Monday, 8 June 2009

You Say, "JUMP", I Ask, "How High?"

Thank you for your advice on yesterday's post- I did go to high school in this city so do know a few people that I keep in touch with on Facebook. I sent out a few messages last night to see if anyone would be up for coffee- it's really weird when I still think of these people as 12 years old (when I left school) and seeing their photos of the weddings and babies!

I was flicking through my daily planner from last summer after reading Olga's post about her new job. This time last year, I was working as a temp in New York in between interviewing for permanent jobs. Between interviews, I did various things- mostly reception work but the jobs varied a LOT between one company and another, and I never really knew exactly what lay in store for me when the agency gave me the company name/address/time to show up. Some of the jobs were pretty cool, some were fun, some were boring beyond belief, but none lasted more than a couple of weeks max so it wasn't a big deal if I hated it.

Exactly a year ago today, I was in the middle of a 3 day assignment at a fairly well known company. They had called in for a temp because the director had decided that the 14 years worth of files on their computer system should be printed off onto hard copies and filed in their library. It was not my position to question my role, but something about this didn't seem quite right. 14 years worth of information from a large worldwide organisation is a LOT of sheets of paper. I didn't mind the mundane aspect of "ctrl + p" (x 10000000000), but I didn't understand the logic behind it.

I am definitely not the most environmentally conscious of people. I recycle when I can, I use energy saving light bulbs and I reuse plastic bags- that's pretty much as far as I go on a day-to-day basis. But now and again I come up against something that just doesn't seem 'right' to me in an environmental sense.

Despite how uncomfortable it made me feel, I couldn't turn this job down. I needed the money, and I needed to maintain a good relationship with the temp agency. If I was in the same position now, I would do it again. I KNOW I talk a lot about staying true to *you* and keeping things in line with your own beliefs and morals, it's not always possible to transfer that to the 'real world'. Bills need paid, there are responsibilities, rules and regulations. I am not afraid of hard work or responsibilties- I like the challenges that being an adult brings (for the most part!) but when it comes to compromising who I am or what I believe in... I hate it. I want to be able to stand up for what I believe is right and risk being wrong. I want to speak out if I think something is cruel or unjust, I want tohave the confidence to say what I think and do what *I* think is the right thing to do...but the reality is, it's not always possible to DO that in real life. The temp assignment wasn't a HUGE deal- 3 day assignment, 3 days worth of wages. I did it and moved on to the next job. But it did make me think.

What are your thoughts on staying true to yourself versus compromising for the 'real world'?

As much as I want to say "NO", I don't think it's that straightforward. A lot of the jobs I was applying for were at advertising agencies, and when I was in studying advertising, we had some great discussions going about ethics/morals and how they might come into play (ie, if you were asked to be involved in a sexist/anti-something campaign). As passionate as I am about certain subjects, I don't know if there is ANYTHING I would put my dream job on the line for (especially in this economy) and I don't know if that's common sense of sheer stupidity.

Anyway. Enough rambling for a Monday!


Last night's dinner was provided by Amy's Kitchen. I still stand by my theory that they purposely make their meals as un-photogenic as possible so that nobody can pass them off as their own cooking!

Vegetable lasagne with roasted mushrooms and onions (LOVE) on a bed of spinach. Ugly, but oh-so good! I am so excited about the new range of Amy's meals due to hit the shelves here in July!

For breakfast this morning, I wanted to try a twist on "PBJ oats"...

In the mix: cooked oats, Fage cherry twin pot, blueberries and almond butter.

I don't know why I thought this would taste like "PBJ" considering that it contained neither peanut butter OR jelly (!) but it was still good.

Yesterday's bland lunch called for the return of my 'burrito bowl'- MORE than making up for my lack of condiments yesterday!

Tuna, kidney beans, rice and SALSA with spinach and sprouts (and yes, there was some ketchup underneath too...Ketchup Anonymous, anyone?)

Have a great Monday and go check out Jenny's amaaaaaazing giveaway! (or not...I kind of want to win this one :P )


Cacti Don't Cry said...

While I understand how people can view being "green" as a moral issue, I don't agree with that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-green -- my family actually makes fun of my level of environmental conscientiousness -- but I don't think it's a matter of MORALS. Principles, yes; morals, no. Having said that, I would have done the same thing you did. It would have BOTHERED me to see such a pathetic waste of paper, but hey, I've got to live off something too.

But if my "dream job" would make me confront something that went SO against the grain of everything I believe in, I don't know that I'd be able to do it. How could I even call it my "dream job" if it goes against everything I think I am?

