Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pity the Non-Elite Person

Oh, pity the poor person who works in New York City but isn’t part of the elite.

They have a terrible row to hoe. No matter their talent, their moxie, their drive, their foul language, they’ll always be lower-tier.

But not above subconscious self-parody, apparently.

So writes someone in this lamentable position (warning, there be swear words in the link, not on this blog) of apparently having a successful enough career she can live in New York (I’m assuming she because the page oozes sheness) but it’s not successful enough because dammit there are people BETTER at doing what SHE DOES and that’s NOT FAIR AT ALL.

Here comes the self-parody: She laments the elitism of the New York mediosa as she laments she’s not one of the elites herself:

Part (just PART) of the reason I feel this way is because media culture is just so ******** and horrible. It’s so status-obsessed that I literally don’t know what to do. It’s making me hate myself. If you’re not part of the main media Twitter clique (the people who get custom-made twitter avatars from @darth—that clique) then what’s the point of even being part of the media? It’s just so hard to shake the desire to be these people (both BuzzFeed people and famous Internet people).

She probably hates Donald Trump. But would be JUST LIKE HIM if she were given the opportunity. Right down to the bad hair. Because he’s successful, even though – as the Concessionist letter-answerer would probably point out – he’s losing his ability to recognize his own horse-caca when he throws it against the wall and it doesn’t stick.

I understand the career burnout – I’m a washed-up journalist who is now a technical writer, low-tier but happy enough that I don’t dread going to work any more. Not like this:

I don’t understand how anyone could say otherwise… unless they work at BuzzFeed where literally everything is perfect and the industry is in great shape because you get free shit, never get fired, traffic is always going up, and the money never ends. But at the same time, I majored in this (journalism) and basically became obsessed with this to the point where I don’t know how to do anything else, and I’d certainly NEVER want to work in advertising or PR where it’s probably even worse. I don’t even know what else I’m interested in though. I just know that I devoted my life to a craft I hate and to a business that’s corrupt, insane, insensitive, sexist, and demeaning (unless you work for…).

Sweetheart, I work in an industry that’s still taking many of its document formatting conventions from the era when all the documents were put out on manual typewriters. And I love it because the work is steady, no one notices me all that much unless there’s a screw-up (fortunately few and far between and often not my fault at all) and, well, it ain’t journalism. On the rough days, that’s what I remind myself. Even today, when my alarm failed to go off at 4:22 am, I barely made the bus at 5:30 and have not had anything to eat since dinner the night before. It’s STILL A GOOD DAY at work because it ain’t journalism.

You sound like you hate journalism, but you don’t know what to do to get out of it? There’s plenty out there, sister. I found that out the way you ought to.

Stop wanting to be elite, is what the letter-answerer should have said. There’s not a lot of room on the top and if you start moving those on top will tamp you right down not out of malice but because they’re worried any movement below will make them lose their footing and then they’ll be the ones writing idiot letters which will be dissected and mocked on the internet by blog proprietors whose traffic per month is among the worst of the bottom-feeders and going to remain so and I DON’T CARE.

You’re the epitome of what George Orwell says: “In every one of those little stucco boxes there’s some poor bastard who’s never been free except when he’s fast asleep and dreaming he’s got the boss down in the bottom of a well and is bunging lumps of coal at him.” You won’t be happy until your hands are black with the dust you’ve scraped off the shoes of those you’ve climbed over to get where you want to be.

You want real workplace misery? Read Barbara Ehrenreich. You have no idea how lucky or blessed you are to be one of the not-elites writing in New York City.

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