Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Catch 22, 34, 69. . .Hike!

I worked the damn job for 5 years. I was a good little retail drone. Showed up on time, followed the rules, sold a lot of cheaply made, over-priced crap. And in exchange for that, I got psycho bosses, long hours, bad working conditions and a "salary freeze" that left me without a raise for 2 years. Then one day, the store manager decided the janatorial staff was a "needless expense" we could do without. Cleaning the bathrooms, I was told, was now my responsiblity. Joy.

I wonder which customer insisted on throwing that used toilet paper in the garbage can instead of in the toilet? Whoever he was, he was the last straw. I complained to the store manager. She told me to shut my trap and empty the can. I told her to do what Johnny Paycheck recommended in that great song that's become a cliche. The euphoric high lasted about an hour. Then, reality set in.

Fast forward about 2 months. Here I am, a 34-year old college-educated dork who chucked a full-time job with no job prospects on the horizon. Yes, I've moved back in with the 'rents. . .I feel like Albert Brooks in that movie where Debbie Reynolds plays his mom. Daytime TV is losing its novelty and the want ads are looking incredibly barren.

My nerve endings are crackling with a lot of feelings right now. One is guilt. I know that there are millions of good people out there, with families to support, who can't find work. I know there are just as many good people out there who are stuck in horrible drudge jobs that they can't afford to quit. I feel for you all, I truly do. I know what I did seems very selfish and self-indulgent. Maybe it was.

Another thing I'm feeling is fear. I do sit up at night wondering where my life is going, how bad I've screwed myself, and when this is going to resolve itself. Your job is a big part of your persona. I didn't just quit a job, I quit a persona---one that, in spite of its flaws, I was pretty fond of. Now I have to make a new one. That's going to take time and effort.

But one other feeling I have is justification. After months of griping, I've finally cut the crap and made a break for it, whatever "it" will turn out to be. If I succeed or fail, it will be on my terms. I don't believe I did the wrong thing. It was truly a catch 22 situation. Is it better to be an employed stooge---abused and unappreciated---or be unemployed and have self-respect? The answer is open to interpretation, but I've opted for the latter, thank you very kindly.

So I decided to get me one of these blogs. If every semi-literate rock star can have one, why not me? Yes, names have been changed to protect the innocent---and the guilty. Let's just say that 98% of it's true. The weekly posts will pull me out of my own head and giving me something to look forward to. But two requirements. One, I'm only doing this until I get another job or get bored with it, whichever comes first. And two, I'm not going to turn this into a bitchandwhineapalooza. I'm going to address other topics, not just the Jay & Silent Bob/Big Lebowski slacker cool b.s. that's been done and done and done for the past 10+ years. I'm going to try to keep things on the positive side. I hope you will, too.

So right now, it's up in the air. After all is said and done, this might even turn out to be a positive thing. Maybe even one of those "spiritual journeys" that Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra are always referring to. Not likely, with a guy who has religiously blown off church for over six years now. But you never know.


Anonymous Frank-bandera said...

Fuc@ it..you were a stooge. I was in a stooge job last month..it sucked Here i am doing the "big ben ..parliment" roundabout, too.Interview..nothing. So I blame high school and read the genius that was Nietzsche...later

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Bloggeries said...

I am looking forward to reading this blog. Somehow, I think I am going to be reading many of my own thoughts. A year and half ago, I did this very same thing. I threw away a 17 year medical career to go in search of a better way of living and feeling about life.

Some of us get stuck in a career that we love, but somehow it does not seem to love us.

I was good at my job. However, I was too good. My employers did not want to lose a good employee at my level. Promoting me would have been detrimental to their business. It was much easier for them to hire in some noob to a higher position, and keep me at the place I was in. I have seen it before, and it just took 17 years for me to see it was happening to me.

BTW.....Did I mention that your blog is now being reviewed?

6:39 AM  

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