Experienced Colleague was reading up on annuities the other day at work, trying to wade through what New Guy #2 referred to as "bureaucrat-ese." The brochure was so jargon-laden it was nigh on impossible. Sometimes we can work through tricky prose passages just by tossing around the terms and hashing out what they might conceivably mean, but it didn't work this time.
I sighed in frustration and said, half-joking, "This might not even affect me. I may never make enough money to put away like that."
Experienced Colleague can offer a very sympathetic ear to a struggling student; she spares me no mercy--and certainly spares no sarcasm, god bless her for that--and told me, "Well, you'll just be a burden on society, then."
"Listen to you and your compassionate conservativism," I retorted, at which point we both burst out laughing.
It was a good lesson to New Guy--no topic is taboo in the writing center, whether it be money, zombies, God, immigration law, vampires, or family issues. But it left me a little unsettled, not because I took her words to heart, but because there was an element of truth to my initial comment.
Up until last semester, I worked two jobs. Come fall, I'll be doing so again. I foresee doing so for a ways yet. I'm worried about the world I and the others of my generation have inherited. Living is expensive, and I can't imagine its expenses significantly decreasing any time soon. I've joked that I've never taken a job for its earning potential, and yet, therein is a bit of a rub. I may have a love-hate relationship with teaching (hey, the drama and passion keep things spicy), but it's what I will eventually be good at (getting there, but inexperience is still a limiting factor), I think, and the only career I can see working for me long-term. I don't want to be filthy stinking rich, but I see some lean years ahead of me at this rate.
It's daunting to ponder.