Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In Case You Were Curious

Just a quick reminder that PMN is always open to guest post submissions—just e-mail me your posts for consideration!

Lately, a few of you have asked what I actually do at work all day. Here's a rough breakdown by percentage:

Attending meetings: 20%
Collating things: 20%
Photocopying things: 10%
Fixing other people's copier jams: 15%
Fixing my own copier jams: 5%
Repeatedly requesting materials: 10%
Answering computer-related questions: 10%
Printing things that don't need to be printed: 5%
Printing things that do need to be printed: 4%
Directly helping sell books: 1%

Such is the life of the English major a few years after graduation. Sure, it's all cheap beer and pretentious Proust discussions while you're taking classes, but afterward it's... well, cheap beer and pretentious Proust discussions, but you also have to make PowerPoint presentations and Excel pivot tables.

What about you, mes auteurs? What do you do to pay the bills?


  1. Sounds about like my day, though I should probably add teaching high school in there, but the percent of actual taching I do is quite small... probably only 1% :)

  2. Where's "stickin' it to the man" on that list? Or "refraining from eye rolling while making direct eye contact with boss"?

    I sponge off my baby daddy and raise his passel o' kids. That's how I get by.

  3. I just wish my life was as interesting as yours.

  4. To pay the bills I work two jobs:

    1) Teach 7th graders Texas history (Yes it really is a year long class!)
    Paperwork- 30%
    Active teaching- 50%
    Meetings that have no point- 10%
    Planning for next lesson-10%

    2)Teach drivers education
    Active teaching/praying for my life-70%

  5. I'm a special kind of macadamia nut: I do payroll for a state govt. agency to pay the bills.

    I can tell you better and with easier to understand words, phrases and concepts as to why Wisconsin and a few other states are doing to the public unions, because I am one of those overpaid (in everyone else's eyes) union members.

  6. I work in a library, mostly doing collection development things (coordinating projects to buy new materials, renew or cancel subscriptions, clear space used by books that are never checked out, etc.) and reference work.

    And lots and lots of meetings and coordinating.

  7. I used to sub middle school drama and co-direct the yearly play. But now I am fully employed as a stay at home mom, 24 hours a day, forever. My hubby brings home the bacon. :)

  8. I work in a public library, which everyone knows means I get to read all day. *rolls eyes*

    Shelving books: 25%
    Checking books in: 10%
    Ranting about what patrons have done to the books: 10%
    Answering reference questions: 10%
    Checking books out: 10%
    Tech support: 10%
    Fixing the printers: 10%
    Telling patrons where the bathroom is: 10%
    Asking patrons to bring our books back: 5%

    It's not glamorous, but it pays the bills and I like it. Plus, that 10% spent on reference questions can be really rewarding.

  9. Full-time parent of nine kids. So it's something like:

    Tell somebody to stop fighting/yelling/breaking things/whining/etc: 75%
    Aid short people in daily hygiene routines: 16%
    Wrestle: 8%
    Prepare food for short people: 5%
    Change diapers: 3%
    Sleep: -7%

  10. i work at a hotel. i couldn't even give you a breakdown...

  11. Police communications...

    20%: talk on radio to crews.
    20%: talk on telephone to members of the public.
    10%: wonder why a decades old dispute is suddenly an issue at 3am on a Tuesday morning.
    10%: listen to people tell me they pay my wages.
    30%: tell people that the national highway is still closed due to flooding. Yes, still. Yes, it is. Still. Advise them I do not know when the rain will stop.
    5%: explain to people that a noise complaint is not a life-threatening emergency.
    5%: mentally steal details of other people's life stories for inspiration.

  12. Write content for the internet. And before that I washed dishes in a busy seafood restaurant. I'm not sure which job I liked better, for they both had advantages and disadvantages.

  13. I work as an engineer at a power station that was mothballed for a decade and a half due to an oversupply of generating capacity on the grid. A lot of documentation can go missing in 15 years. I spend heaps of time looking for data. Trying to get drawings and data sheets from manufacturers for equipment that was bought in the 60s is always fun. The rest of it is mostly meetings and the copier really.