I applied for this job this morning, right before my telephone interview with the wealth management company. A job like this would be perfect for me, so I really hope it’s real and not just a scam designed to get free articles by calling them “writing samples”. I sent them three.
The interview with the wealth management company did not go well. Amazingly enough, I did fairly well on the always dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question—probably better than I ever have before. Because the job was advertised as a temporary position for 25 to 30 hours a week, I’d imagined that maybe their regular receptionist was away on maternity leave or taking a leave of absence. When I asked about the length of the temporary position, they said they wanted it to be for six months, ideally for 30 hours a week. After the six months, it might or might not turn into either a permanent part or full time position, depending on the needs of the company. I said I couldn’t afford to invest more than 20 hours a week into a temporary position. I should have added for “for six months” or “for that long”, because the interviewer, who had been polite enough to apologize profusely for coughing into the phone several times, suddenly turned cold and angry, saying it had been advertised at 30 hours, so she might as well not waste any more of her time thank you very much and goodbye.
I would have been willing to do it for maybe three months, but the ad didn’t specify how long they considered “temporary”. Basically, they are looking for someone that they can work just enough hours not to have to give them any benefits who would be on probation with no promise of a job after the probationary period. Someone who would try desperately to become valuable enough to be hired permanently. Mostly by volunteering to do everything nobody else wants to do, like answering a phone 200 times a day and saying the exact same words each time. Pretty good business strategy, but my exploitation alarms went off and I listened to them this time. Being suicidal can be helpful when you’re looking for a job. Just think, if I weren’t suicidal, I’d be desperate enough to survive to spend the rest of my life accepting positions like that!
Instead, I’ll just add it to my I’d Rather Die list. Maybe you think that only spoiled brats who have tantrums and threaten to kill themselves whenever they don’t get their own way make I’d Rather Die lists. But I submit that the world would be a better place if everyone had one. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that the world becoming a living hell for the vast majority of people in it is the direct result of too many people not having one. Society seems to accept the premise that a strong survival instinct is an essential element of good mental health—that healthy people want to stay alive—no matter what.
That’s why most people probably think it’s sick to have an I’d Rather Die list, but I think it’s sick not to. I’ll give you a couple of examples to illustrate what I mean. Let’s start with individuals and go outward from there to societies.
Let’s say you’re kidnapped by a serial child killer who has already kidnapped a five year old child. He or she points a loaded gun to your head and threatens to blow your brains out unless you stab the child to death while they watch. How much do you want to live? You have children at home that depend on you. If you survive, you can do a lot of good things to make up for what you had to do to survive, right? The serial killer probably won’t make you stab the child right away. Maybe they’ll starve you for a couple of weeks first, and then tell you that if you just pinch the child until they cry, you can have some food.
Doing something a little heinous makes it easier to to something more heinous later. It’s a process, like raising interest rates. But what if the serial child killer also turns out to be a liar? What if you eventually stab the child to death and he or she blows your brains out anyway? See, by taking the time to make an I’d Rather Die list in advance, you’ll never have to make those kinds of important decisions with a gun pointed to your head.
Ghandi knew the importance of having an I’d Rather Die list. It’s really the only way to keep from being enslaved or forced to do heinous things to other people to survive. Freedom is something everybody has to be willing to die themselves to have. It’s not really possible to pay poor people to die for it for you. That’s a super popular myth that most people believe, though. They probably believe it because they CAN, with their tax dollars, pay them to shoot, stab, bomb, imprison, or starve anyone who threatens their privilege, including children. Then they say their privilege proves that god is on their side and they’re “blessed.” I say it just proves they don’t have an I’d Rather Die list.