Posted by: drinkchai | September 2, 2007

Two Weeks of Work – Corporate Waiter/Day Laborer

I show up for my 8 hour shift. I metaphorically say “Can I get your order?” I comply. I don’t care who is ordering, or what they are ordering. I plainly comply. At 5:00p.m. I leave.

When I think about why so many actors and musicians and creative types do service oriented jobs is to conserve their emotions so that they can go home with the money and not have to think about work, I believe.

I have no proof. However that’s how my job is. Like an immigrant worker who shows up at a construction site daily, I do the same. Do whatever is requested and leave. Nothing more. Just like me working out of the Berkshires as a day laborer for two days. It’s the same concept but better pay.

My only proof is that I am able to spend more time with my music. I’ve finished composing two songs so far and am working on the third. That makes me feel good.

If I wasn’t a musician I might try to get a job where I felt good. I no longer have the need to feel good at my job. I want to get home to my kids = my creativity. I’ve also come to realize that I don’t want to be the glorified musician, who is starving or scrambling or penny pinching to the point of being uncomfortable. I’ve been there, done that. I haven’t been here. I’m not sure if it’s how it will be but for now this feels right.

I worked for a non-profit corp in NYC, and basically they weren’t this socially active org they claimed to swear, their coffers were full and it served a personal agenda for many a people. Basically a corporation is a corporation. It’s an organism and an LLP/Inc/Non-Profit etc doesn’t make it any different, is my opinion. Again I wanted to feel good about working for a social org. Now I realize if I have to save the world, I have to save myself first. Like they say in the case of a low cabin pressure, first put on your air mask before you help others -there’s a lot of wisdom in that.

Here’s a list of the paid jobs I’ve had in the past 7 years:

  1. Business Consultant
  2. Creative
  3. Bartender
  4. Bus Boy
  5. Waiter
  6. Day Laborer
  7. Web Developer
  8. Graphic Designer
  9. Promotions Director
  10. Singer

If I attach a sense of satisfaction (i) to each based on what it allows me financially (a) and the pleasure I achieve from it(b). I’m left with doing 10(i)(a)(b) + (some other number)(i)(a)(b) = not a worrysome life. What’s the other number is what I’m left to choose, until, if at all, #10 allows me it all. Hooray, now I have a mathematical equation… 🙂

God bless.



  1. i’m in a similar position where much of my joy in life comes from creating things. i like making films and cartoons. lately i’ve been job-hunting, and i’ve been trying to decide whether i want a creative type job or a normal job. i’ve done creative jobs in the past, like as an in-house editor for a film/video company, and as a freelance editor. but i found that i didn’t want to work on anything when i got home. what’s more is that i didn’t have as much interaction with “the real world” as i did with, say, customer service jobs. i ended up finding a job at a grocery store, which works for me. now i have time to delve into my own projects when i get home.

  2. didn’t i pay you 5 bucks once to dance on the coffee tables? doesn’t that count? tch tch tch such snobbery.

    i think the reason people want to be vested at least a little bit in their jobs is because it is where you spend the majority of your waking hours. so however hard you try to be in the collect-paycheck mode it becomes difficult and you end up disgruntled despite the pay. having said that i think a lot of people don’t know where to draw the line between their jobs (where they are wholly dispensable) and their lives (where to the people in them they may not be) and thats tragic.

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