When people start asking, “How much do you earn?”
“Maybe you’re too angst-y,” said a college orgmate after I’d shower him with my endless rants. It was the night of Bonifacio Day—a holiday of which we were both at “work”; to make it more pathetic, he and I were discussing what’s up at work. Our brief chat covered the most usually-interesting topics of a proletariat’s life: Digging money out of work, then building life out of that money, and finally shaping a future out of that life.
I was just ending my tirades of, well, angst, and he had effortlessly punctuated all of them just with those simple yet strong words. “Maybe you’re too angst-y.”
“Well, maybe I am,” I replied in insecurity thinly veiled with defensiveness.
“So you wake up every day just thinking about the same ill thoughts?” he asked in jest.
Oh, there’s a reality check. “Yes.”
Talking about life in the workplace has been my weird habit for the past weeks—months even! I don’t know what has gone to me. Clearly, I enjoy (most of) what I do. Writing, and working in the magazine are two of the things I’ve been dreaming of to do for the longest time. Fortunately, I did accomplish them the soonest I could get.
But knowing how life in the media isn’t as lucrative as anything else, I would fume. Often, I would air it out to my college friends (who also have their stories to tell, mind you); at times, I would whine to anyone I would just share tables with. Lol.
I would stop anyone, however, if he/she opens up on matters of “salary.” “Can we discuss something else please?” I would dictate. In return, they would shut up and freeze. It’s like a Medusa glare!
Some time ago, I was also talking with a magazine fashion editor who had started the conversation with the rhetorical yet useful-for-small-talks question: “How are you doing?”
See, I take this kind of questions with utter seriousness such that I would often exhale a long pause then follow it with a pathetic “Ummm…”
So off I went, “I’m cool with it.”
“How about the pay?” she’d ask again, of which I would veer off.