I was going to title this post “I Think I Hate My New Job”, but after a pretty good day at work, I’ve reconsidered. I also got a brief reality check this morning, in regards to my other easy option: The union called and left a message offering me a job back at the hospital construction site, 6 days a week, 10 hours a day.
Wow, if I took that, we’d be fucking rolling in dough. How tempting.
Then I remember how relieved I was to get out of there back in June. Is a huge paycheque worth putting up with daily sexist/homophobic/racist bullshit?
I didn’t tell you this before: It was midafternoon on the day I was laid off from the construction site, and so I invited my also-newly-unemployed coworker and former classmate E over for a beer on my patio. As we sat there and rehashed the 3 months we’d spent working at our very first trades job, he told me about stuff I hadn’t known, such as the things that were said about me behind my back. Turns out that most of the 700 workers at the site knew I was queer by the end of the 2nd week, courtesy of other former classmates, and many were quite vocal (among themselves) about their disbelief and/or disapproval. Learning this put a new spin on how I saw the way I was treated by these men, turning what I took at the time as harmless casual flirting into something a bit more pointedly inappropriate.
The price of going back to construction is higher than it seems at face value.
Yesterday evening I spent too much time whining to Oats and Sum and Captain Pestou about how much I hate selling stuff, how wrong private for-profit business feels, and how boring I’m finding the staff meetings. In light of day, this seems even more whiny, but I’m okay with that.
I realize that I’m lucky to have a job at all given the economic climate, to be educated enough to find opportunities in a variety of fields, and to be skilled in acting as white/upper class/straight/appropriately-gendered as required for this sort of position. It’s stressful, but I can do it. At the end of the day though, I’ve got this crazy trifecta of privilege going on, and it makes me ill.
My dissatisfaction is validated by my idealism: I prefer job environments where I actually get to make things, be that websites or publications or bicycles or steel conduit installations. I prefer job environments where I’m not the only woman, the only queer, the only one under the age of 40. I prefer job environments where anti-oppression and pluralistic concepts of race/gender/sexuality/ability/class are incorporated into the work being done. I prefer job environments where there’s a sense of fun and even silliness encouraged among the workers.
So, yeah, this new job sure as hell ain’t coming close to those desires. In a very different way, the construction site didn’t either. Neither did the organic farm where I worked all summer, not really, though I guess I could argue that one.
This is where the whining starts again, because apparently I just want my perfect job to *happen*, all on its own. Magic!