Friday, August 3, 2012

Fuck This Job Thing

I've made a decision.  I'm not looking for a job anymore.  I'm planning to join the ranks of the people that unemployment analysts refer to as "discouraged" just as soon as I figure out how the discouraged survive.

My money making options are limited and the best of them are illegal, which isn't a problem in and of itself:  it's ineptitude and not righteousness that keeps me from a life of crime.  My obsession with  Breaking Bad has considerably upped my potential to prosper selling meth, but yo: I lack the acuity and discipline to deal, bitch.  My only hope of success as a prostitute is slim, given the relatively small pool of chubby chasers, and, turnabout being fair play, blackmail is out of the question. I'm too delicate for violence -- any  kind of gangsterhood is far-fetched -- and white collar crime won't work, given that it requires access to white collars.

I'm perplexed as to what to do next, although I know what I'm not going to do:  spend any more mornings on Craigslist, EntertainmentCareers, Mandy.com or LinkedIn, feigning enthusiasm for multi-platform integrated marketing initiatives or managing my contempt for employers who use phrases like "rock star" "ninja" and "consumer-facing" in their job postings.    I'm done with emailing everyone I've ever known or worked with; instead of being grateful for the people who respond, I focus on the people who don't, cultivating a set of fierce resentments and plotting extravagant revenge.  (Hey, Luke Burland! You are seriously gonna regret ignoring me one of these days.)

For a while I thought it would help if I rewrote my resume, downplaying my experience in the music industry and emphasizing my background in public relations.  San Francisco employers may not be interested in my early involvement with the Replacements or my ability to tell the difference between Big Sean and Lil Boosie, but I thought that the skills involved in creating a compelling press release based entirely on the phrase "remastered by" would translate.   And, while that may be accurate, there's the rancid economy to consider, and I neglected to factor in the competition.   There are roving bands of 20somethings so eager to work in PR that they'll gladly work as unpaid interns for companies who use phrases like "rockstar" "ninja" and "consumer-facing."

I know I'm not alone.  I have a ton of friends who spent their lives working in music, only to find themselves without jobs after decades of distinguished careers.  They figured out that the music business was dead ten years ago;  they got their real estate licenses, became teachers, or reinvented themselves as digital marketing executives.  Not me:  I spent a few months looking for a job after I got laid off, and then I did the sensible thing.  Rather than accept that the music business I knew no longer existed and force myself to move on, I moved to Australia.   (That's another story, and it's old news:  it was two years ago today.)

I'm not without work.  I'm a master propagandist, and thanks to my friends who still work at labels and magazines, I've got bios, ads and press releases to write.  Next weekend  I'm covering Outside Lands for EW.com, and I have a book in the works.   But still, I'm declaring myself discouraged.   It's empowering.  Unlike unemployment,  discouragement  is a choice.

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11 comments:

  1. I don't know a lot of born writers but you're one of them. Let me know when your article is in EW. I keep thinking you could write for the Chronicle or something along those lines... Your portfolio must be packed with great stuff!

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    1. Thanks Matt! I think the EW story (which is .com - not the magazine) will run in three segment following each day of the Outside Lands festival, which means 8/11, 8/12, and 8/13. I'm psyched.

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  2. Julie- you are an amazing writer. believe me - if you even knew what I did now you would be like "how you have fallen" I work as a project manager for a privatized daycare company dealing with internal politics that make the west wing look easy. and all for less than half of what I made in nyc. Oh and I am perceived as difficult and have "drama" following me. Believe me you need to parlay your talents with writing to books and magazines. we are all too old for office politics and bullshit - and your too good for it.
    And for the people who dont write you back? they suck and they know it.

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    1. Marti. You rule.

      I can't even begin to imagine you as a project manager for a privatized daycare company. That's ridiculous. Thank god you're perceived as difficult and dramatic -- it'd be unbearable otherwise.

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  3. Julie,

    This was EXCELLENT!
    When you figure it out, count me in...I feel I have many of those same qualities!
    LOL
    Smitty

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  4. SMITTY! Thank you! I'll let you know if I ever get it sorted. xo!

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  5. Julie, you and I, living the dream. Ugh.

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  6. When one door closes it usually rebounds off your butt and goes wide open again. If you find yourself at loose ends you can stay at my place and we'll go harass shadoobie in lawrence.

    Let me know if you need a beta reader. Love you, gretchen

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    1. Nice.

      Thank you Gretchen! I'd gladly harass shadoobie with you anywhere. xoxo

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  7. Oh my. I know the feeling. The only disappointing thing about this column is that it ended too soon! It always feels like you're actually talking to me.

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