Monday, September 15, 2008

Onions are the answer

I don’t want to be a social worker anymore. I thought I could help people, but it turns out, I can’t. Even if I could, I don’t want to anymore. So I'm turning to onions for help.

First of all, I think I am the only man majoring in Social Work in the whole world and I feel like the odd man out. In all my classes it’s me and 34 women. Same thing at my internship: women as far as the eye can see and then me. It all sounds good, and someone like me could definitely benefit from odds like that, except they’re all old, married, have a life partner or have more problems than the people they’re trying to help.

One of them told me that most male social workers are gay, inferring that I must be too. Thanks. Actually, I’m not gay, I just wanted to help people. So sue me.

And no social worker I know has a realistic outlook. One part of the social work profession is ridiculously optimistic bordering on delusional and think they can save the world. Bless their little bleeding hearts, but they’re crazy. The other part is ridiculously jaded, cynical and has started to hate people. Can you really blame them? But it would be better if they weren’t social workers at all.

I hate going to my internship. On an average day I sit there and make copies. On a really crazy, exhilarating day I get to send a fax.

Some people have told me I am squandering my talents. I’ve worked at Jiffy Lube off and on and this past summer they offered me a management job where I would make more than I will as a social worker with a master’s degree and a clinical license. Fantastic. But I turned them down to go get my master’s degree and clinical license.

How messed up is that? A high school dropout hustling air filters can make more than a college graduate. And speaking of things that are messed up, what kind of system pays the most needed people (teachers, social workers) the least and the least needed people (athletes, actors, rock stars) the most? A messed up system.

I think I’ll get my MBA instead and go to work for some corporation where I can get money and respect, because social workers get neither.

I started out wanting to save the world but I don’t want to anymore. Well, I guess I still want to, but I am too tired and too poor and in too much debt. I am less concerned now with saving the world and more concerned with never having to eat ramen noodles ever again. But it appears that my ramen eating days won’t be coming to an end anytime soon since, as I’ve mentioned, social workers perform crucial services but still get paid peanuts. There is no light at the end of the poverty tunnel.

And what concerns me the most is I am rapidly losing my faith in people.

One of my friends is a horticulture grad student who is studying onions, and I’ve decided that I am going to do the same. Onions might make you cry sometimes, but they can’t be nearly as depressing as people. Onions don't beat their kids or spouses. Onions don't do all kinds of shady things to get money or power. Onions don’t oppress or discriminate against other vegetables.

Onions have only one humble desire and that is to flavor your fajitas, and I can't help but love them for that.