Theoretical Dollars - That's what my brother and I call money that we should be getting, or money that we're promised... but never see. This money is referred to numerous times by the people who promise it... but for us, the ones who it's promised to, well, we know better.
I never fully understood how much theoretical money existed in this world until I began my internship in early January. This is the final leg of my journalism program, and I'm expected to do this dance until the end of April.
What is this dance, exactly?
Well, let me explain. Every day I'm expected to come in to my placement and work full-time hours for full-time theoretical dollars and full-time theoretical benefits. I do all the work that people who are on the payroll do, and once in a while, I get them coffee. I'm gaining valuable experience and learning a lot every day.
So why is it that everyday when I wake up I find the lump in my throat gets bigger and bigger?
I say to myself, "It's the economy!" The world is falling deep into the clutches of a global recession and this is reflecting on my mood. Right?
Not so much.
You see, that lump isn't because of my theoretical-dollars contract that should expire in April. It's a result of the fact that this contract might extend well into the year ahead.
This isn't just depressing... it's deep-ressing. I really appreciate that this field is offering to be so nice to me, but I'm OK. I'd prefer a regular contract with regular benefits and regular dollars to any of this theoretical stuff. It would be nice to see my bank account grow, rather than watch it stagnate. It would be even better knowing that the work I'm doing is helping pay for my desire to travel, enjoy life (and pay off loans).
The saving grace (if you can even look at it that way) is that I'm not in this alone. There's a whole slew of aspiring journalistas out there who are in the same sinking canoe. I hope that in time (MAY) we can find some putty, fix the hole in this canoe and sail on over into a pool of success.
Anyone else with me?