Sean Gentilini shares how sub-par work fits him for now.
La vita è bella. My family is healthy and happy. Where I live there are plenty of free activities to keep me physically and emotionally healthy, and social. I participate in an amazing community that is solution based, and strives for inter/intrapersonal growth. And I have a kick-ass passionate best friend! But there’s one aspect of my life that is disappointingly dissatisfying: my job.
Listening to supportive and encouraging influences in my life, I sought after higher education. Earned a bachelors in science. That’s a good start, but hardly sets me up to succeed.
After college I worked in the field I intended on pursuing a professional degree. Neat. I competed with high school graduates for my pre-professional job. I earned a position that paid $1.50 above minimum wage. Oh! And it was part time. Awesome.
That almost pays my student loans, now how am I going to eat as well? Another job!
And another job I got. It pays my bills, and not much more.
It’s not just the pay that is so dissatisfying about my job—though, I do have to be conscious to not let it affect my self-worth. My immediate supervisor is a self proclaimed ass. He enjoys antagonizing almost anyone around. Hardly gives praise or encouragement, and I am good at this job. He likes to remind me that I’m very replaceable, even though I survived three lay-offs this year and only one of very few people that are willing to work with him.
It’s not just my immediate superior, the entire company is very competitive in an unhealthy, unsupportive way. There’s intolerance and constant drama, a gossip-fueled sewing circle, which is exhausting. For Pete’s sake, let’s just f#@%ing work guys!
Though, this is an undesirable work environment, I’m not able to afford to travel and see my partner or family often, I live a more modest lifestyle than I’d prefer, and I’m vastly over educated for this work; it does give me something. It gives me drive. It reminds me that I’m worth so much more. It tells me every single day to keep striving. Keep moving forward.
So I am. I plan to, soon, to move from the fun, yet insulated, community of Bend, Oregon, to a city where I can both earn a liveable wage while continuing to pursue upward mobility and my goals to become a Physician’s Assistant. Sure, I’ll probably need to rely on a shitty job here or there while becoming established with the move. However, there will be options. I won’t have to rely on a job where I am demeaned or under-appreciated for who I am, let alone my skills and abilities.
In the meantime, I suit up and show up, keep my head down, I don’t participate in negative rhetoric, and perform to the best of my ability. My rent is paid and the lights are on. I join my friends out, though I usually just get a cup of coffee and wait to eat at home (often PB&J or oatmeal—yes, for dinner). My one splurge I allow myself is splitting the rent on a rack of balls at the local pool hall once a week or so. And that’s enough for me, for now. My goals are more important to me than my immediate comfort.