Posted by: tlnemethy | March 7, 2013

Midground

One of the benefits of being in school, whether it’s the upper levels of high school or even college, is the opportunity to spend your summer doing something new. I only wish I’d jumped on that bandwagon a little bit sooner. Seasonal work is the boon of the youth. We can just up and move for months on end before our responsibilities catch up to us at our stationary home base.

The summer jobs out there are full of promise and adventure, a way to earn cash while meeting people from all walks of life who very well could become some of the most important people we’ll ever meet. Sure, you’ll have to be aware that most jobs out there that include housing will pack you into a bunkhouse the size of your bedroom back home, but instead of retiring peacefully to your own thoughts, you’ll have to listen to the creaking bed springs of your bunk mate or the constant flushing of the toilet or the snoring passing through the thin partition between the opposite sex room.

Summer jobs don’t usually provide Marriott hospitality or cleanliness, unless of course you’re the one whose supposed to be doing the providing. Learn to be fluid in how you react to things that would normally piss you off. A work environment is always more tense because you have responsibilities that MUST be taken care of or you can start the job hunt again. Add in a work environment living quarters and that frustration spills over at times.

I can live out of a backpack, but then again I’m not exactly the normal twenty-something woman. Most of the people I worked with at these housing-provided-jobs were laden with suitcases filled with non-essentials or frilly comforts from home. Seriously, I knew I was going to be covered in salmon slime for however many weeks the job lasted, so I packed one nice travel outfit and sealed it in a Ziploc bag so the stick couldn’t permeate into the fabric. The rest of my clothes were easily discardable after the work was done.

If I was to have gone on a date, I would have been wholly unprepared and devastatingly under-dressed, but c’mon, what are the odds of me finding someone I liked enough to put on some schnazzy duds and go hitchhiking to town with? In Alaska? Fair. In a fish processing plant? Slim at best.

But what do you do when the midground ends and you have to become a fully functioning adult in the real world? Do you forgo the seasonal work for something that makes your college degree proud or do you follow the experiences as far as they’ll take you?

Desk work is necessary, but there are times when I think to myself that I can ride a desk when my arthritis is bothering me or my old trick knee flares up. Why be stationary when this is the time for me to shake my joints into action before they freeze up for good?


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