As many of you may have heard, I graduated in December with a Masters in Counseling. While I apply for jobs like a crazy person and simultaneously try to ascertain what I'd like to do with said degree, I have been working whatever part-time jobs I can get in an attempt to cover as many of my bills as possible until I score a big girl j-o-b. I decided it might be a good idea to document what this has been like.
We will start with my job as office peon at the Hedge Fund.
[Disclaimer: I am NOT complaining, not about a single one of these lovely people who give me paychecks. No way. It is merely a social commentary, of sorts, about the ins and outs of working in these different arenas and piddly jobs. It's humor, not discontent. Don't be confused.]
First of all, lets discuss the reactions I have gotten to having this job:
"What's a hedge fund?" - every single girl
"Do you even know what a hedge fund is?" - almost every guy
"THAT IS SO AWESOME AND MY NEW FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU DO YOU THINK YOU CAN GET ME A JOB THERE TOO?" - Kenneth
"Like, landscaping? That kind of hedge?" - anonymous
"Wait... the hedge fund... is that like, where your [counseling] internship is?" - Kim
lady at church, excited: "Kenneth told me you got a sweet new job! Congratulations!"
me, confused: "um, no, not yet, what is he talking about? ... oh. you mean the hedge fund."
"you really do work at a hedge fund? I actually thought that was a joke this whole time." - Cristy
In all honesty, its a very simple job. I mean, very simple. Just last week I said to a friend, "I'm pretty sure if Timmy could read, he could do my HF job." Timmy is my nephew. And he is 5. Probably a smart monkey could do it, too. All you really have to know is the alphabet. So, while my counseling skills are becoming dormant due to lack of practice, my knowledge of the alphabet is really sharp. So, there's that. (There's also the fact that they pay me ridiculous amounts of dollars to get good at the alphabet. Thus: I do not complain.)
I spent a solid 5.5 HOURS on Thursday ensuring that 4 full file cabinets of files were in alphabetical order (still not even half done, by the by). As in, I pulled each file for every month of 2009 and 2010 thus far and ensured that the business tickers were in alphabetical order. By date. Getting praise for doing this job well almost feels like a thinly veiled insult.
"Wow, Speedy Gonzales! Done already? You are good!" (This is an actual quote.)
[internally]: Really? Thats impressive to you? I mean, it's the alphabet. I guess I have been familiarizing myself with it for years, so I'm pretty good... wait a second. Are you making fun of me?"
Sometimes, when I am literally unpacking and stacking copy paper in the places that the higher-ups like it to be, I feel like yelling, "Ummmm, hey everyone? I have a masters degree. Stacking your paper is not a career goal of mine. I just wanted to remind you. Hey you, guy, quit trading stocks and bonds and dealing with bajillions of dollars and acknowledge that I am smart, please! Ok. We're good here. As you were." Thankfully, while my counseling muscles slowly atrophy, my social skills are still really top notch, so I can restrain myself from saying such things.
So, there you have it. A day in the life at the HF. I really don't mind it, to be honest. Even though I feel like I'm getting gold stars for tasks that a kindergartner could master quickly, lets be honest, who doesn't like gold stars, regardless of where they come from? Not to mention, it's incredibly gratifying to start a project, finish it, and then just be done! That doesn't happen so much when you're dealing with people's emotions.
Actually, it never happens. Not ever.
In truth, counseling another human is 87% messier and more stressful than collating, stapling, trifolding, and sending a monthly statement to investors. I rarely cry over data entry, and its hard to get secondary trauma from a project that entails making new labels for an entire file cabinet.
Hmm. Perhaps I've made a career mistake?
I'd go for a full time gig with the HF, embracing the world of finance as my home, but I doubt that would work out.
Mostly because I'm still not entirely sure what a Hedge Fund is.