The Corporate Ladder

Next week I’ll be getting interviewed for the customer service position I’ve been doing since February as a contractor who gets no benefits and only six days unpaid days of holiday a year. It’s a stupid, low-paid job, but my contract is up in February and if I don’t get hired on as a regular employee at this company, God know what else I will find in this economy.

Also, I have to admit that I do, oddly enough, actually like this job. If you have to work in corporate America then this is really the only place that would be bearable. For the most part, my colleagues are nice, and very few people are total corporate whores. In fact, most people just do this job to pay the bills while they work on creative stuff on the side.

I am so tired struggling to make ends meet, so I will delighted to get health benefits, more pay and job security if I get hired. At the same time, I know deep-down that this could be a slippery slope. So many Americans get sucked into staying in a less than ideal job situation because they don’t want to lose their health benefits. I don’t want to be one of them.

I’m ashamed to say it but the whole “Occupy” movement has somehow passed me by. I am very much a part of the 99% but these protests just failed to move me, and I didn’t go to any although there was an “Occupy” movement in my own city. A part of me is happy that other people are, like me, now over-educated and horribly, horribly under-employed. I know it’s bad to want others to suffer just because you’re suffering, but now I don’t have to feel so embarrassed to have such a terrible job at the age of 34 because I’m just one of many.

Despite not having written in here for nearly two months now, there is not much to report. I go to work, come home, eat, watch an episode of “Mad Men” and then go to bed to do the same thing all over again. Métro, boulot, dodo indeed. I had imagined that changing my schedule to four ten-hour days (instead of the regular Mon-Fri, eight-hour day) would be the answer to all my creative prayers, but sadly this was not the case. Despite having a three-day weekend every weekend, I am usually so exhausted by the time Friday comes along that I don’t want to do much. The same goes for the work week; with a ten hour work day (and that doesn’t include the one hour for lunch, and the forty minutes I spend sitting in a car) there’s no time to do anything. I feel myself becoming stupider and less informed by the second.

Relationship-wise, MM and I are getting on “okay”. Just okay. I can’t remember the last time we had sex. Probably a rushed affair about a month ago. I’m so tired of always being constantly broke, and I feel that he is trapped in a poverty mindset. It’s the same old story – he wants to be an artist, or have some kind of visual arts job, but he doesn’t make much progress towards that, and he constantly changes his focus. I can’t imagine myself ever having a comfortable, normal life if I stay with this man. And, yet, of course, it’s the same for me – I don’t work on my creative ambitions at all.

One of the reasons – the main reason really – I haven’t written in here was because I didn’t really feel like sharing, or being judged for, what I’m going to write next. But I don’t think it’s healthy to keep it all to myself. A few months ago, I got tired of never having enough money, so I started to work as an escort again – behind MM‘s back. Yes, I know that I’m married, and that I’ve broken my marriage vows in what many would consider the worst way possible. Of course, I feel some guilt about it, but nowhere as much as you’d expect. I just feel that I’m doing what I need to survive. I don’t think about what I’m doing all that much but when I do I’m surprised at how normal it seems to me to be doing this. I don’t think of myself as a bad person, but of course I wonder if this means that I am.


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17 thoughts on “The Corporate Ladder

  1. williamx November 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm Reply

    Of course you are not a bad person . . . but perhaps hearing this from a checked out enabler of adultery who is mired in mild depression from a cat deceased of old age isn’t really much reassurance.
    Yes . . . RIP HANK! I miss that little guy.
    But I’ll say it again, you are not a bad person and you’re doing what you can to have a comfortable life, or at least a less uncomfortable one.
    . . . and I know I am kinda a clueless fool for thinking this, but I wonder if you are getting a little more than extra cash from this new gig. Like the thrill of secrecy, some facsimile of intimacy, the glorious feeling of being desired and tangible proof of being desirable . . .
    Ah my fine internet friend, I’m wishing to know more so I could be less a dumbass. Do be careful. double do enjoy what you can. Like they say in certain soldier circles “Relax. No need to die all tensed up.”

    • petrichoric November 19, 2011 at 10:51 am Reply

      Hey, Williamx. I’m sorry to hear about your cat. That’s really sad! 😦 How old was he?

      No, I don’t really get anything more out of this than other than the money. And I already know I’m desirable, and don’t need these guys to prove it. 🙂 I once had a friend who worked as an escort who seemed to get a real self-esteem boost from doing it, but I never understood that. Let’s face it: unless a woman was downright ugly, most men would probably find her desirable under the right circumstances. It’s pretty meaningless really.

      • williamx November 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm Reply

        Ol’ Hank was 17, so he had himself a good run. And he checked out cool like, not alot of muss or fuss. But still . . .

        Meaningless eh? yeah, to you. I maybe get that. And extra cash is not nothing. An influx of Ben Franklins would do much for my outlook. But I think with some of that babble about desire I was trying to suggest the experience of that stuff while it was happening. Not any kind of proof but just the feeling of it. Ha! Can you tell I have been studying zen while being bummed?

