O, I feel your pain, but the “what do you do?” question should not perturb you…you should not have the slightest shame or qualm. O, keep waltzing away!
Ironically, I was at the other end of that question today…and what a shocker it was…
As I was flipping through the latest Vanity Fair, sitting outside the X Group’s (our mother group) HR office this afternoon (re: visa…thank goodness all is good!) I felt a tap on my shoulder…as my eyes de-glued themselves from the magazine, I realized the slender, stylish, perfectly put together, sleek haired, manicured nailed girl tapping my shoulder was to my incredible surprise: a girl called V.
Why the surprise? Well, V and I were at school together…we were never particularly close and never kept in touch post-grad…
And so, post-fake-air-kiss, I instinctively, “bouche-bée”, asked her: “What are you doing here? What do you do?”.
The answer was painful…my stomach dropped…it felt as though I had just been punched out! V, my dear V, is an Eternal Employee in one of the X Group's Timepieces companies. Not only is she an Eternal Employee…she works in their Communications department…she has health benefits…she has dental insurance…she gets paid vacation…and all this…HOW?!?
V. speaks one language (English!!)…she’s barely ever left Manhattan (other than to go to the Hamptons…)…she has a B.A (not an M.A)…she’s a year younger than me…and she’s too pretentious to be friendly…I could go on and on…but HOW the hell is she Eternally Employed!?!
I am confused, I am distraught, I am so disappointed by society today…
V. academically never had much going for her…but professionally, her parents’ Rolodex has clearly proven to be a gold-mine and a yellow-brick road into Eternal Employment…it’s no secret how she is where she is now…
And so I wonder…how do interns like me, soliciting and applying the good old paper/email/networking way (on our OWN) make it?! I trust we will indeed make it…but I fear there will forever be ‘lucky’ Vs around the corner with their parents’ Rolodex ready to cut in front of the Eternal Employment line…Does ‘fairness’ ever come into play in the Eternal Employment game? How about merit and worth?
As shocking as it is, I can’t let this bring me down. I know my worth…and you know what…V. might be Eternally Employed now…but at some point I will be too…and I’ll be climbing up that Eternal Employment ladder much faster than her…I have no doubt!
Getting in may be tough and a Rolodex may help…but rising up is clearly based on merit and not mum and dad’s friends!
On that I’m out for a drink! I need one!