Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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MAY 25, 2004

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As I sit here in front of my 17" monitor, in a standard office chair, located within a 6'x4' workstation, I wonder what has happened to me, and many others in worse situations. But, let's begin by winding the clock back a bit.

When I was three or four years old, my mother didn't drive. We'd always catch the bus to the shops, and I was fascinated by these machines. So much so, in fact, that I always said I intended to be a bus driver when I grew up. People always laughed at this comment, and I never knew why at the time. What could be more enjoyable than sitting behind the wheel of such a great invention?

As time moved on, and I was about ten years old, you get to the stage where money starts playing a part in your life. Not a huge part, just a small one. I then decided that I wanted to be a lawyer! That's where the money is. I'll own a huge house, have an expensive car, and life will be great.

High school can hit you pretty hard. The work rate increases as society begins its quest to break your spirits. But, no, I am 16 and still think I can achieve the goal of becoming a lawyer. It'll be tough, but I can do it. Who would think you needed to be so smart to earn such money??

Then you hit the VCE/HSC. The years when so much depends on so little. One bad page of work can cost you a university place due to the draconian style of marking. It was around then when I readjusted my goals. I was not going to be able to become a lawyer. Maybe a job somewhere in politics, or another branch of government. I'm pretty sharp, so I'll be able to get a reasonable job, car, etc...

After high school, many of us go on to University. You discover convenient booze, flexible hours, and properly dressed women. You complete your degree with the knowledge you'll be respected by the end of it and be in line for a better job than the plebs that didn't do a degree. You understand different concepts better than everyone else, and always win arguments at parties.

And then you graduate. The job hunt begins.

"I'm sorry, you don't have enough experience." "I'm sorry, we believe you are too over-qualified." "We're looking for more mature-minded people." "You didn't score 53363/100 on your subjects, someone else did."

And eventually, "We have something that may suit you..."

This is where the questions come into your mind. I don't know anyone in my department that intended to be a debt collector. How many people wanted to become a janitor? Or an administrative expert? Or a security guard? It's true that you're better qualified for jobs the further you go with your education, but that's not my point. How many people are actually in a job they intended to be doing when they were 18 years old?


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