Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Real Job

What's a real job? Everyone talks about it like it's a universally accepted concept, but is it really? Parents will explain patiently that a real job is something you do in exchange for money, something which is legal and preferably moral, and usually involves a desk of some kind. Because there are 'real' jobs and 'little' jobs, it seems, with all the 'little' jobs being the kind that you can do when you're a teenager, with very little education. The after school jobs, the coffee shop jobs, the retail positions. But how does one begin to think that these aren't real? Are there any fake jobs out there? After all, all the 'little' jobs require real effort and real headaches; more real, in fact, than most supposedly 'real' jobs.

Consider the fact that a non-desk job usually requires physical labour or dealing directly with the public, two things that are not always the most rewarding on the big scale of rewards in life. Physical labour is taxing, but so are the petty complaints and degrading comments of people who have fairly high opinions of themselves and their real jobs. Not to mention the relative pay, which is never, ever enough to put up with that kind of punishment. So is this real? How is this job not real if you're running off your feet for hours and dealing with real people?

Some will say that you're not obligated to use your brain or your education in these jobs. That's just silliness. Have you ever had to use your mental faculties in order to explain to a dissatisfied customer that they don't know how to use a product without telling them that they don't know how to use a product? And as for education, well, I don't remember the last time that my 'real' job required me to use fractions or argue the merits of Locke vs. Hobbes in social theory.

I'll tell you what's NOT a real job: socialite and reality tv star. Let's admit it; there are plenty of people out there who are famous for the sake of being famous, and usually that can be attributed to their bad attitudes or big bottoms. Getting paid to act rude to people and attend certain nightclub activities don't require education, effort or physical duress- but they do command big paycheques. Go figure.

There are no fake or little jobs out there, other than these social parasites. The rest of us do real work, often for very little money and it doesn't get much more real than that.

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