Today is a special day for me. I’ve taken a step back into a world denied me for almost a decade! It’s been nine years, yes, nine years, since I last held a full-time job.
That’s a long time. According to the Tea Baggers, my new job makes me a multitude of things, some of them contradictory. On the one hand, I’ve been lazy and living off the hard work of others. I should have gotten a real job long ago and I could have done so if I’d just gone out there and really tried.
Now, today, I’ve started a full-time job at an engineering company doing computer drafting. Granted, I’m not working as an engineer; my pay isn’t yet what an engineer earns, but I don’t mind.
Nine years of part-time jobs wore me down. When the job offer came in, I thought about the work I’d done since last I had full-time employment. Let’s see: I was a document reviewer for a document storage company, bartender, census taker, stock boy working the graveyard shift, nighttime security chaperone, freelance writer, published author, teacher and finally publisher.
See now, this is the part the Tea Baggers love. The idea of one person working multiple part-time jobs is something that makes them positively drool. In their minds, that’s the American Dream. In fact, George W Bush even said that about a woman who complained to him she had to work several jobs just to make ends meet.
That got me thinking. Are multiple jobs to skimp by what the American Dream has become? When I was a kid, it sure was different.
There was a time when it was dad going to work. Mom took care of the home, the kids when they weren’t in school, a nice house in the ‘burbs and two cars in the garage. Oh, there was a chicken in every pot.
I have to wonder, do any of the Tea Baggers remember that America? After all, they’re always bringing up the “Good Old Days” and longing for their return. Then I remembered that other feature of the Tea Baggers: the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts in their heads at the same time.
That’s how Tea Baggers can be against government spending, but support massive defense spending. They can oppose unemployment insurance and Food Stamps, but are perfectly okay with huge subsidies to oil companies. They can want nothing to do with gun control or even collecting data on gun deaths, as that’s unimportant, but insist that women get all manner of unnecessary tests and procedures when trying to exercise their constitutional rights. They can vote against government aid to an area devastated by a natural disaster, but then demand it when they suffer the same fate, and are outraged when anyone dares to point it out to them.
For me, I’m happy to be back at a full-time job. I don’t care if working three, four or more part-time jobs is the new normal. I’ve worked three jobs at the same time. It sucks! The idea of working one job, doing it eight hours a day, five days a week, and actually getting full benefits, medical, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays; it sounds damn good to me.
Sounds like a much better American Dream than the Tea Baggers are pushing. Here’s a simple question to put to one of them, the next time you hear them spout that nonsense. If it’s so great, why you only work one job?
I’m really hoping this job works out. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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