        • petrichoric November 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm Reply

          I’m glad that Hank had a long, fulfilled life, Williamx. Seventeen years is a long time to have an animal in your life, and it’s no wonder you’re upset. Any plans for a new feline companion, or is it too soon still?

  2. Vicariousrising November 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm Reply

    Glad to see you writing again. I emailed you a few weeks back — don’t know if you got it or would rather not reply. If the latter, no problem. I don’t want to bother you.

    At any rate, good to hear your “voice” again here on your blog.

    One question: is escorting different than your masseuse work? Sorry if I’m being dense — I just didn’t remember that you did escort work previously.

    • petrichoric November 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm Reply

      Hi, Judith. Noooo, I never got your email???!!! I would definitely have replied if I had. I can be a bit slow at responding to emails sometimes, but I do always respond eventually – and I would certainly have responded to you! Could it be that you sent it to the wrong email address?

      And, um, yes, escorting is not the same thing as erotic massage.

  3. yogurt November 24, 2011 at 10:01 am Reply

    Getting on full time may also mean you are more hire-able for some better job down the road. I heard someone in HR say they were told to put any currently unemployed applications in the trash pile. So you are one step forward to my way of thinking. As for your secret side job, it’s completely understandable that you want to earn more to up your standard of living. It’s not like you, yourself, are out there having sex with others. You’re just whacking (paying) dudes off, right? Doesn’t make you bad. I forget, did your husband meet you through this work?

    • petrichoric November 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm Reply

      Hi there. It’s so sad to hear that people who are currently unemployed can’t even get their foot in the door if they mention their employment status on a resume. How on earth are people supposed to get back on their feet?! God, I hate the unfairness of this world. But, yes, getting hired on full-time at this place will certainly be better than having to find a brand new job in this economy. As regards my “job on the side”, alas, I am not just “whacking dudes off”. So, you probably do think I’m a bad person now. No, my husband wasn’t one of my clients. I guess I’m a hypocrite, but I don’t know comfortable I would feel having a serious relationship with a guy who made a habit of seeing sex workers. I guess it would depend on the situation and the guy. Given what I’m currently doing, I realize that this last sentence is a bit rich, to put mildly.

      • yogurt November 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm Reply

        You are not a bad person. Repeat one thousand times, “I am a good person in a bad economy.” Who happens to be frustrated with husband’s lack of initiative.

        • petrichoric November 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm Reply

          Aw, thanks. To be honest, I try not to think about the morality of it all. And since I have hardly any time anymore, it’s easy not to think about it.

      • yogurt November 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm Reply

        And yes, it is really sad that unemployed people are disregarded in such a callous fashion. It’s also really sad that so many people vote for the mother fuckers who cater to corporate greed. Hell, if you vote, you are voting for mother fuckers who cater to corporate greed because it’s a bipartisan reality. But at least the D’s are pushing for more regulation, a more fair tax structure and environmental protection.

        • petrichoric November 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm Reply

          Yes, I’ve noticed that a lot of Americans have a very strange tendency to vote for the very people who will screw them over the most. Let’s hope that things change.

          • yogurt November 25, 2011 at 9:25 pm Reply

            a lot of texans, in particular. damn red state. when I first moved here it was mostly blue. Ann Richards… Molly Ivins? Where are your iron uteruses when we need them?

  4. xul November 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm Reply


    I wasn’t expecting that last bit about going back to escorting. You must have one hell of a poker face.

    BTW, Happy Thanksgiving!

    • petrichoric November 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm Reply

      Thanks for the holiday wishes. I actually had to work Thanksgiving – but I got “time and a half” so it wasn’t all that bad. To be honest, I don’t really care about Thanksgiving. Since I didn’t grow up in the US, I have no emotional attachment to it whatsoever. It was worse for my husband that I had to work because he was stuck at home all on his own.

      As for a “poker face”, hmmm. I don’t know if I have a good one or not. I think I have become very good at compartmentalizing my life, and just not thinking about certain stuff that could make me hate myself. This is ironic because, in the past, I was involved with men who lied to me and shut me out from certain parts of their life, and I hated it.

      • Judith November 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm Reply

        I don’t think being an escort makes you a bad person. There are loads of bad people in this world — I don’t count sex workers among them. Heck, I considered the profession as a teen stuck in an untenable household. I still half wish I’d run away then and given it a go, given all the damage done to my psyche by my parents. We all do what we have to sometimes.

        Now, I do wonder more about your decision to stay in an unhappy marriage, though. Not saying that makes you a bad person either, but I’m not sure I get it entirely. Is it primarily a visa thing or is it inertia?

        • petrichoric November 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm Reply

          The reasons why I’m still in this relationship are really complicated. I could never explain them all in this little reply to your comment, but I might write a post about this topic soon. Also, not everything is bad about my marriage – I generally blog only when I’m emotionally upset, and need to get something out of my system. You never get to hear about the good stuff. And I’m probably not as grateful for the good stuff as I could be.

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