Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Class Battles


Somewhere between the capricious demand for status and the contradictory demands for self lies the world we live in.

Between getting a letter in my file for an event I wholeheartedly believe I was in the right, being booted out of a forum for expressing my opinion too sarcastically, and hearing of the impending yet inevitable demise of a close coworker, on top of the ever-present media blitzkrieg over whether my political point of view isn’t just in the minority but might just be a pariah of all of Americanism (it isn’t, you teabagger FUCKS) I wonder why I get worked up over it.

Mostly, I know it’s because my life is very rarely in my hands. Well, in the sense that my career and my day-to-day activities are rarely dictated by me, but given a short enough time-line it seems (and hopefully only seems) like each trial and tribulation is a microcosm of the narrative my life is supposed to take: My boss (who is omnipotent) is completely ignorant to the specifics of my job. This may not in itself be a bad thing, as after all I’m hired for expertise that other staff members do not have, except my boss is completely ignorant in the sorts of management and administrative things her own job entails as well, leading to laughably impossible demands on a regular basis (and a yearly staff turnover of 25 percent).

This is important because I have no clue as to my own status on the job, due mainly to lack of feedback, and the job is my lifeline to some form of “normality” as it entails with the middle class lifestyle. In order to get a Masters in the field I wanted to be in ten years ago I need to resurrect my credit rating and in order to do so I need to be employable and in order for that to remain I need to stop getting letters in my file for speaking my mind to thin-skinned consultants, which makes me beholden to an ignorant and punitive boss.

Common story, I know.

But when it gets down to it, I know that even if I were to be in my dream position, all of what I produced with either be shelved indefinitely or subject to the whims of the politics of the day, which have not historically been on the side of planners or, indeed, anybody with an idea whose fruition takes longer than one election cycle.

So why worry? If I get fired (for the second time), laid off (for the second time) or otherwise stillborn in my career (yet again), life goes on. I go back to freelancing, getting paid under the table, and otherwise busking for my daily bread, knowing full well that most everybody in the world save for the dozen or so on TV is in just as bad a pickle as I am. When all is said and done, honor and dignity are silly things to hang onto – not because they’re meaningless, but because I’ve lost that battle before I was born.


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