The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED FIFTY EIGHT: SO… WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
For those that read this and think I’m ungrateful: I am thankful I have a job…
Have you ever been asked this question?
So… what do you do for a living?
It usually happens when you meet someone for the first time, a little ice breaker.
You might answer with…
I’m a nurse.
I’m a teacher.
I work in a factory.
I drive for Uber.
All great answers. And I bet most of them answer quickly and with a bit of pride.
I envy anyone who can look someone straight in the eye and give them their answer with no hesitation at all.
Now, here’s me…
So… what do you do for a living?
Uhhh, (slightly long pause, then…) (sigh).
That pause happens when I wonder if I should make something up. Should I tell this person that I do something other than what I really do? Should I just go crazy and tell this person a huge, fat lie.
I’m a professor (of useless information).
I’m an astronaut (I wish I could get on a rocket and get the hell out of this situation).
I’m a spy (maybe I can knock this person out with my training and run away).
But… no. I don’t lie.
That’s when the sigh happens and I tell this person what I do. And I say it with a hint of embarrassment and annoyance.
Why is that? Why do I hate my job so much?
It’s not like it’s a bad job. Honestly, it’s pretty easy. During most of the year, I can sit in from of the computer and can do absolutely nothing. I can watch videos, listen to podcasts or audiobooks, play computer card games, or write. And I work in a large room all by myself. Occasionally, someone will come in and do something that pertains to their job and then they leave.
And I am left alone by my boss.
So… why do you hate your job?
I’ll tell you since you asked.
I can sit in front of the computer and do absolutely nothing important.
I’m left alone by my ‘co-workers’ AND my boss. Most of the time.
And… I fell useless.
It’s got to the point that I have given up. If I was suddenly the center of attention and given more responsibility and loved by management… I would not care. It’s well past time to care.
Communication is horrible. Most of the time, there are only six people in the building. That’s right, you read that right. SIX PEOPLE. Other people work remotely, just four or five. But there are only six in the building most of the time. And you can scratch one of those because one is the main boss would is only here a couple of days out of the week and usually not all day. So, five.
Five people. And you would think that we were a million miles, a vast desert, away from each other. And then there’s me. I’m one hundred million miles away from the other four.
So, don’t bother with me. I’m too far away to reach… in the other room.
And it’s been that way for years.
So, yeah, I have given up. I come in on time, do my job, and go home when it’s time. My give-a-shit is all given out.
This is not my life.
My life is what happens outside of work. My life is what happens inside my head while I’m at work.
This job is not my life.
So… quit complaining and find another job.
I totally plan to and I believe this is my year. I believe I’m going to find something I feel important doing, something that makes me happy doing. Maybe even something that makes me feel like I’m making a difference.
I believe it.
I have to.
If I don’t, I’m totally going to give up and pack my bag, jump a train and be a hobo.
And I don’t want to jump from the frying pan and then nose dive into the fire. I don’t want to settle just to get out of here, a job that I settled for a long time.
And those are like searching for a needle in a haystack, that old chestnut.
When it comes down to the end of the day, I want a job where I feel needed, where I’m allowed to be me and they see the talents that I have and use them. I want to feel like I make a difference in the world.
And I don’t want just a job. I want a life-changing, thought-provoking, on the edge of my seat… career.
You’re dreaming. Those jobs do not exist.
But I believe they do. I see people who get excited about what they do for a living. And those people usually, at one point, was in the same sinking boat that I am now. They felt the water pouring in and didn’t want to drown. They found a career as a life-jacket and saved themselves, saved their sanity. I’ve seen it in their faces, their eyes wide and their smiles. I see a genuine love for what they do.
And maybe they aren’t doing what they set out to do or hoped they would do. Most find themselves in a place they never dreamed of. The professions they found themselves in may have never been on their radar when they were dreaming of a dream job. And yet, there they are, doing something they love, or even like, and are happy to tell people what they do when asked.
These situations do exist.
And I want to find myself in one.
Everyone who finds that they are not where they want to be, who dreads getting up to face a place close to hell, who comes home mentally and physically tired from the struggle of not losing their minds in place that brings you down, who thinks about lying when that question is asked in polite conversation, I feel your pain.
But we can overcome. We can keep searching for a living that enriches us, that helps propels us forward, that makes us feel useful and, on some level, important.
They are out there and I know I am not alone.
Just keep moving forward and search for them.
So… Loyd… you never did say what you did for a living. What is it?
-Loyd Elmore Jr.
September 27th, 2019
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.