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Personal Economy #8

I work in an administrative position at a large Chicago museum where I am one of many who are overqualified and underpaid. Here are some of the ways that I make up for the pay that I should receive:

My mother has worked most of her life as a janitor. No matter how bad my job is I realize that I am privileged to be working in my chosen career. Through tuition remission I take a class every semester that keeps me intellectually engaged. My career status no longer determines my self-worth. Outside projects of my choosing keep me involved in the Chicago arts community and personally fulfilled; the work for these projects is often folded into my day job. I took on teaching an art history class at another school for extra income because I do not make enough to live off of. This work is also folded in to my day job. After five years of museum employment, I am privileged to be able to have a flexible schedule: a healthy breakfast and yoga start off my day even though it often makes me late to work. I have been known to take long lunches and lie about making up my hours. The museum’s technology is my technology including a laptop, flash drive, photocopier, and mail services. To make my free time my own, I often run personal errands under the guise of work errands. I utilize museum money to buy expensive direct trade coffee from a local company and then grift that coffee for personal use when funds are low. Employees are allowed up to $25 in petty cash reimburseables. After events I take cabs to my neighborhood, which never cost more than $17, and give the rest in tip to the cab driver, getting reimbursed for the whole amount. I gather extra meals from board meetings and distribute to coworkers. My best use of company time, however, was when I made out with another employee in the AV booth for like a good twenty minutes. Ah, sweet revenge.

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