Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Security blankets

As Obama continues to announce more filled vacancies in his administration-to-be, and the "plum" book is published claiming wide readership for just the chance to see "dream list" of career opportunities, I am contemplating the next j-o-b. This, due to the fact I am surrounded by and have only office supplies to commiserate with, which feels a little out of touch with reality.

I believe, now, my tasks at work can be replicated by a robot-- if this robot could wield Papermate Intro-brand highlighters, binder clips, "sign here" arrow post-its & navigate the intricacies of a wire inbox and outbox set.

I recently had a conversation with one of my supervisors about "my career path". I went ahead and boldy went where no 40-hour/week employee would go: "I have decided to teach" I said. That is, I went on to clarify, teach college. By that, I guess I (realistically) meant adjuncting. "But', she countered, "--ah... don't you want to pay rent?" And with that, hopes were dashed and I will quietly harbor these dreams of low pay and sharing a huge desk somewhere with the fluorescent lights of the local library glaring. Regardless, I will lobby hard for robot hiring in the next few weeks.

As Jan. looms, local community and suburban colleges have posted deadlines for full-time English faculty &, of course, composition adjunct positions. What can it hurt to have two or three part-time jobs without the benefits of vacation days, overtime or-- wouldntchaknowit-- health insurance instead of the 40-hours/wk without vacation, overtime or insurance now? I am in the very least pretty sure I'll feel a little more like a writer if I'm around some English department bookshelves. Right? Right? Does that make me weak and dependent on external circumstances for self-worth?


Trina said...

I don't know what things are like in your neck of the woods, but it doesn't seem like higher ed is any safer or more secure than any other field of endeavor right now. Here, with the threat of students, classes, faculty and staff being cut, I'm going to stick with my little office assistant job. That is, assuming I still have this job tomorrow. Really, they'll have to pry this job from my cold, dead fingers.

We're having a meeting in an hour to discuss how the proposed budget cuts will affect our office. Fun!

Laura said...

I inquired at Tulane about adjuncting and they only hire PhDs. For Freshman Comp! On the plus side, they also only hire full time.

Have you noticed spellcheck doesn't acknowledge adjuncting as a word?

Trina said...

"Have you noticed spellcheck doesn't acknowledge adjuncting as a word?"

Hmm. Telling.

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