July 23, 2007

Lesson Eight: Don’t Get a Real Job

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I got my first job that paid me with a check when I was 16 in the summer of 2002. I was a day camp counselor. It was fun. My boss was a college student who was about as immature as I was. His boss was my high school baseball coach. It wasn’t exactly stressful. Alas, I only worked there one summer. The next summer, I stayed inside to do homemade science all summer (no joke, I really am that much of a dork.)

I got my next job my senior year of high school. I worked at a sandwich shop. My bosses were in their 20’s and about as immature as I was. We goofed off a lot. I distinctly remember a mustard fight. I continued to work there on and off my first two years at college. Every break I would call two weeks ahead of time and they’d put me back on the schedule. But every time, I came back somebody I knew and loved had disappeared. Eventually, the place was a shell of what it once was. I was going to be a junior in college, and I figured it was time for me to get a real job either way.

That was likely one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made.

Real jobs are monotonous by nature. They provide financial security and an opportunity to advance within the company. Beyond that, I’m not sure if they have any point. I can only speak for what I’ve send and done, but people seem busy while not actually doing anything. In 500 years, most of these jobs will probably be taken over by robots or really smart monkeys. Hell, I’m pretty sure I could train a monkey to wear a suit and look busy today.

I know what you’re thinking. This sounds great. You don’t have to actually do anything and if you stick it out long enough, there will be monkeys. But it’s really not. Wasting time is one of my all-time favorite things to do, but when I waste time, I like to do pleasurable activities. Staring off into space is torture. It’s exactly what you’re forced to do in solitary confinement in prison. Yes, I really did just compare getting paid at work to being thrown in the hole. I think it’s a perfectly valid analogy.

Take my advice; real jobs are to be avoided at all costs. But what are the alternatives? Well, due to advances on the internet, it’s now easier than ever to become famous. You can start your own blog, podcast, comedy troupe, or anything else for that matter. Then you sit back and wait for the checks to start rolling in. That’s what I’m doing. My first check should be arriving any day now …