Friday, December 28, 2012

Just the facts

It's 8:03pm on a Friday night at the museum. I am at work, holding down the fort from the front desk. I had a great day today relaxing on the train with Jessica, riding up and down the Wasatch front. We got inspired at the BYU Art Museum, rediscovered the quintessential hamburger-and-fries at the Creamery on 9th, and then ended the day together nibbling on lemon pound cake, tuna salad, organic oranges, and zesty guacamole from the Whole Foods sampling cases. I thought it was a great day, until part two of my workday began and I showed up for my front desk shift at the museum, which entails answering the phone, greeting/goodbye-ing people, and managing coat check. In a nutshell, I'm bummed out that I'm only making eight dollars and fifty cents an hour while I sit here. I make a considerably better hourly wage when working my other museum duties, and this news was very disheartening.

Add to that, I was talking to my boss at the museum, who has taught adjunct for years, straining to take care of his family, stay up to date on the art world, and maintain high teacher ratings, all while being paid a quarter of what tenured professors recieve. He is well acquainted with the slummy artist/ teacher/ whatever lifestyle: poor wages, non-employable skills, strain of finances affecting one's ability to make creative work. He confided, "I've even thought about going back to school to become a nurse (nice job Lauren!).

In any case, my heart goes out to my sister Erin, my graduate school friends, and art friends all over the internet, and to myself. It's tough to find work that values all the time, energy, and money we've put into our education. I'm saying this because it's time to get a real job. Not three part time jobs, but one job. I know, I've said this before, but I mean it.

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