Please don’t tell me to call suicide prevention. That is not a tangible solution to my problems.
Please don’t tell me to send out yet thousands more copies of my resume. I’ve done that. Over and over and over again.
Please don’t tell me to post my resume on jobhunting sites. I’ve done that too.
Please don’t tell me to network. As a jobhunting resource, my network has been worthless for well over ten years. With my background, I am hypersensitive to being where I am not wanted.
Please don’t tell me to accept yet another shit job. After being whipped on the side of the road when I was about four years old and told not to get back in the car by my father; after being abused by my father throughout my childhood; after constantly being taunted as “gay” and a “fag” throughout my childhood not because I am gay (I’m straight), but because I have no interest in sports (I have lived much of what C. J. Pascoe describes); after the overwhelmingly abusive work experiences I have endured, I need to feel valued rather than infinitely replaceable.
Please don’t tell me I should go back to school. I did that—in 2003. I now have a B.A. and a M.A. and I am enrolled in a Ph.D. program.
Please don’t tell me that I should have pursued a “relevant” degree with “useful” skills. I have seen how employers claim to want skills but export the jobs. Over and over again. And I have gained the credentials to teach the skills employers claim they want.
Please don’t tell me I should become an independent contractor and a consultant. I despise marketing, and the thought of marketing myself makes me positively ill. The same applies to considering two years as “long term employment,” which means in essence that I should be continuously prostituting myself (and I apologize for my phrasing to sex workers who find their work gratifying; I don’t know how they do it).
Please don’t tell me that life is worth living. I don’t need to hear about how my life is valuable for you, but how I can once, even once, have a fair chance at a decent life and at being loved by someone other than by my mother and by my cat. I need a credible jobhunting process. I need my human rights to be upheld. I need justice. I need it now.
I have reached a point where my only rational option is death. Because even if I finish my Ph.D.—and there is every reason to expect that I could—I will only be saddled with student loan debt and no job to pay it off with. I do not see a life worth living.
All I see is darkness in a world that bails out bankers but leaves the unemployed to twist in the wind, in a world that reduces justice to law and converts prisons to opportunities for crony capitalism, in a world that has unlimited money for war but less and less for education, in a world where corporate money is free speech but my speech is terrorism. Yes, I occasionally can capture a piece of the natural beauty that really isn’t very far away. But where I have no money to drive, I am surrounded by a desolate monoculture of vineyards owned by rich people trying to get richer while I am simply stuck.
I have hung on this long in the hope my life would get better. Apparently the definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” should properly be attributed to Narcotics Anonymous. Quite clearly, this is what I have been doing.
I need to die.
- C. J. Pascoe, Dude, You’re A Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School (Berkeley: University of California at Berkeley, 2007).↩
- Ryan Chittum, “The ‘Can’t Find Workers’ Meme,” Columbia Journalism Review, February 21, 2012, http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/the_cant_find_workers_meme.php↩
- Betsy Stevens, “What communication skills do employers want? Silicon valley recruiters respond,” AllBusiness.com, February 23, 2005, http://www.allbusiness.com/sector-56-administrative-support/administrative/1189004-1.html; Leslie Stevens-Huffman, “Wanted: Problem-Solving and Communications Skills,” Dice.com, February 23, 2011, http://resources.dice.com/2011/12/16/problem-solving-hiring/↩
- Beverly Ryle, Ground of your own Choosing (Cape Cod: Shank Painter, 2008).↩
- “Narcotics Anonymous,” January 18, 2012, http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Narcotics_Anonymous↩