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Today was not a bad day at work. Busy, but that's normal. Hectic, and chaos, but that's just what happens in a public library. Interpersonal drama is at a moderate average, because none would be impossible in a workplace that is 95 percent female, but no one is really pissy right now.
Yet, for about the last five hours, I have had an internal monologue that went something like this. "I want to die. I want to die. I want to die so bad. Do I want to—oh fuck, I want to die." Basically a meditation on how little I actually want to continue living.
Maybe it is simply the process of working and I would feel like this regardless of what I was doing. After all, like I've talked about before, I feel guilty, angry, and upset whenever I am not working on that dream vocation—when I feel like I'm not moving forward at all.
Maybe it is the fact that I am desperately poor and my wage isn't really enough to fix that. Maybe it is the fact that I have little to no ability to improve that situation—more scheduled hours are hard to come by, full-time positions are basically non-existent, and health care and benefits for part-timers are bleak at best. Maybe it is the fact that I've found my willingness to voice constructive criticism wanes with the lack of impact my past criticism had. Maybe it is because my bosses don't feel the need to pay me well because I am fundamentally replaceable.
Maybe it is the fact that I don't feel like I have an option. I could quit and find a different job, yes, but I don't have any faith that a different job wouldn't bring all the same issues. In short, I feel trapped. I might have degrees and skills, but really the only one anyone wants to hire me for is my lifetime of customer service. I am starting to reach the point where customer service makes me want to murder. But, with no experience in any other industry, no one wants to hire me for anything else. That's not entirely true. I could start at entry level somewhere else, making $9 an hour without benefits anyway.
So I don't know. I thought this job would be perfect. It was so much less customer service-y than food service. It would be a meaningful job. It would be full of all the things that I love.
It sometimes has moments of meaning. They are most of why I've stuck around. But, I can't keep doing customer service. At this point, I'm so burned out by work that even doing things I love with people I love sounds overwhelming. My panic attacks are only getting worse by the week.
But, all the jobs that involve low human contact require years of experience, luck or tolerance for extremely low pay. And I can't do any of those.
So, what's a girl in America to do? Dream of the day when capitalism finally is ground into dust beneath our feet? Try to quell the desperate sense of hope that spurts to life every time someone talks about Universal Health Care or Universal Basic Income? Suck it up and browse Facebook on the clock like the other wage slaves around me?
I don't know if I'm strong enough to keep doing all that. I don't know what piece of me is missing that I find it so impossible to just suck it up and deal.
All I know is that this week's triumph is that I didn't call in sick today. If I can just keep doing this for the next 300 work days, maybe I'll be fine.
Read More of My Meltdown
Last Week's (Pt. 8)