Saturday, October 25, 2008

Okay, so I had a thought today.
I don't really get why some jobs are considered better than others, you know, like, more important, more respected. We all have to do something to get by, right?
But we are led to believe that the CEO is more important, smarter and better educated than the waiter. The high powered attorney deserves better than the shampoo girl. And that the arrogant jerk of a football player works harder and therefore should be paid better than the preschool teacher (ha!).
I'll tell you why I thought this. I filled out this stupid survey on myspace about my senior year of high school. You know, "who was your favorite teacher, who'd you go to prom with, what did you do for money?" And some of the questions are obviously followed by..."do you still talk to your prom date, what do you do now?"
So I'm filling it out, have a good ol' trip down memory lane, and I get to that last question...the one about what do you do now...and I hesitate. I was actually trying to figure out a way to spin "daycare provider" into something cooler.
Official Gold's Gym Staff Member
Alternative Classroom Teacher
Juvenile Circadian Custodian
And I sat there shocked at myself. I mean, I know that there are people I used to know on myspace that will read the survey. People I went to high school with, people I knew in college and people I knew in Chicago (where I had some really cool jobs)...I knew this. What I wasn't aware of until that moment was that I cared about what these people thought about my job. It was all very Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. I panicked. I had to come up with something! "Yes, I work in daycare but did you know that I invented stamps?"
What is wrong with me? Why do I give a shit?
I don't know, I haven't figured it out yet. All I know is that I was actually ashamed to type out what I do for a living.
Is it because I wish I were still performing on a regular basis? Is it the money? Or is it the stereotype that goes with something like daycare? That idea that I am working in daycare and thinking about having kids sooner than later and I can see my life...my diaper, carseat, booger, whiney, huggy, blankie, dolly, tantrum filled, never gonna work in the theatre again future life laid out before me?
No...but that apparently is the start of another blog.
I think it's because of this stupid hierarchy of jobs we seem to live by in this country. The idea that I may not be as qualified or as smart because I hang with kids. I must not have found something I'm really good at because I play games all day. I am not a successful person because I have memorized the entire opening sequence of Dora the Explorer
That's what I don't get. The CEO that is rude to the waiter? Gets spit in his drink. The high powered attorney who doesn't notice the shampoo girl? Gets bleach put in her conditioner. And the football player who thinks he's better because he makes all this money and can afford to send his kid off to the private school where the underpaid preschool teacher works? The jokes on him. While he's off "making money" and being a jerk she gets to be with his children.
I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Yes I wish I made more money, yes I wish I had a more glamorous job, yes I want to be performing more...but in the meantime I get to watch Dora, hear about Halloween costumes and teach kids how to 'punch it in' and say "Peace out". I'm actually quite lucky in the sense that I don't have to work long hours in an office or on the phone. I get to go to work and play, cavort and generally be silly.
And I think that's pretty damn important.
Cause while that Executive is off getting tone and trim, working on his abs, while taking a sales call.....I get to hang out with his kids.

3 comments:

Kristi said...

I know what you mean, Sara. Don't ever let society or other stupid people make you think being a child care provider isn't important!!! I am "just a teacher" but I know that my job is more important (and much more difficult) than 75% people would give me credit for and I wouldn't ever trade it to be a high-paid CEO!

Jilly said...

I read your survey and thought it was funny because that's how I got my job at the preschool, I started in the daycare at the YMCA. We have the hardest jobs ever! Oh and Nick thinks it's weird that we talk sometimes ;)

Bella Spills said...

You are amazing, and wonderful, and if taking care of kids isn't important, I don't know what is.

I spent the afternoon making stick monsters with 7 & 8 year olds yesterday. "Real" sticks from the out-of-doors, paper, accordian fold bouncy legs/arms, and scotch tape. It was a hoot. I can't imagine doing this kind of thing more than once a week for a short 2 hours.

You my dear friend, are a heroine.
I miss you and love you.