Thursday, August 17, 2017 09:54

ALL JOBS ARE A LIE!

Okay, maybe that is a little bombastic. Perhaps a little over the top, even. All jobs are obviously not a lie, but boy, that sure makes a catchy headline, doesn’t it?  What I really meant to say was:

All jobs want you to lie to them!

Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy there, turbo. You’re casting a mighty big blanket there, aren’t you? I’m pretty sure by “all jobs” you really mean “a statistically significant amount of jobs.” But what did you mean about wanting you to lie to them?

And furthermore, why am I talking to myself? Perhaps I should expand upon my concept here.

There comes a point in every job (particularly when you get a new boss/manager/uberfuhrer) where they sit down and ask you that dreaded question: “Are you happy here?” or some variation thereof. And assuming you don’t panic and blurt out “YES! I’m happy! Why, have you been reading my blog?” how are you really supposed to respond? How many people would answer that honestly and expect to remain employed? Unless you’re one of those incredibly rare and lucky people who sincerely loves their job.

Yes, yes, I realize “Work is a four letter word!” and “Why do you think they call it work? If it was fun they would call it play!” etc etc etc. But then on the other side are the people who are quick to tell you “Do something you love and you’ll never work another day in your life!” Which is bullshit, really, because who is going to love being a garbage man or any of a variety of other shit sack jobs?

And if any garbage men are reading this and love their jobs, first of all, who the fuck are you and how the fuck did you get here? And second, my apologies, but your job kind of seems like it would suck. But a great big thank you for doing it, I’m not sure I would.

But surely there has to exist a zone between these polar opposites, right? It’s doesn’t have to be all mind numbing monotony or all strawberry scented unicorn farts, does it?

I propose the following: “Do something that doesn’t make you want to stab yourself in the face and you’ll drastically reduce the odds of work induced facial trauma.” Sure, it isn’t as catchy or optimistic, but I’d still wear it on a t-shirt.

Albert Einstein, or Ben Franklin, or maybe Aristotle (hey, it has been attributed to a lot of different people…) Anyway, somebody famous once said “Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.” And yet here I am, time after time, ramming my trapezoidal peg into the elliptical holes of conventional employment.

There have been very few jobs of a highly structured nature where I have been happy. The jobs I have been happiest with have been the ones where I have had the most free time on my hands: working overnight as a gas station attendant, working as a security guard (also mostly overnight), jobs of that ilk.  I worked hard, got my work out of the way, and then I had some time to myself. When I worked for Honeywell, I took as many calls as anyone else (if not more), high priority clients requested specifically to work with me, I was regularly recognized for my outstanding performance, I trained almost everyone who came into our department for over half the time I was there… and I surfed the web all day long, with the boss’ blessing. He trusted us to know when and what was appropriate.

It’s unfortunate that that kind of thing situation won’t work in most job environments. It relies on people not being fuckwits, and well… they are fuckwits. I suppose it worked at Honeywell because the bar for employment was set pretty high, and the job was of a nature that the slackers were weeded out pretty quick. It certainly didn’t hurt that even as a contract employee, I was making close to $50k a year by the end of my time there. Apparently my loyalty and productivity can be bought if the price is right.

As an aside, the answer to the obvious question is: It was a one year contract and they couldn’t hire me at the end. They were in a hiring freeze, and despite all the permanent employees begging management otherwise, I put in my year and I was done.

Sometimes I stop and wonder how different my life would have been if I could have stayed at that job, or if my life’s circumstances would have been different at that time. That always makes my mind wander down the “If I had a time machine…” path.

But of course, my life wasn’t different, and all you ever really have is what you have now, and how can you make your future nows better?

Since you’ve made it this far and are paying attention, maybe even taking notes, you have probably realized –

What? You were only skimming and now you’re totally lost? That’s okay, we’ll wait for you to return to the top of the page and do a more thorough read.  In the meantime, here is a cute kitten picture to amuse the rest of us while we wait.

First person to email "I want the prize!" to ogasnor@gmail.com wins a mystery prize!

All caught up? Good, let us resume.

As you have probably gathered, I’m not exactly fulfilled by my current job. It certainly isn’t a hard job. The phone beeps, I regurgitate my little spiel, I push all the buttons in the right order and *presto!* Out pops a Fish Biscuit.

Lost references for the win!

Seriously though, the hardest part of my job is pronouncing a few medical terms, many of which I already knew how to pronounce. The actual procedural part consists of reading from a web page and clicking buttons on a screen. If you can order pizza online, congratulations, you can do 95% of my job. Throw in some basic customer service skills, season to taste, bake at $26k a year and voila! Employment can be yours.

And it is one of the most mind numbing and least intellectually stimulating office jobs in the history of ever. At least it is to me. I have referred to my job as “soul crushing tedium” and “slicing off little pieces of my soul, trading my happiness for money.” I’m not built for this. I’m rolling a rock up a hill in Hell, and something has to change, hopefully before I snap and the change is forced.

I’m saving my money, I’m looking ahead to the future, I’m evaluating my options. For once, I’m planning ahead, and the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem to be a train. I’ve even chosen a name for all this, Project: Happiness. You’ll see more about this on the blog in the future.

Basically I’m tired of trying to fool myself into thinking that I’m happy, so I’ve stopped doing that. All I have to do is fool them into thinking I’m happy a little longer, and then I will be happier. And that’s all that really matters.

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One Response to “ALL JOBS ARE A LIE!”

  1. Beth says:

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that all work is work and therefore not fun. Most people don’t really like doing things that aren’t at least a little bit fun. I have a job that I specifically set out to get. Decided marketing sounded like fun, majored in marketing, earned a degree in marketing, got a job in marketing. You know what will suck all the fun out of something faster that you can say, “Take this job and shove it!”? Turning it into work.

    That thing about finding something you love and are passionate about, finding a way to make money doing it and you’ll never work a day in your life? That’s bullshit, too. See also the saga of Cargo Cult Press.

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