Have you been following me on Twitter and Instagram? It’s where I’ve been most of the spring and summer. Online at least. That’s because I haven’t had time to dedicate to my writing beyond 140 characters. It was an experiment of sorts. Here is what happened.
In February/March I had the opportunity to apply for a job at Chez Stella – a local sex worker resource organization. Job opportunities are not something that come my way very often. One reason is that I have been self-employed and freelancing for close to 20 years. Another is that most of my work has been in and around the adult industry. I knew when I started in this business my options would be limited, but the reality of that has really hit me hard these past few years as I try to stay afloat in this era of free porn and tube sites. It has been a serious, depressing struggle.
Anyway, putting together a CV and letter of intent as part of a job application took a lot of time and energy. It was a challenge as it had to be in French and reflect more than a record of skills and accomplishments. It had to include my perspective on harm reduction and sex worker rights activism. It was a very detailed and through exercise for me. It was quite empowering to present a complete picture of myself. Not something I am able to do in any other professional exercise.
A few weeks after submitting my CV and letter of intent I was called in for an interview. It didn’t go as well as I would have liked. I haven’t had a job interview since the 1990s. I was a bit nervous and anxious. I am sure it showed. Also, the interview was held in French and I’m not as comfortable speaking on certain topics in French. For example, I misunderstood a question on Hepatitis C screening. That was awkward.
Another issue that came up was my sobriety. They asked about my comfort about being in bars. I was honest. While that is not an issue per say it made me think about being around people who are drunk and/or high as part of my work and that is not something I really want to be doing. Not because I would tempted. Being around boozed-up high people actually reinforces my choice, but it does exhaust me. Not an ideal frame of mind for doing demanding work with a vulnerable, marginalized population. Even more so than booze or drugs I knew I would likely have to deal with people who are armed and violent. I do not think I have the personality or the skill set to deal with these things.
In the end it was a relief that I did not get offered the job. I’m glad I had the opportunity to apply. Like I said, work outside of xxx performance is hard to come by for me. Having 2 degrees, webmaster skills, and project management experience cannot counteract the stigma and prejudice of having done the work.
A Second Chance
After the job interview I met with a friend who has a start up. He knows about my work as we have collaborated on burlesque productions together. He offered me a management job to help get things going. What timing! While it is in an area of business that is not in my passion zone it would take advantage of my organizational and leadership skills. Looking for some stability I took the job.
I spent all of this Spring and Summer working on this project. As most things it was not exactly as presented and not really a good fit. I did crazy 60 hour weeks and was not able to work on any of my projects (like my Seska blog), see my family or take care of my health. In August I hurt my back and I was unable to move or walk for a week.
As much as I believe in my friend’s project I knew I had to change things up. I took some time off and dealt with my back. I connected with an awesome osteopath that has brought me back to a much more mobile and flexible physical state. When I was ready to go back to work I cut back my hours and responsibilities. It was the right move.
Now I need to go back to where I was in February before this little adventure in employment began.
I am at my happiest, my most fulfilled, when I am creating and communicating, expressing and writing. I am my most engaged and inspired when I am learning, synthesizing what I learned and sharing it with others.
Productivity without passion makes me ever so unhappy. As time consuming as it was to learn this lesson it was worth it.
Now back to the drawing board!