[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]
I have never been one for real work. Working around 30 hours a week at an architecture firm (as a part-time position that was only supposed to be 20 hours a week, I might add) just about killed me. I worked there about four months before throwing in the towel. I used to think that I hated it because the pay was so crappy, but it’s more a question of value. Right now I have an internship that’s unpaid. But I like it. Getting paid would be nice, but I’m okay with this slave labor.
Sure, it could be that I like it because it’s only about 20 hours a week (and I don’t have school or other work commitments like I did while at the architecture firm) or it could be that it’s because everyone speaks English at my internship and I’m not such an outsider. It also could be that my current work actually seems useful and helpful whereas my work at the architecture firm seemed largely about getting the clients to pay us. But mostly I think it’s because at my internship, no one’s an architect. Yep, I gotta say that’s it.
There’s a reason why a lot of people (id est, architecture students) refer to ‘architecture’ as ‘architorture’. And scarily enough, it’s said with almost a sad fondness, because really … all architects are masochists to some degree. I guess that’s why it’s refreshing to go to work at the internship, rifle through boxes of old exhibition installation photos, take a trip to the archives, compile a list of publications, watch a YouTube clip of an interesting piece of performance art, and actually eat lunch in the break room instead of my desk. Almost doesn’t feel like work.
I like architects. Most of my friends are architects, studied architecture, or are in some way connected with architecture. And I can’t really fault architects for their neurotic quirks, obsession with details, egosim, or constant dissatisfaction … because I’m often guilty of the same. I’m still an architect at heart and still relate best to other architects, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy to work with them. The art world, however, IS A LOT MORE CHILL. Sure they have their own brand of crazy, but (from what I can tell) it’s a lot less ulcer-prone.