Thursday, 13 May 2010

FREEDOM OF OCCUPATION


WANA UDOBANG
Ever so often, i get asked the same question, “What are your plans?” As one who does enjoy a little bit of indulgence on the blonde side, the usual response would follow, “what do you mean?” They would proceed to with a lecture on whether or not i have looked into a career in either advertising or corporate communications. The lecture will delve into the merits of my qualifications and its correlation to world of corporate branding. Then further revealing earning possibilities, perks and the likes. Other times i had been asked about my occupation. Then i mention that i work on the radio, i am then asked again what I really do. Of course after reiterating that “i work at a radio station” it is followed up with a “who do you live with or are your parents alive?” The statment is accompanied with a look of shock horror as though to say "God forbid your parents know what you are doing"
Excuse my extensive blonde moment but then it finally occurred to me that to most, i don’t have a real job. We are just merely overindulging in a vocation. Apparently all i do is turn up to work, sit in front of a microphone and just move my lips for less that 365 days a year. Some have even insinuated that they can’t believe that i get paid just to do that. So sadly as I’m not calculating taxes, profit and loss, suturing an artery, developing computer codes or strategising a PR blitz for a juice company, whatever i do is merely a vocation. Not that one should care much but the sad thing about this is the power of the stereotype. During these conversations about ambitions and life plans, i have found myself throwing in my private practices slash vocational occupations into the mix and unbeknownst to me has added a little extra credibility to my occupational repertoire. With some scepticism, they still add with bemusement “do people really make any money from writing”. Well thanks to the Cassava Republic and Farafina generation, writing has become somewhat prestigious.
Though a career in radio is highly unacceptable as a real job, being a writer means i still have a bit of a brain to string a couple of sentences together. As myopic as it may seem this happens to be a largely collective state of mind. I recently discovered it also is likely to affect your dating quotient too. I met a guy with a nice corporate job who referred to my job as a “THING”. In his words “you said you do a thing with Dan Foster on weekday’s right”. Besides the jabs at my day gig, there are always numerous references to the fact that i wouldn’t know what its like to have a real job.
In my hiatus of implosion sometimes what i really want to say is “look idiot, i have worked before you even dreamt of graduating from university. Waitress, supermarket checkout girl, company administrator, recruitment officer (that’s what we call the London hustle baby), BBC, production company, we have done it all and guess what, im just 25..and oh did i add that i have a first class degree from the third largest arts institution in Europe,..and just before i forget, i paid for it myself thank you very much”. But then again, the beauty of an implosion is that it never spills out of your head if you don’t want it to. So all i say is that i believe am free to do whatever occupation i choose and shouldn’t be crucified for it either, how ever unintelligent or unserious you think it is.

2 comments:

Oyakhire said...

I admire ur guts...and all of that by 25 that is something to be proud of. I am still dealing with my own stereotypes but i guess u got the most powerful one under ur control: your MIND.
Love ur work.
Oyakhire.

Shola said...

hello there! first time here and am lovin it!pweety blog!