I am typing this from my latest temp gig. I am working for a non-profit organization. The office is white and quiet, except for the tapping of keyboards. There’s a fruit bowl and a roof deck, but no one goes out there.
I can have all the espresso I want.
Working for a non-profit is not exactly the right phrase, though. Honest to God I am being paid (a few bucks an hour, granted) to do a job that a monkey could do. No joke: a semi-trained circus animal could absolutely do what I have been asked to do in half the time I am being given to do it. It requires knowing little more than how to Google stuff and operate the copy/paste function on the computer keyboard.
Someone went on vacation and so I was hired to do this thing, which that person could have done on a Smartphone during their 30-minute subway ride downtown before hitting the beach.
I am confused but trying not to overthink it.
In the time that I am not/working, I have managed to complete a post for my other blog, write various communiqués to the people I am plotting world domination with, and go on an (unpaid) lunch break, during which time I’m pretty sure none of the 20-somethings who “work” here even looked up from their shiny Macbooks long enough to know I was gone.
That’s what is getting to me this week, as I continue to come to terms with the fact that I spent ten years preparing for a career that no longer exists and that I do not want.
I am old.
Well, not that old. I haven’t gone gray yet. My knee only aches once in a while. I do not watch JAG. As of today, I am not using Depends.
But when I first arrived here at The Non-Profit, I noticed that all the employees are in their 20s. Early 20s. I think they’re all fresh out of college, and this is their first job before they go off and actually make money, or get bored enough to quit and go to law school like their parents want.
In fact, the worst part about it is that my supervisor, the one who explained the monkey’s job to me, is around 22-years old. She looks about 15 though.
I keep thinking: how did I get to the point where I am being bossed around by a mere child?
It’s probably awkward for The Boss too. She’s probably asking herself, “why is this old person still temping?” Perhaps, if she is the wistful type, she might even wonder, “What happened in her life that brought [post-academic in nyc] to this point?” Then, after deciding that she can’t possibly answer that question (because the lives of others are unknowable or something like that), I imagine that The Boss simply made an object lesson out of me. “I shall never end up like her,” she promised herself.
Yes, it probably happened just like that.
I would not want to go back to my 20s, even if I could. Gross. One cannot help getting older. Just as one cannot help traveling in a boat pulled ceaselessly back into the past, or some Great Gatsby shit like that.
Recently, my old boss from The College Where I Used to Adjunct emailed me and asked me to come back and teach there this upcoming semester. It would be delightful to have me, she said. They have a pair of classes with my name on them. One is a course in my field for majors.
Am I interested? She would really like to know.