When to:day was nearly closed, I and my friend had a little chat before praying.
“You still have money rite?”, I said.
“Yes. But its not about the money En. I dont know what will I say to my future in-laws if they ask where I work,” he said.
I shortly stopped saying. When it comes to questions about status I dont know how I should defend my opinion.
Last year, I was jobless for the first time after I had decided to resign from Jakarta Globe. I should thank God that I had never had any unemployement experiences after I graduated from the university. After three years of working, I was thinking to pause my life. Since working condition at the Globe was very torturing I made up my mind to quit. I was actually enjoying my first jobless experience. I had time to do whatever I like without being afraid of my formes boss. I did not have to be alert on economy news all day long. I did not have to be worry about finding news, good ones. I was joyful. But then one morning, I felt disturbed by such condition.
It happened as follows. One afternoon before I took a TOEFL test, I realized I had lost an ATM card before I took out some cash from the machine. Like it or not, I had to get a new ATM card by undergoing some procedures.
The most annoying part about renewing the card is not about dealing with the bank but with policemen. I hate the fact that I must pay “administrative fee” for the officers to get a letter on the accident. It is not about how much money I should pay but I could not help thinking why should I pay for something that should be free of charge? Should not it be part of public service?
Thankfully, the officer who was handling my case was welcoming so I did not bother myself about the fee. But when he asked about my job, I fell silent. I frankly replied “ just write that I am a jobless person, sir.” But he refused. “Well, I’ll write that you are an entrepreneur.”
“As you wish,” I said.
I kept on thinking about his question for some moments after I had left the office station. I said to myself it was time for me to seek new job at least for the sake of status.
Once when I was at the second grade of elementary school, I and my classmates were told to write our dream jobs. I came up with being a teacher then later pilot and engineer. I did not why I mention those kind of jobs, none of which become my future profession. May be I just expressed what my parents or my neighbors told me that I should work out of fields. They highlighted it would be much better if I worked as a civil servant who would not be confused on making ends meet until retirement period.
Jobs labelling is detectable in identity cards. Civil servant, doctor, pilot, teacher, lecturer, and president are among those that have “real” positions in society. Such similar kind of “recognition” defines ways for some people, including me, until university level. Other “undefined” professions fall under entrepeneur despite the fact many people make money from being freelancers, brokers, sales agents, online traders, sports agents, etc.
I am not sure professions, such as writers, translators, intrepreters, or story tellers, are written as what they are. Or may be they are also put under the entrepreneur category. Nothing is wrong with such kind of labelling, though. Parents do their jobs well when they know their children have certain futures with specific salaries or even pension funds. What should be bore in minds is there are lots and very wide range of jobs that are available at stores. Kids are free to do whatever they like as long as they are happy while earning as much as they can.
So, if I go to a district office to renew my identity card, I would probably be confused to explain on my profession at the moment. A web writer cum freelance translator. I am pretty much certain this kind of job is still awkward so my job would be written as entrepeneur. I just wish I would meet a very kind officer who doesn’t mind to put “a very happy” in front of the inappropriate term “entrepreneur.