It was a lazy Friday night and I had just finished telling my husband about day five at my new job in an elementary school library. He sat quietly for a moment, and then grinned at me in a crooked little way.
“What?!” I demanded. I thought of the ice cream I had just inhaled. “Is there Chocolate Nut Brownie on my nose?” I wiped vigorously.
“No,” he said. (Pause) “Well, maybe a little.” I wiped some more. “I was just thinking — it sounds like you really love your job.”
Hmmm…did he just use the “L” word in in the same sentence as work? My lines of defense bristled and came up for battle.
“Love?” I coughed. “No. Nope. I mean, it’s a job after all.” I squirmed. “I mean, I like it, but–” I looked around suspiciously. Would members of the Disgruntled Workers Union suddenly appear in my living room and haul me off for questioning and endless viewings of Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda in 9 to 5?
But then I thought of the kids. The school. The books. And the big room filled with adventures on every shelf.
“Okay,” I finally conceded through clenched teeth, “I lo– like it. A lot.”
Heck, I had played “Library” when I was a kid. There weren’t many super heroes and aliens present during my make-believe time. I found my thrills by slipping Uno cards into a stack of Little House books and telling patrons (a.k.a., my mom and sister) to, “Please return the books in a timely manner.” Now, that was power.
So why was it so hard for me to admit I enjoyed my new career? Because a job is a job. It’s work. You get paid for a reason — because you most likely wouldn’t do it without some greenbacks and casual Friday’s involved.
Let’s also keep in mind that turns of phrase which refer to the working world are not often pretty. “The daily grind” conjures images of grey, grimacing faces being pushed to unnatural levels of discomfort (think Bikram Yoga). The enthusiastic rosy-cheeked wonder who balances her always half-full glass while settling into the spine twisting pose might not be everyone’s favorite gal. There’s a certain camaraderie among complainers. We may pass co-workers in the hallway at 9:01 on a Monday morning who are already saying, “Is it Friday, yet?” And we may nod in agreement.
But there are those who are happy to be at work. Or, at least happy to have a paycheck during a time when it’s not uncommon to run into people who’ve been out of a job for six months. Or a year. Or, longer.
So, I feel lucky. I now wear two hats that fit me well: writing my own words, and sharing those of others. Not only am I employed, but I have jobs that I, well…, you know.
And I’m not afraid to admit it.
So, tell me: Do you like your job? Do you, (dare I say) LOVE your job? If so, does this little tidbit about you annoy your friends and love ones? Please share.
*Next week, I’ll talk about how getting a day job (and having less time to write) is actually helping my writing career.
Find me on Twitter @amandahoving