting for a text back.
I currently teach intro to writing as an adjunct at my local college, a college whose president lied on his resume about his credentials and was promptly… allowed to keep his job with zero repercussions. I also tutor and substitute teach, and just finished two books about Spanish YouTube stars none of you have ever heard of for the publishing company that laid me off last year three months after I broke my leg.
Confused yet? I still am.
I’m an employment nomad. I go where I’m needed for months or weeks at a time, do some semblance of a job, and leave without fanfare. It’s had its ups (did you read the part where I CURATED EROTIC AUDIOBOOK CONTENT?). It’s had its downs. I have no idea where I’ll wind up.
Some people stick with one job for the rest of their lives.
That must be awful..