...oh, Amy. :'(

Isn't Ketchup Anonymous meeting right next door to Lip Balm Addicts Anonymous? (This group actually does exist.)

<3 <3

Anonymous said...

Mmm that bowl looks delcious! There's no shame in condiments! They accent meals and make them tastier!

I would hope that I never find myself in a job/career that goes against what I believe or is unethical in any way. I don't think I could live with myself for very long doing that... You've got to ask yourself, would you be able to sleep peacefully every night? What if everything was made public? Would you feel any shame or guilt for being involved? If so, then it probably is NOT a good idea to be doing what you are doing...

Trying new combos on old faves is wonderful! That's the way to expand our horizons and test our palates!

K from ksgoodeats said...

HAH I love that cartoon! Mushrooms and onions? YUM! Amy's meals are so good but so ugly for our blogs - oh well ;)

I can't stand the typical 9-5 jobs/corporate America so luckily I've never had that moral issue. When you're a new employee it can be hard to stand up for yourself unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

the colors in that salad are incredible!

it's so hard when your own values do not align with those of "management"! there's something to be said for self-employment ...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I need to sign on with a temp agency, too. Right now, I have my dream internship in a field that, if I do a good job, will point me towards my dream career. Only downside: it's unpaid. So, as much as I loathe waiting tables (the hours are horrible, I rarely get to see my friends and family, and it just turns me into an all-around angrier person), I'm going to have to do it for awhile. I figure that one day I WILL be able to support myself with a job I love, and the experience of dealing with a less-than-stellar job in the service industry is great material. Crap jobs don't have to define who we are!

Olga said...

I don't think that I would compromise my values and morals for my dream job...mostly because when I think of a job, a life career for myself, I think "I'm going to have a job that makes a difference and aligns with my passions and morals to make change in the world." I want to love my job and I'll only be passionate about it if it matches my personal values.

I think a tempt job is a different case, I've spent summers having crappy jobs where I don't agree with management decisions...but it's money! I agree with you: it's very difficult to translate all of your "words into actions" in the real world, but I think as long as people try, that's okay.

Sorry for the essay! :)

Sheena said...

I agree that if it was my dream job I don't think there is anything I would not do to keep the job -- but I doubt my dream job would put me in the few positions that I really feel morally against. I have little issues that I stand up for like being green to some extent, but then there are a few biggies (like the controversial issue of abortion) that I won't compromise ever one or do anythign to show support for. And, if it's truly my dream job, I don't think that job would put me in a situation where I would have to compromise.

Anyways, I hope you are gaving a good start to the week. Take Care.

Anonymous said...

Hahahah, I am SO with you on the Amy's meals being so unattractive. They TASTE so good that I would probably try to make them pass as my own creation to impress someone but they are too ugly to be "real" food. Looks like frozen :( Such a shame, such a shame!

I would not do a job if it were against my morals and beliefs. I think a career should be something you really want to do, and most likely if you really want that job, morals wouldn't be a problem. So probably the job that goes against my beliefs, is a job I don't really feel passionate about in the first place, you know what I mean?

And thank you! I always feel honored when people compliment my photography skills because I actually have considered going to art school and becoming a photographer :)

elise said...

i agree with cacti. it would be hard to do a temp job under the circumstances, but id do it (grudgingly) - but i would like to hope that my "dream" job wouldnt pose such contradictory problems.

to asnwer your Q on my last post - the brand of vegan "cheese" i use are called veggie slices. they melt ok, nothing like normal cheese, but its been well over a decade since ive had regular cheese, so the flavor is good enough for me to overlook the melt factor.

Anonymous said...

WTF?! Why do we have so many darn coincidences?! It's sooo crazy. I mean seriously to have gone to the store and gotten curry salad, batteries, and vitamins, really?! haha And not going to lie that I contemplated having Amy's Veggie Lasagna for dinner last night and that I'm actually having PB&J oats this morning. haha We are so on the same wave length no doubt!

In regards to the job situation and having to compromise...I kind of know what you mean. The job I'm in right now has to do with advertising as well and sometimes you don't always beleive in what you are saying. I'm not a liar by any means but sometimes I can't help but feel like I'm "lying" when I have to really promote something I don't necessarily agree with. I guess that's the nature of the game, though. I mean take certain studies in may not agree with the info but you kind of just have to suck it up and go with it. In the printing instance, you could have just picked another small menial job but maybe the money was really needed and in those circumstances, it just comes down to survival.

p.s. yes, i'll come clean anytime! I actually like to clean and I'm pretty darn good at it. haha Just provide that tea and I'm there! :)

Jenny said...

thanks so much for the shout girlie =) I'll be sure to give you your extra entries!

p.s. your oats are beautiful!

