(Picture from From Me to You: Central Park, February 26, 2010)
Last Friday, I was putting together a file for one of my bosses. I hole-punched the documents, slid the fastener into the folder and then realized that this is exactly what I used to do at work when I was in high school. When I was fifteen years old, I fell into a job at a local law firm in my town. The two attorneys were brothers and the rest of the staff was mostly family. I started working 2:00pm to 5:00pm every day after school. Soon, I was working full days on my vacations and during summers. I stayed there through college and then, since I couldn't find a job immediately after I graduated from college, I stayed an extra year as a paralegal. I remember those first days well though--sorting through huge piles of legal notes, insurance forms and documents, putting them all into alphabetical order by last name of client and hole-punching them on top. I would slide the paper onto the metal prongs and more than once a day, I would slice my skin on the cheap metal. I'd have to file all of that paper away and as soon as it was gone, there would be a new stack a foot high. It's hard to look up and suddenly realize that very little has changed in more than 10 years.
Now, I work in another legal office. It's a very different kind of office (it's at a large university and I finally have health insurance) but it's still the same thing, essentially. I have added responsbilities and do more research but I have degrees in English and Psychology. I'm not exactly working in the right field.
As time goes on, I'm hoping for a shift in the economy, for more publishing and editing jobs to appear and to put my knowledge and experience to good use. It must be everyone's dream to actually love their job or profession but I'm hoping that within the next few years, I actually make that happen for myself. A lofty goal, I know, but I'm hoping to make it happen!