My mother might be dying, but she’s not going down without a fight, and what I mean by “fight” is a lengthy, nagging discussion of how being a copywriter is not an adequate enough job for her daughter.
I can understand her concern. I was the kind of kid who always had a gig of some kind, one that brought in a steady paycheck to be blown either on Manic Panic hair dye, booze, concert tickets, or a Hello Kitty lunchbox. (Thank you, Marilyn Manson.) I’ve worked as a fish monger, surfboard salesgirl, secretary, legal assistant, a story department PA, whipping girl for a pilates studio, ice cream scooper, crystal shop keeper, and a green start up space-filler. I have always had a job. Now, perhaps it’s because I work from home, or maybe because I am dirt poor, but my mother seems to think I am unemployed. As in, “You need a job. How can you support yourself when I’m dead and you’re unemployed?” She apparently moonlights as a life coach. No matter that I don’t rely on her to pay my bills, and that I contribute groceries and labor in return for my temporary freeloader status.
She emphasizes that she only says this because I need “something to fall back on,” and even a part-time job would help me out, or maybe get me out of the same clothes that I’ve worn since high-school. I try to explain that I am a copywriter, I get up at dawn and work, exhaustively, until my words are on the page or my edits have carved an angel from word-processing program stone. Nevermind that I don’t have weekends. Sure, I’m more broke than a Dane Cook joke, but I like to imagine that Ministry of Imagery is an viable company, since I do get paid in actual checks and spend my quite-long days working and being driven nuts. Anyway, to humor my humorous mother, and to stop myself from running smack into the walls in a panic, I present to you a list of jobs that I would happily apply for. But don’t get your hopes up, mom. It would take more than a sexy bisexual vegan or a tattooed MILF yogi to get me away from my paltry penny paying daily grind.
Produce worker at Whole Foods
Pay: A little over $10 an hour
I have written about Whole Foods and produce, and how awesome I find both. As a vegan, and an avid advocate of a more holistic approach to consumption, I think I would help contribute to the Whole Foods team by being another tattooed, twenty-something, health-conscious cog in the wheel. Reasons I shouldn’t be hired include the fact that I call the place Whole Paycheck and I’d sleep with more than one staff member. I do know quite a bit about fruits and vegetables, though, and I can tell you how to pick out good ones. Of course, “shitting where you eat,” so to speak, might lead me to get a bad taste in my mouth whenever I reach my hand into the fruit bowl. But hey, if it supplies me with my new-found addiction of nutritional yeast, I’ll arrange carrots, kale, and cucumbers until the sun goes down.
Tattoo shop apprentice
Pay for an apprentice? None. But tattoo artists are paid roughly $100 an hour, with some also getting a cut of the studio money.
Working at a shop, I assume the pay would be minimum wage. Or maybe some ink. Although I might not be able to turn serious coin with a gig like this, I think that my extensive experience on the other end of the needle would help me to treat clients with a little bit of dignity. Besides, I’m good at being ordered around, especially by tattooed boys (and girls.) And perhaps I might not be taking the traditional career-track of becoming an apprentice to become an artist, but maybe becoming an apprentice in order to become a shop manager might not be such a counter-intuitive career move. After all, I’m very talented when it comes to copy machines and keeping displays clean, and I’ve always wanted to own my own business.
I’ve got skills sweeping, spraying, I can learn how to sterilize and organize the autoclave, I can sweet-talk unruly clients, and I’m a scheduling maven, so if you own or work at a tattoo parlor near Long Island, New York, you very well may have found your next apprentice. Only I don’t want to become a tattoo artist, I just want to work in the shop. Preferably for money, that will be spent on tattoos.
Pay: Secretaries make anywhere from the mid-twenties to 40K a year, depending on the size of the company and the skills required. For what I’m going for, I’m thinking low-twenties. If that.
I have had this job, and I love this job. Allow me to clarify, what I mean by low-maintenance isn’t that I don’t complain when my boss hangs out with “the boys” six nights a week, drinking beer and eating wings. What the lack of maintenance implies in this case is that this would not be a partner-track position. Part-time, or perhaps even full-time, at a desk, doing traditional secretarial tasks, such as answering phones, greeting clients, collating, copying, filing, and scheduling. The less demanding the position, and the more long-term it could be in its soul-sucking boredom, the happier I’ll be. Just let me write during work, boss.
Personal assistant for eccentric artist
Pay: A personal assistant usually makes somewhere around $18 an hour (or 31K) but it’s tough to determine ’cause the hours and requirements can vary day by day.
This kind of a part-time gig would be good, ’cause it would keep me busy, utilize my undying respect for authority, and would likely provide fodder for future Jerk Ethic posts. As Patricia Cohen wrote in a New York Times article about personal assistants, “The job requires walking a fine line between intimacy and professionalism, a bit like the nanny who is paid to feed, bathe and hug your child.” And I’ve learned from experience that perhaps the problem with this job, or maybe my personality, is that once you send me out twice during a rain storm in order to get the “best” kind of organic calimyrna figs I will start wanting to stick a fondue fork in your eye. Fuck that you’re paying me overtime, since it’s 11:30PM.
…makes about 54K a year?! Oh, hahahaha. I give it away for free right here. Dammit.
Nutritional consultant and yoga instructor
Median pay for a nutritionist is between 45K and 50K, while a yoga instructor can make $5 to $10 dollars per student if they’re teaching in a community center. If they’re doing private lessons, their fee can go up to $60 an hour.
I have to say, this one interests me most. The idea of learning about what makes our bodies run, and integrating different cruelty-free methods and practices that help it to run better, is kind of an inspiring way to make a living. Granted, I’d probably need an RD or MS, both of which require maths, so it wouldn’t be easy. And although I love yoga to distraction, I look more like Awkward Facing Pygmy than Downward Facing Dog. Also, I’m just not one of “those girls.” I think I’m too cynical, too negative, too entrenched in certain unseemly aspects of the Western tradition. (Hello, Perez Hilton!) I’m a hedonist, not a healer. But I do like the science of our bodies, and if I could apply my mother’s perceived lack of my own employment toward helping people, well, maybe karma will swoop in and cure cancer.
Drop me a line, AinsleyDrew at the gmail one. Thank you to everyone who donates! Seriously. Talk about karma.
Hire Ministry of Imagery, ’cause in spite of my maternal unit’s nagging, it is an actual job.
Like It. It’s like eating my brains, if you were a zombie.
My boyfriend is so awesome, he makes you stare.