Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sectors of Life

My mind continues to ponder on philosophical ideas of late.  My most recent fascination is the idea that there are several sectors of people in this world, and we very rarely wander outside the one in which we were born.  For the most part, I am referring to  economic spheres, though cultural ones are applicable, too.  I must explain this somewhat confusing idea that has erupted from my brain.  Let's say that you were born in a city with parents that either did not work or had jobs that paid very little.  You are more likely to grow-up and be satisfied with a low paying job and a lower standard of living than someone who grew-up in the upper middle class suburbs.  As a person who was expected to not only go to college but even go on to further study from a very young age (even though only one of my parents even received an undergraduate degree), my idea of taking a crappy job is one way above the standards of most.  I currently work at Verizon Wireless as a greeter.  I consider this an incredibly bad job, not only because of the less than adequate pay to cover my bills, but also because it is a job that requires no skills and therefore bores me to death!  Even one of my own managers has told me that I really need to go and do something with my life.  Yet, this job would be a dream come true for so many people who just need regular pay. 

I was reminded of my realization of never being satisfied with some lines of work when watching a film with people working hot dog stands.  I would never think that working as a hot dog vendor was a good enough occupation unless I was sixteen years old and I just needed money for a gas and a movie on the weekends.  The thought that those people not only are supporting themselves on pay from a hot dog vending business, but are also probably supporting a family, is an astronomical thought.  Here I am making $11.5/hr in an air conditioned building where I have to wear business attire, but I still can't really cover all of my bills.  

The change from one sector to the other is of course not impossible.  Social mobility is after all what democracy and this country is all about.  I do feel that the mobility up is one that is much fuller than that of the downward cycle.  This does not mean that you are financially stable in that new (or old) sector, just that you refuse to accept any other life.   I am in that very situation.  I refuse to leave the sector in which I was born, middle to upper class.  My lifestyle and preferences reflect how I have been spoiled for most of my life and continue to try to give myself these same niceties. 

In which sector do you reside?  Will you ever attempt to leave it?  In which direction?  Is one more admirable than another?

1 comment:

  1. I think that perspective matters a lot. For example, after three years I ended up hating retail work, and I never viewed it as a career - just a way to pay the bills - but there are people who do work retail as a career and really enjoy it. More power to them for they are saints.

    I don't know how much of that has to do with my "sphere" as it does with my personality and personal expectations. I got a master's degree in order to better qualify me for a job that required specialized training - although I know several people who work retail who also have their master's.

    Does that make me a bit of a snob for not wanting to work in retail? Maybe, but I think that has less to do with my advanced degree than the knowledge that kind of industry just doesn't fit with my personality or my plans for myself.


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