What I wish I could say when someone asks what I do for a living…
Well, I’ve been in my current career for 3 years now.
I started out in the “entry-level” engineering position, which lasted about 9 months. In that position, I was responsible for creating the most complex information-processing “system” in existence. It required a command center that could perform 38 thousand-trillion operations per second using more electrical circuitry than all of the computers in the world combined, with a structural support system as strong as granite that housed over 60,000 miles of tubing responsible for keeping the system running. Once completed, the system was required to be capable of self-repairing any damages and utilizing the five traditional senses, along with 15 others including balance and temperature, in order to be self-sustaining.
Luckily, I had an overseer in this position who did most of the work. Thank goodness, because while spending 9 months building this creation, I was put through some pretty intense hazing rituals, which resulted in constant sickness, aches and pains, sleep deprivation, and ended with a trip to the hospital. As a matter of fact, almost everyone in the engineering position ends up there, and in rare cases, some don’t ever even make it back out. From the very beginning, I was required to be willing to sacrifice my own life for this career.
And the engineering position was only the beginning. The real work began afterwards, once I was promoted. Since those first 9 months, I’ve been promoted approximately 346 times, give or take. It’s hard to keep track, really. I’ve been promoted to behavioral and family therapist, personal chef, night guard, finance manager, daycare provider, janitor, chauffeur, nurse, detective, and teacher, just to name a few. The skillset required for this career is vast, to say the least, and with every promotion, I’m usually required to take on the new responsibilities without giving up any from my prior roles.
Did I mention that I am often required to do all of my work with a 10-20 pound weight in my arms, strapped to my chest, or hanging from my ankles?
My bosses are pretty harsh too. They don’t care where I am or what I’m doing, when they need me, they need me IMMEDIATELY, no matter what day or time it is. Sometimes, they even require my attention at the exact same time, and I must be available for them all, no questions asked. The ability to multi-task is crucial for my success.
I work 168 hours a week. I don’t get a lunch break, or any breaks for that matter. Since the day I started, I have yet to take a sick day, and even when I try to take a vacation day, I’m never actually “off duty.” Last year I worked enough hours that if I had been paid minimum wage, I would have made $110,000 dollars. But would you believe it if I told you that I was paid nothing and did the job anyways?
My job is so physically demanding, emotionally draining, mentally challenging, and permanently life-altering that 20% of people in my position suffer from depression and 15% with anxiety or other mood disorders.
As a matter of fact, my job is so important that the entire world sees it is their duty to critique every single decision I make and action I take. There is zero room for error.
I guess you could say my job is pretty intense, but I truly love it. The sacrifice is great, but the rewards are even greater.
Yeah, I’m just a mom. What do you do for a living?