Of course we all have this notion of what the perfect job would be. I think a lot of people sit at their current job and wonder what it would be like to do all the stuff they really want to do. And for others, I am sure they love what they do. Maybe it isn’t perfect but they enjoy the majority of it. For me, I guess I always just assumed I would teach. I had this fantasy ideal of wonderful high school students who loved writing as much as I do and I’d get summers off, etc.
When I first came back to FSU in search of a job, I also applied to every high school in Leon County. I attended their Hiring Fair and interviewed with a few of the high schools, certain one of them would appreciate the fact I had taught college freshmen and, hence, knew what high school kids needed to know before that. At one point, right before the start of Fall semester, I got a call from someone at Lincoln High saying they wanted my resume and to get me in the office to look into getting hired. Somehow, things did not turn out. I dropped off my resume because no one was actually in the office and never heard from them again. Looking back, I am kind of glad. Most teachers who got hired on that year were laid off the next and besides, I don’t want to teach if my plans and teaching style will be scrutinized to the degree they do here.
Where I work now is by no means my dream job. But to be honest, it fulfills most of the requirements I have for what would be perfect. Hours are 8-5 with hour long lunches. They’re flexible with time. If I have to go pick up my kid because he’s sick, I can up and leave. This is mostly because I work under my awesome boss, who is the director of a specific program within the English department. So though I am under the office manager officially, I don’t work on the fourth floor in the main office and I run anything like leaving, etc by my direct boss. And she’s amazing. The rules that apply to the other staff do apply to me but I have that loophole on my side.
I love interacting with the grad students on the level I do. When grads come in as students, they also get an assistantship to teach. I’m their go-to for info on that. I meet a ton of new people each Fall and make a lot of cool friends. It helps that I am a lot more easy-going than the folks upstairs. Most TAs come to me even for stuff the main office people are supposed to do, because I am helpful. And not a slacker. I admit, those people make me look good. But I also hold myself to a high standard here. I make sure I do my job quickly and efficiently.
The other bonus is that I get to teach a class. This is due in part to my boss again. She knows this 40 hour job doesn’t pay me squat but with the class, I make enough. So I still get to teach writing to students. Honestly, this is as good as it’s gonna get, under the circumstances. Maybe someday if we move, I will find some other sort of gig but for now, this is pretty good.