Ok, so while I was in college/graduate school, I often fell back on the secretarial skills that my mom insisted were a good idea to have. (You know, along the lines of: whatever happens you'll always be able to get a job and make ends meet, even if you will be miserable.) I have worked as a receptionist. I have worked as a telephone operator (One of my favorite jobs, actually, being the operator in a huge office building. We were allowed to wear whatever we wanted and to do whatever we wanted as long as we answered the phones promptly when they rang and got the calls where they were supposed to go. This meant that during the summer I had that job I managed to do huge amounts of research about how to apply to graduate schools and that I read pretty much every novel by Margaret Drabble. Oh, and I had perfectly polished finger-nails. Yes, we polished our nails at work. Not a bad gig.) I worked for about nine months as a transcription typist. I've had temp gigs where the entire job was to file.
It strikes me, however, as I try to make sense of my office that these were not just "fall-back-just-in-case" skills. I'm still doing clerical work. After 10 years of higher education, after publications, after teaching, etc. I'm my own fucking secretary. I totally resent this.
1 year ago