My little brother has officially bested me in the unofficial “get a job” competition.  Truthfully, I didn’t put up that much of a fight, but it’s still weird to hear about my little brother having a company car and a 40+ hour a week commitment that requires him to wear a suit and tie.  It’s also weird that even though he’s only had this job for about three months, he’s already starting to experience one of the things I dread most about having a full-time job– intrusion into your personal life.

My brother is a funeral director– so he already has to work rather strange hours doing strange work.  There are some weekends involved, evenings, and late night body pickups, but now people are leaning on him to donate his weekends and evenings off to fraternal organizations and churches.

He lives on the same street as three pastors, all of whom are trying to win his attendance– all of them are Lutheran, in fact, every church in this town in some kind of Lutheran church (ahh Minnesota).  Also, everyone he works with is a member of Lions club and they’re leaning on him to join that.  My dad had also taken up this crusade (my dad really loves joining things), and during the weekly phone call he has taken to plugging Lions et al.

I know that professional development is part of having a real job, and I’m fine with that;  I plan on going to every conference I get a chance to, and sitting on committees supporting things I care about– once I have a job, but I really don’t want to be told what to do with my day off.  Last time I spoke to my brother, he said that one of his co-workers had to take vacation days after being roped into organizing some fund-raiser.  The guy was not thrilled about it.

I remember, growing up, my dad was a high school principal, which required him to join everything he possibly could.  He was athletic director, on school board– basically he was out of the house from 7am until 9pm.  Is it completely selfish to say that I have no interest in that?  Maybe I’m lucky in that my interests line up more closely with any extracurriculars my job might ask me to take on than they do for my brother, but I already have a lot of hobbies, and will probably cultivate more during my summer of underemployment– I don’t want to give up all my free time for a job.

I’m worried I’m going to come off as some insubordinate bench-sitter if I refuse to sign on for all this stuff, but I find it all rather unfair.  The point of working a full-time job (as I see it), is having free time and money– take away the free time, and that puts me back to feeling like I’m working three jobs.

My brother just bought a 46 inch flatscreen that he said is so glorious “it will make your eyes bleed”, so I don’t think he’s caving anytime soon.  I’m a lot nicer than he is though, I wonder how long I’ll last.

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