I bring shame to my name. While others have worked an entire calendar year, year after year, I sop up gobs of vacation time around holidays and summertime. While the Average Joe could lose his employment at whim, apparently it is harder to can me than it is to grow grass in a desert. I receive guaranteed pay raises, no matter if I produce or not, and I get free donuts each time one of my clients has a birthday. Although I have enough college credit to fulfill two PhD programs, I am an expert at zilch. Although both my customers and supervisors would rather have their jobs than mine, they offer unsolicited advice about how I could do mine better, cheaper, and longer. By virtue of my certification and academic major I am an underachiever, suspect of laziness, pedophilia, and ignorance. Were I to debate the above, add whining, too.
Here’s the rub: I don’t care. Sure, it is annoying and disheartening when the bashing hits a critical mass; when one cannot open a newspaper, scan the Internet, talk to a friend or relative, or overhear a restaurant conversation without absorbing the mass critique of the job (I would hazard to call it “the profession”, only to illicit a smirk from Average Joe). I don’t care. If I were to leave it behind tomorrow, I know I would miss it. Not miss it nostalgically, but miss it like an amputee misses an arm or a leg. The zillion irritating, mind-numbingly stupid, ourtrageously incompetent things that happen weekly on the job are only bearable because I know I’d miss it. I’d miss the potential of proving Average Joe wrong, whether he ever knows it or not. I’d miss the potential of actually teaching something, which has the same odds as a batter actually hitting a ball – only to leave me feeling most days like I’ve struck out. I’d miss a captive audience of people at their most precious stage of life – well before they become Average Joes. I’d miss the euphoria of walking the line between having the power to make or break a person’s day, while at the same time having no real power at all. I’d miss the perverse daily dichotomy of the huge responsibility I have without any accompanying authority whatsoever.
I should be ashamed.
Profesor P. Suave