Precarityis And Other States Of Being
January 7, 2014
Because there isn’t anything I like more than a bandwagon, I figure I’d add a post to the growing list of librarians blogging about precarity in the library world.
To a certain extent, I’m not quite sure I have more to add than what I’ve already written about my situation:
- precarity is having a plethora of ‘helpful’ job searching advice that is contradictory and misleading
- precarity is knowing you need to lie but not wanting to
- precarity is the despair of knowing that you actually just might be stuck in your current situation or go homeless
- precarity is having a bunch of mental and physical health problems catching up with you but feeling like you can’t even talk about it for fear of stigma impacting your already poor job situation
- precarity is being told that you may never get another job, knowing it might be true, and your only comfort is knowing that there are always positions open in the world’s oldest profession
So, yeah, I mean I feel like I talk about this a lot, even if I haven’t used this exact framing before. For me, precarity is also about all the really unpleasant choices that have to be made:
- I really don’t know what I have left to sell to pay for the upcoming expense of legally changing my name. As much as Myron is write about unions often being complicit the union I’d likely be in has funds for things like this, but since I’m not in a union. Well.
- I have to renew some prescriptions this month and still waiting for my application to get on Ontario’s drug benefit plan to actually go through. This likely means another round of begging on the internet for help (this is how I got the funds the last time I needed to fill my prescriptions).
- Also deciding how much begging on the internet I can reasonably do and whether or not a situation is dire enough for me to do so. Also trying to decide how gauch I would appear to start begging amongst my professional networks and whether or not things are desperate enough to warrant it.1 I’ve also considered begging on the streets, but would feel bad about taking the space/resources from the people who do not have any other options (ie, like begging on the internet).
I beg. This is pretty much how I offset certain incidental expenses that I can’t cover with my part-time job. I did manage to snag another-part time job a while back, but they’ve kinda laid me off/fired me (it was casual work and I haven’t heard from them in months). Conceivably, the best thing for me to do would be to find another part-time job, but, well, that wouldn’t leave me a lot of time for applying to full-time, professional positions. And I really want to make this career work, if I can.
This is what precarity has been for me. I also know that I’ll be clinging to my current position for dear life. Because I