Girls You Shouldn’t Fall For: The Girl Who Hates Her Job Edition
The first gig I had out of college was as a fact-checker at VIBE Magazine. To this day I remember the email asking me if I was interested, the look on my mom and sister’s face when I told them. The dance I did in front of my mirror when I realized it was going to happen.
I started in the summer of 2004, and for those first eight months, no one could tell me I didn’t have the coolest job in the world. There I was, this fresh-faced college graduate who came from a small town called Seaside, in California, now living this big city dream working at one of the best music magazines in the country. What made it all the more sweeter is I was doing exactly what I told people I would be doing; working at VIBE, writing about music.
But eight months passed, and like every person in my generation of strivers, my ambition was getting the best of me. I began to want more opportunities, more looks (what we call “stories” in our industry), more of everything. The job wasn’t providing me with such things, so what was once a dream come true became a bitter reality. Compounded with that, was a woman I was dating at the time, coincidentally going through the same thing as me.
Hating our jobs, no matter how much we wanted them in the beginning, almost seems like a natural thing. I’ve worked at four different publications, including my current one, and in the back of my mind I know there will be a day, maybe even a week, where I’m going to wish I was anywhere else but there. Three days into this new gig, and I love it more than I thought I would, but I also know at one point, I’m going to hate it, if only for a moment.
This is a natural thing, I believe. We hate probably not our jobs, but the routine of it all? I don’t know. But what I do know, or rather, strongly believe, is men and women carry that disdain a little differently.
When a woman hates her job, she only sucks it up at the office, but come dinner time or Sunday evenings when the work week is creeping up, get ready to hear a rant about why her job sucks or how it isn’t what she initially thought it would be. Throughout my 20s, most women I date are at a point in their career similar to mine. They’ve accomplished a little, but want to accomplish a lot more, and in their defense, they deserve it. My women are the ambitious types who plot takeovers in their head and are willing to work for it. But when it doesn’t come as quickly as they thought it would, they began to get weary, they began to get negative, and they begin to annoy the hell out of me.
If anyone knows what it’s like to hate a job, it’s me. When I was working at GlobalGrind this past summer, the period was so dark, I felt my body begin to deteriorate under the stress. Not to say I was going to die or anything that dramatic, but passing out from the BS of it all was definitely a feeling I had on more than one occasion. I simply hated my job. Sure, some of the people were great, and if any of my former co-workers or interns are reading this right now, I promise that it was not you who contributed in any way to my dissatisfaction. But, beyond the lovable interns and a portion of very cool co-workers, there was nothing, absolutely nothing positive about my time spent there, save for the check.
So what did I do? Well, as we all know, I quit or put them in a position where they had to let me go.
What did I not do? Complain about it. At least, I don’t think I did.
Here’s my dating philosophy for men and women concerning occupation/jobs: For women, it’s easier to date a man who hates his job than it is to date a man who doesn’t have one. For men, it’s easier to date a woman who has no job than it is to date a woman who hates her job.
If a lady friend of mine encouraged me to open up about what was truly bothering me, I would, but volunteering a rant on how unhappy I was never entered my mind. When I talked to my boys and they would ask me how my gig was, I always said cool and changed topics. My boys have spared me all the same. Some of them have worked for years at jobs they hate, with many attempts to make a change, only to be let down in the process. Still, never so much as a peep about their unhappiness with cards they’re dealt.
When I was living with my ex-girlfriend, I was equally dissatisfied with my job, if only because I felt I was being grossly underpaid and I was due for a raise that never came. Still, complaining to her about it was something I never really wanted to do. Hearing her complain about her job, that was a different story.
She didn’t complain everyday, but she definitely came home with some stories about a co-worker here or a boss there. Ditto for girls I dated prior to her. One girl I dated who did similar work to me, would get so upset over the stagnation of her job, she would cry to me.
And all the while I have wanted to tell these women to be proactive about changing the situation. Actually, I didn’t want to say that to them. I wanted to yell that to them. Here I was, going through whatever mess I was dealing with at my job, and I had to hear hers. Most men will do it, but all men hate to hear it, especially if they hate their job just as much.
When a man hates his job, he’s either going to quit or he’s going to suck it up, and more likely, it’s the latter. I know I’ll probably never quit a job again, no matter how unbearable it gets simply because if there’s one thing I learned in between GlobalGrind and XXL, job problems are a whole lot easier to deal with than no job problems, so I would never encourage any woman to do what I did.
What I will encourage a woman to do is if she is unhappy about her job, keep the complaining to the man at a minimum, even if he’s 100 percent supportive, give him a break. I know I needed one every now and then. It’s not like I hated playing the role of being the shoulder to cry on, and it’s not like I wanted her shoulder to cry on too. Complaining about how unhappy I was would never fix anything, and I think this is something we all know, but I think what some of us forget is how to be happy with what we have and who we have. So women, go ahead and take advantage of that man’s shoulder if necessary, but every once in a while, try to give it a break too because honestly, he’s probably tired of that job and too much of a man to complain about it.
The Process: I’m calling it now: 2011, the year of getting my money right. Time for some financial fitness to go with the physical and spiritual fitness.
The FOURTEENTH Edition of the POPPIN’ QUESTIONS PODCAST is UP! Click here to listen. Working on the FIFTEENTH podcast tonight after running into a snag recording last night.