En Fotografias: Traveling Thru My First Job

Few months out of college, I got quite a few boos and nos left and right from potential employers. I did have this very odd and awkward hang-up with this boys home who'd offered me a job as a youth counselor, but told me that they lost my fingerprints so that pissed away 2 months of my time. It was just clank city as far as job-landing was concerned.

Keep in mind that I applied almost exclusively to nonprofit organizations cause I'm apparently not interested in making any kind of money and sort of had an impractical, natural aversion for corporate America, which is now officially ironic considering that my jobs to date have been centered on finding different ways of making money. And the different ways of making money often involve making nice with corporate America's various giving programs in support of my organization(s) and their work.

Give or take about 7 months of pondering my life goals, and thru strings of volunteering at various Los Angeles organizations, in February 2007, someone finally decided to say to me, why the hell not, come join us!

I felt a good vibe kick in when I kept emphasizing how much I loved writing, how I did that ish in my sleep, whether I was arguing on a basketball message board or whether a 66-page Academic Year Proposal for Bayanihan.

So...I worked as a Resource Development Specialist in support of LA County's Public Housing programs.

Basically I was someone who wrote proposals to people with money and did some other marketing stuff. A type of salesman who writes stuff to people with money. One of my cousins called that "intellectual/white-collar hustling."

Implicit in that job description was a whole lot of researching and pattern-finding while at a desk for 8 hours straight in a typical office building structure thing. I would call people, interview them, and occasionally travel to different sites. This was all quite alright for me, I did the best I could with it.

What really made the job however was becoming acquainted with the different subcultures and populations: the "work" subculture packed with office politics and gossip, the East Los subculture, the Long Beach subculture, the public housing population, the volunteer population.

This was in August during USC's first week of school hanging out at one of the housing sites. What USC does is have this kind of volunteer week where people sign up to volunteer at a place in the community. Was kinda alright, lot of kiddie kid 1st years though.

When you work in nonprofit development, you do a lot of schmoozing and networking. It's part of the work, which is relatively alright, especially after spending all your time up to the event making signs, setting up stuff, and cold calling lots of people.

The funnest Thanksgiving celebration ever. We had a Souljah Boy Contest at one of the sites.

I always gave her a smile when she peeked into the lunch room. I didn't know she had a lot to say about immigrants. Sorry, but I was hella disappointed when I learned that she already had a kid and a husband.

Three Mexican ladies that ate with me almost every other lunch, and took me out to a place during my last week. They're Mexican so they knew Mexican and gave me Mexican.

Other people threw me a party, sort of, like these Asian women here! Actually, there was some kind of baby shower or something as the cause of celebration.

The place was pretty much female-dominated. Women of color, too. Something they made mention of at orientation. I was the only guy who worked in my department at the office, which might've made the dynamic a little weird at times, but I was just content to be there and listen to whatever they said.

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