Remember Camp Manito-wish? Sure you do. They’re the camp that outfitted the GOOP trip at the beginning of the school year. Well, I recently applied there for a summer job. There are two summer jobs that really stick out to me as possibilities: Manito-wish, and the warehouse at the Hillman Group. The thing about the warehouse is, I would be both inside and pretty stationary all day (or, if I ended up on the third shift, all night.) Manito-wish probably pays less (Hillman was offering I think $10.50 an hour – very respectable), but I would be less than ecstatic to get up and work there every day. A thought occurred to me as I was sorting silverware in the dining hall last week. And that thought was: How perverse is it that, to survive, we actually sell hours of our lives for money? In my worldview, that’s exactly the same thing as actually selling myself, because I’m giving away bits of my life that I’ll never get back. Working is the process of turning your life into crude oil for someone else’s consumption. Within the constraints of our civilization, the only way to get out of this macabre system of siphoning off your own vital force is to spend your time doing something you really love doing, and that you can get paid for. That’s an opportunity I think Manito-wish may provide.
Now, my details are a little shaky, because my understanding of the responsibilities of camp employees are based on very short descriptions or, more often, solely on the job title. But if I get to be a Tripping Assistant, I’ll be taking something like four trips around the northern Wisconsin lakes and forests, with kids that I can make friends with, and probably peers as well.
I have a phone interview on Thursday. So we’ll see how it goes! Their application process is unusually thorough. I had to write four brief essays, and supply three references who graded me on various aspects of my character, and not only will my interview be an hour long, they’re also going to actually call my references. So it’s a good thing I picked good ones.