14. Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler – Wade Rouse
I’ve read this book twice so far and I assume I’ll probably need it again if I get another job that makes me hate life. My current position has its ups and downs but overall it does not make me hate life at all, which I consider to be a vast improvement over my last job. In Clerks, Randall blames the customers, which would be easy to do in a public library, many patrons can leave you with the feeling that humanity is lost and that means that you are lost too; but sometimes helping the right person at the right time can be very uplifting. Using my psychic librarian powers to walk over to the shelf and just pull out what someone needed was gratifying. But who I was working for? Not cool. It’s never okay to treat your employees like cannon fodder.
In Wade Rouse’s account of working for a prestigious private school, the parents and the administrators asked him to kiss their asses and to hide himself under a façade of sycophantic bullshit. Gradually he realizes that this job is killing who he really is and that he needs to kick the shit out of the printer Office Space-style, stand up for himself, and get the hell out of there before he completely loses all sense of self and relationships where he is not asked to become a sycophant. I felt the same way – at least in the “this is killing me, every aspect of me that I like is going away” fashion. All the time. I truly enjoyed many of my co-workers and I enjoyed some semblance of working in my field and I did not want to be unemployed in the abyss that is the current job market so I kept going to my job and secretly fantasizing that my antagonists would retire and give up so that someone who saw the staff as humans would have the opportunity to show up. It didn’t happen. I’m pretty sure at this point that certain people gained their staying power by sucking the life out of the lower level staff in a psychic version of the skeksis’ essence machine from The Dark Crystal. Pretty sure. They seemed to be able to breathe diesel fuel, in any case, and that is truly suspicious.
Anyhow, I escaped and now I work somewhere that treats me well and I have had a lot of trouble getting used to being treated like a professional who has breathing problems, despite that being who I am. And Wade left and I think he wrote one of my favorite books of all time as a result of leaving: At Least In the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream. Maybe not, but that book is catastrophically funny.