I had thought of gaining entry to the realm of full-time, professional work as entering through a portal of sorts, that once one had gained admission, one had a lifetime membership into the secret society, the club of the Middle Class. Having gained that entry, my position feels far more tenuous. I passed through no portal: I have been perched upon a high wall and the side to which I shall fall is by no means certain.
Though the mental anguish I endure suggests I would be far happier whence I came from, it is not mere money that makes me linger. It is status.
A waitress will always be there to serve the more socially elevated. The more socially elevated get to feel intrinsically superior because they dress nicer and don’t spend their time scraping other people’s chewed food into the bin. Fine. Just tell me this: why are they actually considered to be of higher status (and therefore granted more money)?
I linger on this ledge because if I return to my humble Cinderella covered in soot position, not only will my income almost halve, I will have to work considerably harder for it. That’s what bites. I would be ‘entitled to’ so much less for giving so much more, and having to get dirty and dishevelled for it, and eating less and sleeping less. Entitled, because, it seems, working harder mean you are a less worthy member of society.
I understand that there is physical work and there is mental work, and that mental work can be endlessly draining. I merely object to the fact that the two are not equally valued as being equally taxing. I have a brain, but no one wants me to use it, not as a waitress, and not in Middle Class Land. The only way I get to use it is in my downtime or in paying someone else for the privilege.