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Life at Work

I hit bottom yesterday. I realize that now. And I don't really get it - I mean, things really don't suck that badly. I've been paid through the end of the month, I have an interview tomorrow, it's only been a week since I was not "technically" fired, and, realistically, I stand a reasonable chance of finding a job soon. I have free time to read, watch television, enjoy the few nice days that the weather people keep saying we're not going to have many of left, wander the streets, and generally goof off. So why do I feel like I hit the pavement?

Because losing your job does funny things to your psyche, not matter what the circumstances.

Maybe there's a part of me that doesn't like not having gotten the last word - a part that wanted to say "I quit" before being told to go away. Or maybe it's that I don't want to go through it again - not the not-getting-fired bit, but the whole 9-5 workaday play dress-up and be "grown-up" and pretend that, on some level, you have something in common with these people around you part. I feel this tremendous pressure, from family, from society, and now a bit from within, to go and be this person with goals and a career and drive and it's not just a Peter Pan complex, I really, really don't want it. It's not who I am, it's not who I want to be. Whether I can excel at it or not is utterly irrelevant. There are plenty of things I could excel at, but the real question is, do I want to? And the real answer is, No.

But if you don't want to go to work, what do you do? How do you go about surviving? I mean, yeah, there are plenty of people who work strictly for themselves, but I know myself well enough to know that I'm not going to be one of them. Unless I have just the tiniest bit of structure, just one other person to answer to, I'm a goner. I'll find 47 different ways to divert my energy, and the day will be done.

Unfortunately, for me, I think right now the answer is that you grin and bear it. You take the job you don't want, you put on your suit and your mask, you silently thank your parents for those acting lessons when you were a kid, and you sit in your new cubicle with a smile on your face.

And you hope beyond hope that you get a really brilliant idea that leads you to the autonomy you desire very, very soon.



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Posted on September 20, 2006


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
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PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Sears Motor Buggy.


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