January 11, 2010

Some things can suck out your soul, or, why I need a good job

For those unaware, I started a short internship-like thing today. It is not quite an internship because it is short (only one week), but not quite a straight job shadow because it is involved (what with me actually contributing in an employee-like fashion). Anyway, the point is that I started today. I was somewhat nervous walking the nine blocks from my apartment to the Place of Employment, an unassuming apartment-turned-office housing a small magazine publication. What if I didn't like it? What if they didn't like me? What if they put me through a bizarre initiation ritual involving massacred stuffed animals and psychedelic brownies?

I was so pleasantly relieved to find that this was not the case at all.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself today. I got to review unsolicited submissions for the magazine (and use nifty accept/reject buttons!), proofread articles for the magazine's online archive, and help do a weekly mailing. (Bizarrely, even the mailing was fun. Stamping address labels and sealing envelopes was fun. They also have a zippy machine that prints postage information for you. Who'd have thought?) I even had lunch with another intern and the assistant editor, and we actually talked.

The long story short is that I learned that a job can actually be intellectually stimulating and personally fulfilling. (And I know you all thought that was a myth. Don't worry about it - I kind of did too.)

Knowing that, I've given some thought to my current places of employment. (Warning: this is where the soul-sucking is going to come into play.) I've been working multiple jobs for a while now, and after interning at this magazine for just one day, I can tell you definitively one of my multiple jobs is deadly.

I've been somewhat concerned recently that I'm generally a few degrees more depressed, lethargic, and grumpy (on average) than I used to be. But I couldn't figure out (until today) one of the major factors: at this particular business, I feel like a mind-numbed drone slowly being harvested for her soul. I am not kidding. This job depresses me. Turns me off. Makes me feel like there is no sunshine and no cuddly puppies in the world. I just never realized it until I saw the light that was a (real!) fulfilling job.

Gah. It depresses me that I've spent months of my life feeding my soul away and growing more and more like a dead fish: cold, slimy, and unresponsive. On the other hand, I now feel blissfully enlightened by my new knowledge, and my new agenda (get better job). So I guess it evens out? I think so, anyway.

So, what did I learn today? Find new (better) job --> be happy. And that is why I need a good job, now and in the future. Please, economy, pick up already!

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