One Step Above a Stripper

My prayers had been answered…a gift from God. The perfect, ideal job for me just fell into my lap one day. Unexpectedly, when I was proving a point to someone that there are never any journalism jobs available in Atlanta and I was going to have to pack up and move somewhere else and leave Vlad. No sooner had I said, “See? Look at this journalism jobs website…there will be nothing…NOTHING!” did it pop up and prove me wrong.

Boy was I glad it did. For once I didn’t mind eating my words.

On this particular day I was feeling desperate, hopeless, and to be frank, quite sorry for myself. I was working 25 hours a week at my restaurant job that I have kept all throughout college, which is, love it or hate it, my home away from home, and then another 30 hours a week at The Athletic Club…and freelance writing for Ruckus Magazine…the job I would love to do full-time but of course, aren’t hiring for full- time. It was really starting to wear on me, to put it lightly.

That and the fact, earlier that day while at the restaurant, I was informed to bend over and pick up the tip a customer threw on the floor for me since, according to him I’m apparently one step above being a stripper since I worked for tips. He wanted to, and I quote, check out my “fine ass” and for me to earn that $1 bill.

Of course. I’m apparently only worth one dollar for my “fine ass”. How’s that for a confidence booster, eh?

You would think, after graduating from a prestigious liberal arts school and having a degree, you wouldn’t have to worry about being called a stripper, or even resorting to stripping as a career goal. You know, unless that is really something you love to do. Who am I to judge I guess?

My Dad always said as long as I had that degree and the knowledge, he didn’t care if I decided to dig ditches, if that is where my heart was and what I wanted to do.

However, I’m sure being a stripper wasn’t quite what he had in mind.

Thanks to this wonderful economy we live in right now, I am feeling more and more like a stripper and a lowlife. Every day I deal with people treating me like a piece of meat, or treating me like I am the hired help and they are so much better than me. You can only hear that so many times before you start to believe it.

But don’t worry, I’m not changing my name to Buffy and heading down to the Pink Pony for a job application. I’m not that desperate…yet.

So one can understand my excitement when the position for a music journalist for Paste magazine popped up on journalimjobs.com. “The first open position for the publication in the last five years!” it boasted.

A music journalist, the ideal job; getting paid to listen to music and interview bands and then write about it. What’s more to like?

It was 9:30 at night, and I was at work as “Manager on Duty” at the club. It was one of my two-job 14-hour days. I didn’t care I only had 30 minutes to close up shop. I immediately began to write my cover letter and upload my resume.

This writing of the cover letter continued on well into the next day. After spending hours perfecting the letter, pouring out my soul about how much I love music and how big of a factor music is in my life…and coming up with three “brilliant story ideas Paste readers would want to see” I finally hit send.

I would be perfect for this job. I’ve been studying music since I was in the fifth grade. Played clarinet for eight years and played the piano. I love every single type of music out there. My eclectic CD collection is something to be proud of. It has everything from Robert Johnson to Lil’ Wayne, from The Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga. I love classical music, jazz music, even some older country music like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. I even already have experience being a music journalist for Creative Loafing.

I made sure I mentioned all of this to them in the letter, though worded a little differently so I didn’t come off as the music snob that I really am.

I went back to the jobs website to make sure I sent everything correctly. I noticed at the bottom the “Ad expired” a week ago…but it was just reposted last night? I felt a little disheartened but didn’t give up hope.

Thirty minutes later I get a reply from the editor.

My heart stops and my mouth went dry. Why did he get back to me so quickly? There’s no way he could’ve made a decision that fast. Maybe he really liked what he saw? I can’t believe he already replied.

I’m terrified to open it.

I hold my breath and hit open.

“Dear Abi, thank you for your interest. The position was filled last week.”

That’s it. The end. No comment on my brilliant story ideas, no comment on keeping my application on file.

Nothing.

Zip.

Zilch.

I’m pissed.

I immediately hit reply and type through the tears streaming down my face, “Fuck you.”

Then delete it.

I decided to take the higher road. Maybe I’m not the lowlife these people think I am after all.

“Thank you for getting back to me. I’m sorry for bothering you, but wanted to inform you the position has been put back onto journalismjobs.com and it looks like you are still hiring. If you ever need a freelancer and would be interested in using one of my ideas, I would love to work for you. Would there be any chance for freelancing opportunities in the future?”

I never heard back from him.

Looks like I’ll be applying for that job at the Pink Pony soon.

I doubt they’d even hire me there, as apparently my “fine ass” is only worth $1. Too bad people don’t tip you based on your brains instead of your assets. I guess those coveted positions are for “career oriented people.” People who didn’t go to school just for the knowledge. People who didn’t go to school and major in English, in hopes of becoming a journalist or a writer. It’s for people who went to college to get a degree to make money.

Not people destined to work in customer service for the rest of their lives, like me.

I guess they weren’t kidding when people would say, “English major huh? Liberal Arts? I hope you like saying the phrase, ‘Do you want fries with that?’ for the rest of your life.”

Maybe in a better economy, things will finally work out for people like me. People who are thought to be, “One step above a stripper”, but are too smart and too proud to give up just yet, and to settle.


One thought on “One Step Above a Stripper

  1. Awww. Just hang in there. Turn those great ideas into proposals, and start sending them out. You deserve more than what you’ve got. Please, go for it.

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