HELL WEEK & THE OBLITERATION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS!
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Oh my Lord! What a trying week! That new job I was so excited about......?!?! Let's just say this has been one of the worst weeks of my life. I don't think I've been this challenged since my short stint as a 911 operator at 19. That job led to a position working for the Post Office; also a challenge. I've had a lot of jobs in my lifetime, and a lot of occupational responsibility early on. When most kids were flipping burgers and dishing out ice cream, I was dispatching help to those in life threatening situations and getting up at the crack of dawn to run sorting machines for the U.S. Postal Service. I'd like to think I can handle most any kind of job stress being older and, thus, wiser and more experienced. But nothing could prepare me for this week.
I had to drive an hour and a half to and from a training session every day this week. That would not have been so laborious had I been scheduled for a forty hour week. But I worked ten and twelve hour days straight through the weekend without a day off. On top of being physically exhausted, I've been mentally exhausted from the amount of information crammed down my throat. I also started this week having both a cold and a sprained ankle for which I am only now feeling some relief. Having finally succeeded starting a day without a head full of cold medicine and a gut full of Ibuprofen, I walked into twenty-eight scheduled photo shoots. Toddlers, babies, children with behavior problems & disabilities, grandma's who can't stand, grandpa's who can't sit, and parents with unrealistic expectations that don't meet their budgets or time constraints. Welcome to the world of portrait photography! I must be insane! I am managing all of this, having never done this type of work professionally before, and being surrounded by a bunch of staff members who are half my age (my boss is 21)
Worse still is the insufficient amount of training employers provide these days. A training program that should have spanned three weeks has been condensed to four days. They don't want to spend the time, energy, or manpower to get you properly up to speed so you are thrown to the wolves and expected to survive. It's sink or swim baby! Heck, they don't even want to waste the paper it takes to get you properly trained! I noticed not one thing covered in training was provided to me in written form. "You want to know this, I suggest you memorize it right now because we don't plan on giving you a copy of this!" That really shouldn't come as a surprise given I had to print all of my employment documentation (from polices, to dress code, to W2's) on my own printer and then mail it to the corporate office! It cost me $18.30 in postage just to accept the offer, and an additional stamp or two for the paperwork they forgot to include. Not to mention, one printer cartridge!
What is the world coming to?! When did having a job become such a burden?! It's like they want you to pay them for the opportunity to work now. All this and hardly any pay as I can tell you that I made the same wage almost nineteen years ago at my before mentioned teenage jobs. I can't imagine why the middle class has been obliterated when the cost of living has doubled, but my income has stayed the same. Here are some fun facts. In 1991 when I worked that 911 job for roughly a dollar less per hour than what I am earning today, the average cost of a house was $120,000, the cost of gas was $1.12 per gallon, and a pound of bacon was $1.95. I can tell you I bought a house two years ago and it cost twice that, it takes over $50 bucks to fill my gas tank and I drive a mid-priced sedan, and the pack of Oscar Meyer I have in the fridge cost me $5.99. Care to know what the median income was in 1988..?? That would be twenty-three years ago...$33,400. Care to know what it was in 2008?? You guessed it, $33,000.
I am proud of myself for one thing. Despite my troubles, I did not medicate myself with food this week. Believe me, that was no easy task. Especially when I gained three pounds despite having stuck to my eating plan. My only explanation would be the extreme stress coupled with ten hours of sitting all day through training sessions. I have hit a tough wall because I am trying really hard to get under the 250's and instead I keep teetering back and forth, barely staying under 260. A little discouraging when you got so much more weight to lose! I will continue to press on. Hopefully now that training has turned to the hustle and bustle of non-stop photo shoots, some of those pounds will melt away. I can't tell you how much easier it is to control your weight when you don't have a job or work part-time. You get to move about freely through your day and eat what you want, when you want. You have plenty of hours and energy to devote to the gym, and very little outside stress to deal with. Wish me luck as I press on with this career change. Hopefully things get better soon. I can't imagine they could get worse! LOL. If not, I guess I'll be back in the unemployment line :-(
“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.” -Drew Carey