Being a writer is one of the worst jobs you could imagine. The pay is terrible, if you’re one of the lucky few to get paid at all, and it is quite possible that you may not get discovered until you’re in your 60’s like Bukowski and Steinbeck. Or worse, which is what happened to me….
After struggling with various underpaid freelance jobs that paid about as much as my Grandfather’s allowance during the Great Depression, I decided to join the work force. I was going to plug into the Matrix, get a steady income, health insurance, and finally be able to pay all my bills on time. So what if I had to get up early, guzzle down hot coffee and drive like hell through rush hour traffic? Yes, some of my soul would get taken away, but it couldn’t be that bad. And besides, it was an actual writing job, which is really hard to come by, especially in a job market that would make Oliver Twist choke on his gruel. Most of the writing jobs I had found were regurgitating SEO blog entries for five dollars a post, which is the bottom of the basement (would you like fries with that paragraph?).
So I got a job, even though it was writing copy for an adult entertainment company. But what was the big deal? It was probably mostly t*tties with the occasional gore tunnel, and at the very worst porn starlets violating themselves with various objects. I mean, for some people looking at porn all day this would be a dream job. Plus, I really needed health insurance so I could get finally take care of that annoying cavity in my molar.
While not an expert, I had seen a healthy amount of porn mostly in Hustler and Playboy. To me it was like an anthropological study into the various forms of neuroses and dysfunction of the human population. It was like the human version of Animal Planet or
penguin porn at Imax.
Most people imagine this job would be so easy, writing coochie for Gucci as porn stars give you shoulder rubs. But au contraire! It was just like any other low-paying office job, complete with a management style that mirrored the modern penitentiary. In fact, the manager would have been an excellent parole officer or prison guard, especially his unhealthy and illogical obsession with being on time. On my first day he reprimanded an employee for going to the restroom too often. That was the first red flag. The second was the slow but horrifying realization that no one in the editing room had moved from their cubicle or looked away from their work for three hours straight. In fact, I got the sense right away that I would get in trouble if I wasn’t looking at porn at all times.
Despite the horrors, I was determined to forge ahead and do my best. My work ethic was so good that I even drove through a tropical storm, hydroplaned and nearly flew off an overpass just to get to the office on time. However, my efforts were for nil. In the end my fellow workers, the soulless robotic rats that they were, could smell the free spirit in me that I was trying so hard to repress and quickly ratted me out to the boss.
Not pleased with my comments or my post-it notes with the words ‘birth canal, a*s, t*tties,’ etc etc covering up the photos, my coworkers howled and roared with laughter about me from the other side of the office. The insults were ludicrous and from people who obviously couldn’t write better than a monkey – “her hair is so frizzy it looks like she needs goggles to see” and “her arms look like string beans.” It was like high school all over again. Then I got called into the principal’s office and was promptly fired not because my writing wasn’t adequate but because I didn’t “fit in.” Looking back I take that as a compliment.