Every Job I’ve Had: Public Housing, Ivy League Conferences, and a Lit Mag With Barfing Dogs

The summer prior to my last semester of college I had worked as a Guest Services Representative in the Conference Services department of an ivy league university that I did not attend. It was a sweet job that paid $12.00 per hour, came with a free apartment, and required very little of me. I had gotten that job through my friend Molly who had worked there the previous summer, and she had gotten it because she has the sort of family members that know people. It was the director’s first year in the program, so at the end of the summer she asked for written suggestions on how the program could be improved. I wrote a seven page essay about how things could be run more smoothly, which led to a phone call the following February asking me to run Summer Session housing. I loved that job, and I was good at that job, but I was hellbent on moving to Chicago, so when the director wanted to hire me on full time at the end of the summer I declined. I recently saw the job she had wanted to hire me for posted on the university’s website, and it started at $52,000. That was not something I knew at the time, and also I was 22, and stupid.