Big Smoke

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

Character composites of sorts

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One half the staff culture of the non-profit world: Early 20s, liberal arts undergraduate degree, fairly cute member of burgeoning, politically-conscious post-scarcity yuppiedom. Is able to recite boilerplate bullshit as is anybody with college experience and a passing familiarity with bureaucracy.

Doesn’t do work.

Specifically, her job is to accept just enough of a workload as to be able to complain about work. Shirks everything else. Accepts the reputation of being “flaky” and “unreliable” as a mark of youth and being “above” the work, where “life” is slated as being more important than work, with the dubious logical conclusion that work, when inconvenient, can be ignored at will. Does not expect the non-profit world to be any more than an acceptably “challenging” and “diverse” career stepping-stone to something that pays ludicrously well and provides “status” for an equally paultry amount of responsibility. An administrative position, perhaps.

Chose the non-profit sector because of a perceived lack of quantifiable goals. Is not emotionally invested in the stated purpose of the organization because, deep down, she suspects social work to be the real-world equivalent of underwater basket-weaving: A skill, arguably; just not a skill pertinent to anything, believing as she does that any power effective enough to make a change is purposefully withheld from such operations.


The other half of the staff culture of the non-profit world. 20s to 50s, rapidly-expanding waistline, associate’s degree or professional student – if being metriculated once as a communications major two years ago without achieving a degree counts one as still being a student – prone to spouting talking-point platitudes without having achieved anything politically except perhaps joined a mailing list that recites minutes from meetings attended by the same four professional protesters.

Doesn’t do work.

Specifically, she is not the primary earner in her household. Her “job” is to collect tidbits of gossip and spread them via¬†e-mail and Facebook, when not taking extended breaks off work to visit family. Believes her very presence, despite lack of output, to be proof enough that Something is Being Done about the problem at hand. Mistakes homespun experience – if you can count somebody who has never had to live off their work “experienced” – for professional training.

Chose the non-profit sector for the same reason people use the term “community organizing” as synonymous with “sounding out a constituency for political control.” Likes being part of a potential establishment of power without having to expend effort – the go-to guy for favors – much like a goon likes being part of a warlord’s cabinet.

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2 Responses to “Character composites of sorts”

  1. inoli
    on Jun 16th, 2011
    @ 6:34 am


    someone is exposing perspicacity. sounds like beginning notes for a novel or at least a novela

  2. Rott635
    on Jun 16th, 2011
    @ 9:44 am

    A composite of past and present coworkers, sufficiently generalized to make a character sheet. Notes, yes; of what whole, I don’t know.

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