Ding, dong, DADT is dead!

Employment Status

My main worry in moving to Militaryville is finding a job. Militaryville is north of Texas, south of Canada, east of Oregon, and west of Wisconsin. That translates to the MIDDLE OF FREAKING NOWHERE, as far as my world-travelling self is concerned.

I am reasonably confident that between teaching piano and freelancing for different publications, I will eke out an income. But I may, especially in the beginning, have to work part time at what I call a Shit Job to make ends meet. This could include bartending, administrative work, or anything else.

On the one hand I’m a radical who thinks job culture is bullshit and only wants to do the minimum required to not starve, while focusing on meaningful things like exploring and reading and learning. But on the other hand, I enjoy telling people that I’m a producer/blogger at a national news organization. That makes people look at me. That makes people want to know my name. That makes people ask my opinion about things.

So career-wise, this move is a major step down for me, at least initially. And it’s a bit of a blow to my pride.

Captain Awesome’s been unintentionally rubbing me the wrong way about it. She’s super concerned about my move to Militaryville, and really wants me to feel good there – part of which obviously includes supporting myself.  The problem is, there isn’t a shit-ton of jobs out there. I mean, the Craigslist page for this region only adds an average of four new jobs a DAY. (In DC, one of my housemates got a job by sitting in front of Craigslist and refreshing it every ten minutes. )

So Captain Awesome keeps sending me all these suggestions and links like, “Why don’t you become a notary?” “You could be a dental assistant and we could work together.”  “My friend said the Shopette is always hiring.” “Have you thought about becoming a real estate agent?”  “Why don’t you enroll in this career certificate course?”

Hold the phone. Not to sound like an elitist snob, but I have a DEGREE. I am a PRODUCER.  My next step is gonna be LAW SCHOOL.

What on godsgreenearth do I need a “career certificate” for?!?

I hate that my career goals (such as they are) are being thrown by the wayside while Captain Awesome gets to be a dentist. I know this was my choice, and is not her fault. But all these suggestions just rub it in for me.  I mean, I can totally live with a shit job. I’m not too good for any work. I know I may have to end up DOING a shit job. But to hear Captain Awesome talking about it like it’s already a given does NOT get me psyched about moving to Militaryville. Everything she mentions makes me think of the stereotypical military spouse without options who’s trying to make a little money on the side. I mean, I’m a classical PIANIST. I’ve had my work featured in ART SHOWS.  My articles are viewed by thousands of PEOPLE.

What am I gonna work at the Shopette for?

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Comments on: "Employment Status" (4)

  1. I know *exactly* what you’re going through. When my soldier and I got together I had just moved from Chicago to Champaign IL to finish grad school at U of IL Champaign-Urbana.

    Right out of school I was the managing editor of an arts/culture weekly and while in Chicago I switched to freelancing and was doing well and totally loving it. Champaign also was a great place. Lots to do, progressive place, not too many rednecks and so on. Then I gave up life in civilization to move to the KY/TN border. “Culture shock” doesn’t begin to cover it. I found more and more of my writing deadlines going by because of the demands of my soldier’s job and the Army and all the zillions of ways the Army intruded into my career. I never got to finish my grad degree.

    My soldier suggested I look into MyCAA and the educational benefits for spouses which are a complete effing joke. They encourage spouses to do “portable” work that is really just a polite word for service work. Career certificates in medical assisting, transcription, and low wage admin stuff. They also encourage cleaning, babysitting, and working at WalMart or for AAFES on post. I couldn’t help be irritated every time the subject came up. I built up a startup print newspaper to a circulation of more than 75,000 a week and worked with a network of some truly spectacular writers from around the world and you expect me to go work a register at some awful chain store or clean houses? um, no.

    My career was decimated by moving here. And still at least we have the advantage of him getting more money/on post housing etc because we can legally be married. It’s so unfair that you can’t even have that. But hopefully that will change, the sooner the better!!

    • Thanks for weighing in, IndieArmyWife. I can’t say your comment made me feel better (though it’s nice to find out you’re a writer!), but it does make me glad to hear I’m not the only one having this problem.

      All that AAFES/babysitting/transcription/secretary crap keeps mil spouses at the level of camp followers.

      We can’t help it if we’re too bad-ass for anything Militaryville has to offer. And yeah, it is good that you guys at least get couples’ benefits, and I look forward to possibly getting those too — but like I’ve said before, those aren’t benefits; they’re compensation. And not nearly enough.

      I know if the Army ever tries to thank me for doing my part as a military spouse, I’m going to flip them the biggest bird they’ve ever seen.

      Actually, I won’t, ’cause that could be bad for Captain Awesome. Sigh.

  2. For lack of a better way to put it, that shit sucks. I’m gonna hold out for you getting something that isn’t soul-crushing to tide you over till you can get freelancing and piano-teaching off the ground, but you deserve about a billion times better than what Militaryville has on offer.

  3. Indie Army Wife said:

    Oh and I don’t know if you already have this, sorry for the repeat if you do, but here a few links you can use to try to find “career track” jobs on military posts. You don’t have to be a legal spouse for these, any civilian can apply, although for some you may need to get a security clearance. Maybe they will have something that at least pays decent…. Most posts do have their own newspapers and publications. While it’s not as fulfilling as doing your own stuff it’s at least writing work.

    http://acpol.army.mil/employment/naf.htm

    http://www.usajobs.gov/

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