I have no idea how people spent their summers, especially this summer of all summers, but I put a good chunk of it to good use. This is my way of saying: I got a job. Throughout high school I subsisted mostly on part time jobs, helping my grandmother with her sugared pepper business and writing several articles in local magazines as a freelance journalist. The place I work at now is an art gallery, marrying my passion for art with my passion for having money. Unlike my brother, who is currently collecting unemployment on the dole and practically rolling in the Benjamins, I am making $9 an hour at one of my town’s greatest cultural epicenters. I worked here previously, a few summers ago, and it’s great to be back.
I don’t know what working girls do exactly, aside from kidnapping their bosses and/or toplessly cleaning their houses to Carly Simon. Everything I’ve ever learned about the workforce, I’ve learned from “Mad Men,” “The West Wing,” and those five episodes of “The Office” that I watched that one time in that hotel room. I am, however, looking forward to answering phones in a professional voice and manning the desk Devil-Wears-Prada-style.
I finally have a job for the first time in ages, I just moved into a new house, I am making the most of where I am currently living, I get to admire great art as I work, and I’m dressing in such upscale casual styles that when I appear in public in my work clothes I get called ma’am by kids my own age. In other words, my stock is currently up.
This spurt of winning at life gives me hope that I will one day be doing it in a rent controlled, one-bedroom overlooking the park. Ideally, I’ll be bustling through the halls of “Simon and Schuster,” one day, carrying stacks of loose paper, as part of a paid internship. This whole recent jolt of job searching, job obtaining, and then job performing, has gotten me thinking about my career path.
Now that summer is waning and school will soon be starting back up, I am still going to continue to work and balance my school work.
As I power-dress for the job that I go to once a week, I will also be logging onto zoom calls while still in my pajamas. Wishing everyone equal luck in their job search, from your Mary Tyler Moore next door.
The Tragic Queen,
P.S.: If you want to see great works of local art, come by and see the Annette Howell Turner Center for the arts. You might even see me working there.