Column: Working the streets

I cannot believe that I am at this point in my life. It sure is a swift kick in the ass.

What is this point and what is “it”? Well, the point is that time in one’s life when he must either find a job or end up living in a refrigerator box. “It” is the real world. Both really suck right now. If anything, they are both a lot worse than the hangover that I have as I write this in time for my deadline.

I procrastinate. It is how I function. One thing I am learning, though, is that you cannot procrastinate when looking for a job. Your survival in the real world depends on how successful you are. I applaud anyone who has a “professional” and “respectable” career, no matter how much it sucks. At least you are a few steps ahead of me. However, you’d better watch your back. Because as I am clapping for you, I am so desperate to get a steady salary and benefits that I might stab you in the back and take yours! That would be the sound of one hand clapping.

My boss at my internship recently asked me what kind of job I am seeking. I replied by telling him that I am looking for any job that will pay. I think it is kind of sad that my GW career has brought me to the point of responding to the question that way. My parents must be pleased that they spent gobs of money on tuition for me to be giving that answer. Would I whore myself? It’s not out of the question. At least it would be work that I would enjoy.

The problem with being a whore, though, is that you do not get benefits. Well, sure you get benefits. You do not get health benefits, though. You do not get a 401K plan – and at the rate Bush is spending Social Security, I am going to need that 401K plan. You do not get profit sharing; your pimp takes all the money. And as a whore, you certainly do not get respect. Well, if you are really good at turning tricks, the other whores might respect you. I know that I certainly would. Actually, maybe I would just be jealous of the rich whores.

One thing that I have learned while applying for jobs is that whores do not just walk the streets. No, a whore is anyone who works hard for the man and does not get any benefits. A whore is a person who gets sold out by the pimp he or she works for and gets no respect. From what I have heard, GW treats a lot of its employees like whores.

If you did not know that GW was a sleazy pimp, you simply have not been paying attention. GW will whore you out if it can make a quick buck. Here is a quick list of the hardworking employees whom GW treats like whores:

Sweatshop Workers: GW currently uses four factories that the Workers Rights Consortium considers sweatshops. These factories produce apparel with GW logos on them. University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg refuses to put systems in place that would ensure that GW will not use sweatshop workers. Sweatshop workers are most certainly treated badly, as they are given almost no benefits, receive a horrible salary and work in wretched conditions.

Adjunct Professors: Oh, these people are certainly treated like whores by GW. They work for almost nothing. They have no job security. They constitute the largest percentage of professors at GW. And they get no health benefits.

GW Housekeepers, Janitors and Grounds Staff: These people are treated like whores by the disgusting GW goliath because, like any good pimp, GW does not respect them. In order to avoid dealing with the costs of their benefits and respectful union salaries, GW sells them out and outsources their jobs to a non-union company.

What a list, huh? Unfortunately, some people – like me, if I do not find a job – are so desperate that they have to whore themselves to the big GW pimp daddy. That certainly is not cool. Fortunately, though, the GW workers and students listed above who support them are working hard to get the respect and treatment that, as humans, they deserve. They have been working hard to tell the GW pimp they will not work their street any longer without getting the damn rights and benefits that they deserve. In fact, on Monday, the same day this paper comes out, they are going to protest outside Rice Hall at GW at noon to demand that GW’s workers not be treated so poorly. I think every student should join the protesters, don’t you? I know I certainly do not want to attend classes at a school that is run by a sleazy pimp.

So, let’s act like Disney and clean up the gross 42nd street that is GW. It is time for all students to join the crusade of student groups like the Progressive Student Union and make GW a place where we would work not out of desperation, but because we want to.

The writer, a senior majoring in human services, is a Hatchet columnist

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