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Work Stories | Weekly Roundup

Medium creators’ responses to this week’s writing prompts

Photo: jayk7 / Getty Images

This week, we asked you to write about work — the jobs you have, the jobs you wish you had, the worst jobs you’ve ever had, what no one knows about your job. And wow, did you deliver. From textbook editors to strip-club doormen (!), you have fascinating stories to tell. It just goes to show that writing material is everywhere, even in the most mundane of work days.

Here’s a handful I wanted to highlight, but there are many more on the Write Here topic page. Take a look!

A Textbook Editor’s Plea for Citizen Engagement

When your school district buys a new math or reading curriculum and invests in products for their students, pay attention. Are these materials written and presented with a true understanding of how children learn? Are they riddled with mistakes? Are they teaching to the test, or with students’ long-term learning in mind?

Maybe your students aren’t bad at those math problems or failing the tests because they’re “not math people.” Maybe the problems are written so poorly that they don’t understand what’s being asked of them.

Community members don’t need to get riled up in a moral panic to pay attention to their schools. All they need is a little care, and an understanding that kids love to learn. They crave it. And they deserve the most thoughtful and well-designed materials possible to help make their learning happen. — Antonia Malchik

Of Dream Jobs and Paychecks

For a stretch of years, I freelanced and did admin assistant work as well. I have been laid off or let go from jobs, writing jobs, three times, which let me tell you, is a serious blow to the ego. (Mom’s advice: “Don’t be your job.” It’s great advice for any creative who has found their so-called dream job, which I have, twice.)

I am currently employed full-time, as a content writer, at a good, solid company, with health insurance and a 401K. Content writer, content writer (say it both ways). CONtent, conTENT.

It’s not the writerly life I had pictured in fourth grade. Some days, the writerly life seems out of reach in the day-to-day drudgery of life …— Dawn Patton

I Almost Made a Huge Career Shift

One thing you never really get to know as you migrate is how your career would pan out. Yes, you could visualize lots of things and make projections, but there are also many variables at play that are outside your control.

When I migrated to Canada in 2018, I had a medical degree and a master’s in public health and policy. Also, I had also worked as a physician for 10 years. I was flexible in my mind about how my career would pan out. I would not practice medicine at all costs and I had confidence I would do okay cos I had a master’s degree. It also helped I had a previous career with diverse experience outside clinical medicine. — Nkeonye Judith Izuka-Aguocha

First Post: My Write Here Experience With Medium

I joined the U.S. Foreign Service after graduating from university. I was immediately sent overseas and did not look back. From Israel to Vietnam, I learned lessons and gained experience no other job, with such prestige, could give me. I share with my mentors that I dream of leaving the foreign service and becoming a social worker, and the reaction is that I am giving up a job of a lifetime.

They’re not wrong, the foreign service is a privilege; like Emily said in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, “a million girls would kill for this job.” The truth is, my role in the foreign service does not align with my passion. The job is exciting, challenging, and demanding, at times, but I do not feel a sense of satisfaction. I often come home at the end of the day wondering, why am I here? — Stacey Phengvath

My Short Lived Career as a Strip Club Doorman

She was a door person for a few months when I met her.

I went to work with her a few times and sat on a ripped, burgundy bar stool on the edge of the darkness and smoke and noise and noticed she would ask for a tip when men entered the club. They would tell her, they would catch her on the way out, and they seldom kept their word.

So, I solved the problem.

When a guy would come in, I would tell him he was cute, and we charged a cuteness tax of $3 USD.

They were so flattered some blushed and chatted us up, and more importantly some gave $5. — Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh

I Have To Go Back To Work At A “Real” Job and I’m Terrified

It’s not the work that bothers me.

It’s the terrible bosses.

I’ve had so many terrible bosses.

Unfortunately I’ve gotten myself into the mindset that all bosses are going to be terrible, which I keep being told isn’t true, but hey, that’s anxiety for you. — Mary Duncan

Please join us for open writing hours every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. PT / 4:30 p.m. ET, through March 31. Use this meeting link to join (the passcode is: Medium). We share optional writing prompts, calm music, and quiet camaraderie. And after March we have some more fun stuff planned, so stay tuned!



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Amy Shearn

Amy Shearn


Formerly: Editor of Creators Hub, Human Parts // Ongoingly: Novelist, Essayist, Person