I’m reading the new Jay McInerney novel in bed last night when I get to this passage.
Oh, where do I even fucking begin with this?
In Bright, Precious Days, main character Corrine Calloway is the Executive Director of a food bank. (This would be a job she felt called to after working in a soup kitchen post-9/11 and for which she left her Wall Street stockbroker job.)
Now, then. As someone with a 25 year career of working in nonprofit fundraising, let me assure you, dear reader, that summer sabbaticals on the beach in the Hamptons is most definitively not “one of the few perks” of the biz. I mean, unless there’s some other bright, precious nonprofit sector out there. Maybe it exists on that newly-discovered Earth-like planet that The New York Times oddly felt compelled to deem breaking news this week, sending cell phones all over Earth abuzz.
But you’re intelligent life right here on Earth 1.0 and of course you know this is sheer ridiculousness.
I mean, what the fuck, McInerney? In what universe does this occur? Certainly not the one I’m working in. I can’t believe I went to work all summer. (h/t to my friend P. for that quip, via Facebook)
All the Executive Directors I know are working their asses off in the summer — in the office, not beachside, unless they happen to be WORKING while on vacation. Not to mention the staff.
(Can you imagine the morale in that office, as their Executive Director is sunning herself on Long Island?)
I hate when authors do shit like this. I really do. And maybe I sound like I’m protesting too much, but I don’t care. It perpetuates the myth that nonprofits are somehow easier environments than the corporate sector and that’s just entirely untrue.
Maybe I’m making too much of this and it’s just another example of how perfectly over the top this precious this novel is. I mean, there’s so much extravagance with this novel; a few pages earlier, there’s a bacchanalian-like restaurant scene — among many, many restaurant scenes — where the two diners order wine that costs several thousand dollars.
But I wish that McInerney had done his research or that his editor had caught this because it is inaccurate and presents a stereotypical and unfair picture of those working in the nonprofit sector.
This is post #89 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project.