Still in big city. Now what? Or: I’m 27–when the hell did THAT happen?

So. Um.

I kind of completely forgot about even having a blog since I graduated.

Two years ago.

2012-2014 has been one long weird stasis episode. I looked for work that fit with either of my degrees; didn’t find anything. All the teaching jobs I came across wanted someone with a PhD in hand, or at the very least someone who was post-Quals. I got kind of desperate by the time summer was over, and for the hell of it went in to put an application in for a front desk job at a hotel I’d never even heard of out by the mall. And I got it.

Fast forward through six months of tossed-in-the-deep-end survival seasoning training and another year and a half of sticking it out from pure, spiteful stubbornness because the front office manager implied in the interview that he didn’t think it’d be worth training someone with a master’s because I’d probably find something better in a month anyway. And I might have, but once the managers figured out that I was at least halfway competent, if not very confident, I got bumped up to full time and earned a reputation as first shift’s flexible pinch-hitter. I only asked for days off when it was really important, which meant that I almost always got what I wanted. Despite that, and making some good work friends, I fucking hated that job. If I’d had more in savings, I can’t even count how many times I wanted to just quit. I am not built for constant face-to-face, how-can-I-kiss-your-ass-today service industry interactions.

It’s gotten better since I’ve moved upstairs to group reservations; lots more time on the phone, but I can always nudge meeting planners to use email instead. Because I have my own desk, extension, voicemail and all that fun stuff. I’ve only been up there four months, so I’m still a deer in headlights, but my new boss is fabulous about answering questions–I did let her know that I’ll probably drive her crazy with them, just like I did my managers downstairs. So far she’s been cool with it. I already know that travel agents are just awful when they get carte blanche, that sports groups are gray hairs waiting to happen, and that school groups–Beta Club has competitive events?!–are going to drive me to drinking hard liquor.

My backup plan should the PhD/teaching thing not work was to work as a docent in a museum. I have a history degree, I have around a year’s experience doing tours at one of the museums in town. I should be good to go. Except I’m not. I have mind-blowingly, soul-crushingly huge loans to pay back; I have bills to pay; I’d like to eventually live in a place that doesn’t require me to use a fan to blow the cool air from my one window unit into the other rooms of my apartment; I’d like to have a new(er) car that actually has functioning AC and fluid reservoirs that aren’t cracked. And I’m trying to get by on less than $20,000 a year. Forget having a family or an actual life with that (And forget asking for a raise; S4S doesn’t do raises. Not merit. Not cost of living. Nada).  Plus, the jobs just aren’t there if you don’t have a museum studies degree and years of unpaid internships under your belt.

I need a new plan. Or even the vague outline of a new plan. Maybe not Doing What I Love, but doing something that needs doing. Except how the hell do I figure THAT out?

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