When "Hey, I Think I’m Gonna Quit My Career and Work in Non-Profit" Turns into Quitting Your Career and Working in Non-Profit and Hating It

Last year, in a weak effort to impose validity on my life (but not in an attempt to rectify my sins), I decided that my future no longer included working in the film business, but rather growing out my armpit hair and slinging it in the non-profit sector.
I got about four days into the armpit rebellion and only two months into the job.
A great lesson was learned during this time- don’t pick just any cause to support, pick a cause you’re willing to make an ass of yourself for (oh, and you smell when you don’t shave your pits).

The organization I worked for is a radical anti-war organization with followers across the globe. Though I learned many valuable lessons and met pizazzy characters along the way, protesting the war was not the sort of thing that gave me an ethical boner when I woke up in the morning.

I was not in favor of the war in Iraq, but I quickly discovered that marching in front of the White House doesn’t hold the same power as it did in 1968. Being able to see a physical difference in my actions is more important to me. My heart lies in more one-on-one, totally unhip causes typically involving underprivileged/displaced children, the well-being of senior citizens, or Pee-Wee Herman.
Here is an example of the organization’s, well meaning, but ultimately intangible efforts:
Stolen from the non-partisan Improv Everywhere, we tried committing a “freeze-in” on the Santa Monica Promenade. A freeze-in involves a group of people standing still for a long period of time in a public place. At the end of our particular freeze-in, we were to shout, “Stop the War in Iraq!”. Freeze-in’s are meant to garner attention, however, ours ended up being as flaccid as dudebro’s penis after a night on Bourbon Street.
Thirty protesters dressed in neon outfits + Hundreds of unassuming pedestrians + Fifty to sixty homeless people who already remain motionless for long periods of time then shout random things + A four block open mall + Unsynchronized watches = The largest blue ball of a protest in the history of the world.
In Los Angeles, standing still and shouting things does not garner attention. Hell, we could collectively started dry humping the store fronts and nobody would have noticed.

Another thing I realized while working in the non-profit sector is that, some people will hate you for voicing your opinion, especially if you’re a woman. It doesn’t matter what comes out of your mouth, just as long as it comes out of your mouth and loudly, it’s justification for death and removal of your ovaries. Quite possibly one of the most humbling experiences of my still young life- fielding phone calls after our organization made a very public stink at the RNC. Answering the phone and having someone shout, “I hope you die, cunt” can be quite sobering.
I commend all the women of the world who voice their opinion amongst adversity.
Next time around, I’m joining the Church of Stop Shopping. Singing gospel songs about the evils of mass marketing, large corporations, and indulgent consumerism is way more up my alley than standing frozen.

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  • Reply That Chelsea Girl™ August 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Great advice! Have you ever thought of filming something that benefits a nonprofit? Like the Invisible Children, etc?

  • Reply Lauren Modery August 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Chelsea, you hit the nail on the head. I think my dream job is to be a documentary filmmaker. I've never heard of Invisible Children. I will check it out, thanks!!!

  • Reply Hannah August 7, 2009 at 1:25 am

    I like what you're saying. So much that I reposted it a few times. Keep it comin… and I'll definitely keep reading.

    And you are absolutely right about the unfortunate existence of aversion and just downright hatred of opinionated women who aren't afraid to speak up. Make no apologies, girl. If they aren't down with you then f-them and the horse they rode in on… (but in more polite terms).

  • Reply Mr London Street August 7, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I live in England. Our binge drinkers drunkenly hump store fronts every Friday and Saturday night.

  • Reply Ashley Yazzie August 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    You are a fantastic writer little lady. I read some of your pieces yesterday and they made me belly laugh. {Which is the best kind of laughter!}

    Do stop by and say hello when time permits!

  • Reply Shaylen Maxwell August 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Wow! What a great post and very thought-provoking too. And I agree, it doesn't. And it's sad. I've thought about doing that very same thing too. I wonder how I'd feel about it. : )

  • Reply Chase August 8, 2009 at 12:33 am

    mm, Church of Stop Shopping.
    Now there's a cause worth being an ass for.

    Admittedly, though, I would love to have seen those neon suits on the Promenade. Even if you did blend in with the locals…

    Also, I think that Chelsea Girl made a great point about trying to combining your passion for film industry and your passion for people.

    I hope you have, by now, checked out Invisible Children, it seems they may just be right up your alley. 🙂

  • Reply Apryl March 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Hop over to my Blog, I nominated you for an award!


  • Reply Mel March 2, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I can really relate to you needing to see results. Although it's not very admirable, I'll admit that I've given up on a few causes because I could't see them making a difference after a couple of months.

    Um… sponsor a child? Mine send me drawings and have never once called me a cunt.

  • Reply T!nK March 3, 2010 at 6:16 am

    i gave you a blog award!

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