EvilGenius said...

yello! feel like I haven't been here in ages...hope you are ok. ps regarding old Coco Pops are the new 'Moons & Stars' kind...highly recommended as they are hazelnut flavour! also, yeah I love bars but ack, not really at the stage of being able to handle having bulk packs of things in the house :( fancy doing a swap of some single bars for things I can get in Wholefoods London? if so let me know ;)
also r.e. the job, I feel like right now in this economy I would probably compromise on some things lol. but yeah, I couldn't reconcile a 'dream job' or 'career' with something I was uncomfortable about morally.
x Fi

Syd said...

I have learned that live does have compromises. I am no longer an idealist but see that perhaps I may be able to make a difference and still not burn bridges. There are some things though that I won't compromise on such as cruelty to animals, children.

Anonymous said...

Plating amy's meals over a bed of spinach/lettuce is the wayyy to go!!

And I think it's really important to stay true to yourself, in the real that you can end up where you TRULY want to be!! If you just do whatever can get you ahead, eventually you'll be left in a place that you didn't want or that is too much to deal with! Know what I mean?

xo Have a good day girl!

Steph Runs the City said...

thanks for the comment ellie! i can't wait to check out your blog! that's exciting that you're moving back to nyc soon- i'll be sure to try and keep you entertained with some nyc-related posts in the meantime :) those pbj oats look really good- i've never tried adding yogurt before!

nicoleishappy said...

My "dream job" was to model but it goes against everything i want my body to go throug so i have decided to eat healthy and excersise and if i get hired awesome if i dont ya know what i mean? You just got to make it work for YOU. your the boss, but i do understand with this economy bills do have to be paid, its hard decision. But i guess if i were in a situation like that i would write out a pro and con list and who ever is larger wins!

nicoleishappy said...

My "dream job" was to model but it goes against everything i want my body to go throug so i have decided to eat healthy and excersise and if i get hired awesome if i dont ya know what i mean? You just got to make it work for YOU. your the boss, but i do understand with this economy bills do have to be paid, its hard decision. But i guess if i were in a situation like that i would write out a pro and con list and who ever is larger wins!

nicoleishappy said...

My "dream job" was to model but it goes against everything i want my body to go throug so i have decided to eat healthy and excersise and if i get hired awesome if i dont ya know what i mean? You just got to make it work for YOU. your the boss, but i do understand with this economy bills do have to be paid, its hard decision. But i guess if i were in a situation like that i would write out a pro and con list and who ever is larger wins!

Joy said...

Hi there. This is my first time commenting, but you asked for it ;)

I'm by no means a very green person. I do about what you do, but I'm not fanatical about it. While something like what you described wouldn't be something I'd necessarily advocate, I think it would have been stupid for you to not take the position. Think about it--they would have just gotten someone else to do it. It wouldn't have actually solved anything. And you're right, it gave you money to survive. Ultimately, is it worth trying to make a point to a large corporation that probably won't even receive the message if it means losing the means to pay your rent? Hardly.

The Novice Berker said...

Dude, that's tough. I definitely feel you though. I think if I were in need of the pay, I'd be slightly more willing to sacrifice my own ideals. But being environmentally sound isn't of the highest importance to me either. If the job was compromising my beliefs in, for example, discrimination against a race/sexuality--I'd quit ASAP. But in the end, you gotta do what you gotta do to survive sometimes (especially if it's a temp job), you know?

P.S. PB&J-flavored ANYTHING must be delicious!

Anonymous said...

hi hun,
i havent had a job yet so i really dont know how id feel about woking somewhere i feel is against what i belive in. I think its a personal thing and everyones different...some people will be ok with it, others just need to really think whats right for you!

the eats look delish! love all the cartoons you always post :)

Gina said...

Oh man, I guess as a dietitian there are plenty of opportunities for me to take jobs I don't really agree with, but it's harder for me to say yes because as a dietitian I truly have to believe in the products/diets/programs I am "selling" of else it's hard for me to do my job! You know? I once had an interview at a weight loss clinic where I quickly realized I didn't agree with their approach at all, I made it obvious, and knew I wouldn't get the job. Anyway, I found another job and the extra time un-employed was worth it!

Your food looks yum, not bad like you say! I love lasagna, especially veggie :) I haven't had it in SOOO long....ideas...