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Monday, September 6, 2010

Take care of business, Mr. Business Man...

Twenty two years ago the hubster and I spent a blisteringly hot Labor Day week-end holed up in a one bedroom apartment, drapes drawn against the sun, the one window air conditioner running 24/7, watching the Jerry Lewis telethon and trying to figure out what to do with this newborn we just brought home. I didn't have a clue then and I haven't a clue now. I mostly fly by the seat of my pants and think of what my mother would have done in the same circumstances. Then I do the opposite.

Labor Day. It's an odd concept. We celebrate Labor by not doing any.

I'm basically okay with that, simply because I get a day off. I have been trudging to the same damn job for closing in on four years now. Every day. I'm one of the few positions in the organization that has to punch a time clock, I feel like the opening scene of "Joe vs. The Volcano" most mornings. They PROMISED me that this position was a "springboard", there would be plenty of opportunity, I'm be out of there and into something that would take advantage of my degree and my certificate in a heartbeat.

HA! And may I say HA!

There's still no work out there and, as far as the internal workings of a company that has already made a billion dollars this year and will make yet another billion on a project they're letting loose in November (I think it's November) I'm still sitting at the same damn desk day in, day out. I have a boss who said I'm not allowed to have pictures or personal items at my desk because if I'm gone they have to get a temp and the temps don't want to have to look at MY things. Things? Um...those are my KIDS, you S.O.B.

But I have a kid in college and a kid who's floating without much direction right now and a husband who doesn't like to work. Geez, dude...I don't LIKE working either! But I do what millions of women before me have done. I shut up and take it. My dream is to do something be3cause it makes me HAPPY and not because it makes me money. My dream is to NOT be working a dead end job from 9-6 and then selling mail order fragrance the rest of the time. Which my father, btw, thinks is hilarious. Thanks, Dad. You know, for all her faults (and she had TONS of them), my mother would have at least BOUGHT something.

I also have a dream that one of these days I will not spend my few days off loading the laundry into tote bags and hauling it on the bus to a laundromat. Yeah, like that's gonna happen any time soon.

I'm not content sitting in the same place, hour after hour, day after day, staring at a monitor. I want to get in a car, and drive, somewhere, ANYWHERE. Do you have any idea how joyous it is to leave your hot apt on a blisteringly hot day, get in your car, drive until you find a beach that looks nice and spend an afternoon dancing in the water's edge? I used to to stuff like that. I drove to the shore about an hour north of here and played in the water and ate crab on the pier.

No more.

I sit in this box and I look for stuff to watch on HBO because there's nothing else to do. I wash dishes and cook and vacuum and clean the toilet. I get to walk to the store and haul the groceries home and I get to take a bus to the laundromat. Because I can provide the bare essentials for my family but little else. I can't provide the registration for the car, that sits in the parking space, filthy and unused since the first of the year.

It's not just me, it's millions of women in this country. We do our best but, because we're woman and because we're mothers and therefore likely to have to leave and pick up a sick kid at school and because we are the ones who actually have a sense of responsibility we get abused by bosses and hiring managers and corporate lackeys. In spite of how far we've come as woman, we've accomplished nothing. Look around you in any corporate headquarters. The receptionists are women. The executive assistants are women. We don't jump from job to job and we seldom end up on the track, fast or otherwise, to advancement. Our destinies are all hitched to the stars of our male bosses.

We STILL, in THIS day and age, are making 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Try and find a man that puts up with the crap women put up with.

Which brings me back to Labor Day. When I will spend my day off doing the work I don't have time to do the rest of the week and count the days until Thanksgiving which is my next day off. It's not so very different from that Labor Day week-end 22 years ago. I can't drive a car, I won't leave the apartment and the Jerry Lewis Telethon has been running every since the hubster got home from yet another social event yesterday.

Although at least the boys make their own lunch now...

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