At last, I am rid of my abominable manchild of a roommate and his deranged cat. Moreover, I will soon be rid of my lopsided, tobacco-stained apartment and will be moving into a studio in a big building in a dorky hipster/yuppie neighborhood. This move and the purchase of a post-paid phone will surely complete my transformation into a really boring office employee at the head office of a development organization.

One of my colleagues, who lives close to where I do now, is moving to the same yuppie neighborhood, after having been beaten so badly in his current neighborhood (one in which permanently intoxicated and enraged undergraduates live in houses reminiscent of the one in Fight Club) that his eye socket had to be wired together.

This colleague and I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying –with zero success– to get ourselves sent to Afghanistan. I think it’s safe to say we share a  vaguely unwholesome obsession with Afghanistan and the idea of working there. Which is why I find it darkly hilarious that, after hearing “ohmigod, isn’t Afghanistan dangerous?” countless times, we’ve both recently had very nasty experiences with danger and violence in our present locale,  a boring, decaying Rust Belt city in the United States.

Field, please. Preferably Afghanistan. Though I’ll take just about anything between Bosnia and China. Hurry now, I won’t be young and low maintenance and ignorant about salaries forever.


This dude thoroughly depressed me:

Then around my own office I see younger colleagues (and a few older ones), pining for an opportunity to get out to the field. They’re frustrated by the lack of options. They’re sick of reading about humanitarian work – they want to get out and actually do it. They’re tired trying to get something other than interships or volunteer posts or PA jobs. It must be incredibly difficult to be stuck in a more or less dead-end job at a head office, the only obvious career path simply more of the same, destined for a life of meetings under fluorescent light discussing documents.

A life of meetings under flourescent lights in a head office? I think not. I’m grateful for the job I have now and I love my wacky boss and co-workers. But I won’t do this forever. If, for whatever reason, I can’t get a field job in two years, I’m out. I’ll switch careers and do something else.

One thought on “Forward

  1. Hey Transitionland- best of luck finding yourself a spot in Afghanistan- have you considered coming out of anonymity? If you really think you might switch careers down the line if this doesn’t work out, maybe it’s time to put your name out there. Just a thought from a sympathetic reader : )

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