I had dinner with my high school friends today. And while it was fun reminiscing about the good ‘ol days, it was refreshing to hear stories about their work, rather than stories about school, exams and deadlines. While I was laughing on the outside, my mind was already stricken with fear- fear of what the future holds for me.
Evie works as a writer for two websites. She writes five for one website and three for the other, and she finishes all of these in just three hours. She begins writing at 5:30 am and finishes by 8:30 am. Did I mention she works at home? But that is not the best part, she earns approximately 430 USD. She doesn’t even write articles, she simply paraphrases them.
Lya shared her work life as well. She works at a company from 10 am to 6 pm. She addresses the problems of different customers, writes emails, and answers phone calls. She calls it customer support, while I call it a call center agent. I don’t mean to belittle the job of call center agents, but I never saw her working there, especially a university graduate (from a premier university, nonetheless) who graduated with Latin honors. But then who cares when she gets to bring home approximately 650 USD a month.
Ren, the animator in the group, currently interns in a local animation studio. She doesn’t get paid as much, but her work is soon going to appear in movie screens across the country.
Lastly, Jen works an 8-hour desk job in a travelling agency. When asked how she is, she only says one word: stressed. Most of the time, she has overtime work. She also trains new staff members. She does all these and more for 340 USD a month. She earned more from the tips she got while working in a restaurant, than what she earns in a day now. But, by then end of this year, she’ll be resigning and applying for a position in an airline company. This is just her stepping stone. At least, she knows where she’s headed.
I, on the other hand, will be working 9 hours a day, five days a week, not to mention the lesson preparations and checking of papers at home. How much do I get? 390 USD a month. Over-worked and underpaid. Don’t get me wrong. That was my dream. Ever since I was young I have always wanted to be a teacher. I just didn’t think it would actually happen, and that it would come so soon.
Before, I couldn’t care less about how many zeroes my paycheck has. I could only care about the passion and the learning, but I only realize now, that passion won’t feed me and my family. It won’t provide a roof over our heads. So, what nowt? Will I be stuck in that job? I seriously need to find a better dream to aim for, and let this be my stepping stone alone. Then, I can just go back to my first love, when I’m all rich.