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The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

Kat vs Real Life: Working October 20, 2012

Filed under: Whatever — katblogger @ 10:24 PM
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I had bad luck on my job search.

I wanted to get a job before I left for college. I really really did. But unfortunately our current climate has perpetuated a vicious cycle. You need experience to get a job. You need a job to get experience. See the problem?

I was given one offer but, for reasons I won’t go into now, I couldn’t take it up. I went into college experience-less, which isn’t very promising for an English major in this environment.

In college, it turns out, jobs are everywhere. Fluorescent fliers coat billboards and are plastered onto walls. They offer shady, not well described jobs promising ‘flexible hours’ and ‘competitive pay’. I’m not quite that desperate. It’s probably making phone calls. Phones are the enemy.

I do have a job. Kind of. It’s a fellowship, paying minimum wage, but for work that is somewhat respectable. I’m doing research work for a professor, which consists of getting lost in my campus library or reading centuries-old theology on the internet. (St. Augustine wasn’t as clever as he thinks he is.) It’s not work as many people would think of college ‘work’. It doesn’t pay super well. However, it’s a job that doesn’t require much personal contact and I’m getting about $200 a month.

That by itself is pretty cool. Yeah, I could make more at McDonalds. But still, it’s mine. I earned that money. (The notion that they’re basically paying me for  chunks of my life, although creepy, is easy enough to brush aside.) I’m worth money. Real tangible stuff that I can use to buy other stuff. Mostly hot drinks once it gets cold, probably. It’s another tiny baby step toward adulthood.

If only I could get a raise.

 

Kat Meets Real Life – Driving August 10, 2012

Filed under: Whatever — katblogger @ 10:06 AM
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Keep foot on brake. Press power. Release parking brake. Check mirrors – everything is lined up correctly. Flick turn signals to make sure they’re working. Lights? On. Off. Ready.

I’m long past fifteen, heading off to college in a matter of days. I’ve renewed my driving permit twice. As of yesterday, I did not have my license.

This occasionally made me the topic of jokes among my friends. It is ridiculous, honestly, for a non-city kid my age not to have a license. I could drive perfectly well. I’d just never taken the test. I didn’t feel like I needed to, and to be honest, I don’t like driving much at all.

I don’t like the fact that I’m at the wheel of a very heavy piece of metal and electronics with considerable destructive force behind it. One sneeze, one twitch, and I could smear someone into a bloody paste on the sidewalk. A messed up turn and I could be the one spread across the road. This does not appeal to me.

It doesn’t help that the drivers I share the road with aren’t always on the top of their game. My life has metaphorically flashed before my eyes a few times thanks to some idiot forgetting he didn’t have the right of way. Stop signs say STOP for a reason, dear, and it’s not because it’s the end of a telegram sentence.

Despite my reservations, I went to take my driving test yesterday. I sat, stiff with nerves, as the instructor put me through my paces. I fumbled through a parallel parking attempt where I backed too steeply. And in the end, I passed – narrowly, but a pass all the same.

I now have my driver’s license – one more marker of adulthood that I’d just as soon be without. What’s next? Taxes?

 

Kat Meets Real Life 1 – Banking June 15, 2012

Filed under: Whatever — katblogger @ 12:52 PM
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I can no longer hide from it. I’m going to college. Living (relatively) on my own. I’m going to come face to face with Real Life. I’m not sure which one of us is more terrified.

Over the next four years (and by extension the rest of my life) I’ll be called upon to do more and more ‘adult’ tasks. Laundry. Paying bills. Yelling at telemarketers. These experiences, though harrowing, may provide amusement for others. My last attempt at cooking something other than pasta resulted in me shrieking and jumping back as pork chops sizzled ferociously at me. Looking back, even I think that’s funny. So my Real Life post series (tagged KMRL) will chronicle my attempts to step into the adult world. They’ll probably be fraught with failure and hilarity, but who knows? Maybe I’ll pick up some tips to share along the way.

The stuff of the Devil.

My first challenge was monetary in nature. I needed to set up accounts I could access in college, as well as obtain an item I’ve dreaded for years: a credit card.

Credit cards scare me. It’s stupid, but they do. I can be forgetful at times, and I’m terrified that I’ll forget a $10 charge and have to pay $15000 in interest. Credit cards, to me, mean responsibility. Big purchases. Huge debts. Doom. Now I have one.

It wasn’t really that bad. I went in, listened to a bank employee go over my options multiple times (I wasn’t sure how to politely inform her that she was repeating herself), and signed my name a bunch of times. Now a credit card’s coming in the mail, and I actually have access to my savings. It scares me. Before now, I’ve been focused on saving money – for college, for a car, for a house, whatever. Now I have to start spending it, and it doesn’t seem like much. The world’s a big and scary place when you’re an unemployed undergraduate. Too bad I don’t have a job – but that’s another story.