Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Relaxation Audio Music That Will Help You Connect Faster With The Universe While Doing The Shamanic Ritual"

I already got this out of my system today while talking with LK, and then I got pissed off again.

I like my job. It’s the first job I’ve had since grad school where I am appreciated, and I can actually use my expertise without other people questioning it. I’ve been working in my field for 13 years. I have a Master of Fine Arts terminal degree that proves that I can build and paint and budget and supervise and move and shake and destroy theatrical scenery like nobody’s business. I can build machinery and upholster furniture. I can teach students and program light-boards. I can lift 60 lbs on a regular basis (which happens to be in my job description, and sucks, btw.) I can even mop floors for dancers, move pianos, and change lamps in work lights!!!! (yeah, three guesses as to what I did at work today…) But according to the 2007 Boston State Payroll tables, as published by the Boston Herald (does anyone read that piece of crap anyway?), I make quite a bit less than an Administrative Assistant at the Mayor’s Office. Now, I understand that working for the City and the State is lucrative. And it probably takes a lot of acumen to keep up with the Mayor’s appointments (that’s why he has 3 Admins.) And any idiot could move a piano. But a fucking secretary makes more money than I do after 5 years teaching at university level?

A lot of people who have “real jobs” – i.e. not in the arts or education – always make the assumption that we work in theatre “for the love of it.” Yeah, we might love it. We might also all be masochists, because 70-hour work weeks, never seeing your loved ones, doing menial labour, never seeing the sun, and zero public recognition are only SOMETIMES worth it. And call me crazy, but love alone does not pay rent or school loans. Especially not in Boston.

To alleviate some of this rage, I spent a long time hanging out with Miles – here he is in all his glory:

Of course, what makes me especially peeved about money and fairness of compensation is the fact that I have recently started a process of becoming a legal resident alien. Within this process, processing priority is given to people with higher degrees of education. Since the USCIS works with the speed of a melting glacier, the higher degree you claim, the better your chances are. Unless you can’t use your degree because your employer can’t afford to pay you the rates the Department of Labour thinks are commensurate with that MFA, thereby rendering it useless. Did y’all follow that? Good.

And now, for something completely different, and inspired by TMB. I was looking for an e-mail that mistakenly got dumped into my SPAM folder, and my eye caught this gem:

Ani, you using shaman's rituals in your life yet?

Intrigued, I opened the message, hoping to learn secrets like never before – after all, it’s not every day that one receives offers of spiritual guidance through SPAM. My mother would be so proud! As would LK’s mom, too. This is what I found:

Hey Ani -

I just got off the phone with Robert (umm, who the fuck is Robert? Am I supposed to know him? - Ani) and he was telling me about his new book about getting what (and who) you want with the power of Shamanism

Yes, I said Shamanism.


The helpful, spiritual sort of thing that can put you back in peace and harmony with the universe and make your
wises and desires come to life...(I am not sure I want my wises to come to life, but ok…)


Anyway, he told me about the amount of copies he was selling on a daily basis (So what makes Robert an expert on shamans?) and (after my jaw absolutely dropped) I was convinced we are in the middle of a 'spiritual revolution'


He doesn’t know how long he can offer this book, so I wanted to make sure you had your chance to read it
before it’s gone, Ani. I am SURE you will love it :-) (OMG, the smiley face did it! I MUST buy this book!)


Blessed Be
With the Powers of Shamansim,

Bob Andrews
Currently near
Ciaro, Egypt (Is that a new settlement? Oh, that’s right, you can’t spell!)

Of course, I was curious, and clicked on the hyperlinks. This is where they all lead:

Exclusive Information For The Next 365 248 Visitors... (I clicked a couple of times, and the counter never changed…)

"You're About To Discover Secrets That Most People Will Never Know About MAGICK..."

Inside you'll uncover how to...

Have a magnetic charisma to make all people love you (even the ones that hate you right now)
Get as much money as you want for your personal needs. (You won't have to save money again).
Become one of the most beautiful people in your community. (Dieting, exercising or even liposuction won't produce such powerful results!)
Conquer fear and feel unstoppable energy to do anything you want to do. (You will never feel drowsy or depressed again.)
Win friends and influence people. (Your popularity levels will skyrocket)
And this literally only the skim on the surface... After you'll discover the 100 Shamanic rituals that are the most powerful form of Magick ever created, your heart will triple its beat rate! But more on that in a few seconds...

And then you had to sign your life away, yada yada yada, visa card, $37.00 for a discount from $399.00! whatevs. Oh, and you get "Relaxation Audio Music That Will Help You Connect Faster With The Universe While Doing The Shamanic Ritual" Now, I have nothing against shamans, although I seriously doubt they have allowed some douchebag write abour 100 rituals. Also, they need to be specific about the shamans themselves – Native American? Aleut? Yakut? Chukcha? Mongol? ‘Cos they all believe in different spirits and procedures, and the spirits might get pissed at us for using them for our own gain. And MAGICK? Really, Bob Andrews, really? I think I will buy a $2 volume of Dale Carnegie, since you seem to be using his copy.

And this is the last time I read SPAM. Well, for now, anyway.


lk said...

re: Administrative Assistant position

This applicant [Me] is a self-confessed Sha[wo]man from Ciaroscuro, Egypt.

Which qualifies Me to ritually dispense the aforementioned relaxation audio music* that will help you connect faster with [The Universe/My Essence] while doing "the shamanic ritual."

*Please note: a hint of shamanic drumming to keep it real

Just bringing a bit of love back into the job environment.

Oh, and: "wises and desires" all the way -- they are My foremost attributes.


Personal note to [B]obert: We might be in the middle of a 'spiritual revolution' but you...buddy...are experiencing lockjaw waaay outside the perimeter.

Sacred Premonition: On 07.24.07 you will become one of the most beautiful people in your community via Shamanic Ritual JB638.

MLissa said...

I teach high school theatre (five years now) and have begun to realize that I'm never going to make any real money. When I'm 20 years older, I'll be in about the same pay grade as now, no matter how accomplished I become at my job. Unfair. I feel your pain.

ANI said...

LK - totes looking forward to 07.24.07 - the relaxation audio music is kinda funny:)

Mlissa - i've always known that i won't make any REAL money, so i made my peace with that, it's only when it feels rubbed in my face that i get pissed off - at least my employer believes in annual 2.5% raises, so it's not a total hole - also, Boston and San Antonio are not nearly in the same cost-of-living bracket, but working in education AND theatre sucks accross the whole continent, no? thanks for reading:)

Crystal said...

That's a fairly broad skill-set you have there, you must be pretty handy around the house. It sounds kind of fun - although sucks about the lack of payment. It's funny how those who are passionate about their jobs generally don't get compensated well.

One of my jobs is to write job ads for a University in Sydney, who pay really well. So I spend the whole day writing out job descriptions, and then seeing what these people will get paid. It drives me mad, trying to promote all of these well-paid jobs that I only wish I was skilled enough for, or could tolerate.