Tagged: job

Storytime Saturday, featuring an excerpt from A Million Little Boxes – a work story. 

I decided that I’d refuse to let a building define me. I’d refuse to allow any company, or entity, or job, or anything define who I was as a person. As a human. As a man. The contents of that building did not define my success. My success was not in there. It’s in here. It’s within my chest. Within this soul. I am defined by who I am, and what I do…what I believe and what I feel…what I’m capable of…not by the whim of some fucking corporation. Interestingly, it was brought to my attention that I may be afraid to move forward, that I feared success more than I feared failure. The thought of that shit had me up in arms, like “what?” You’ve got to be kidding me, right? “All I want is success”, I’d tell myself.  But you know what?  Maybe I was.  

Theatrical Thursday, featuring Joe Versus the Volcano (1990).

Have you ever seen a movie six thousand times, but only gotten half a whiff of the real depth of that movie after the most recent viewing? Case in point; I’ve seen Joe Versus the Volcano at least 30 times since 1990, but only recently came to understand the immense truths contained within it. The film was always on in the background, and I’d often half ass watched it without really seeing it for what it was. The realization and understanding came slowly; a little bit here, a little bit there, until one day I said “fuck it” and sat down and really watched the film again for the first time. I took it all in with a renewed sense of awareness, and a considerably open mind. I dissected it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d enjoyed the movie time and again previously, but I’d only just seen the surface of it. And in truth, I was sincerely blown away. For all of its cheese, the movie was an acutely effective, multi-layered glimpse into a man’s thirst for knowledge, meaning, purpose, and self discovery. Looking beyond some of the dated, clunky 90’s camp, it’s quite a deeply rendered portrait of the journey that we all endure in order to accomplish whatever it is we want to accomplish with our lives. It is a great little tale about overcoming obstacles, standing up for your beliefs, and never giving up. Who can’t relate to that, right? And if you’ve ever hated your job, the “I quit” scene below is a revelation.

Story Time Saturday, featuring an excerpt from A Million Little Boxes – a work story. 

I had no real idea what I was doing.  I mean, I had a loose grasp of the general concepts, but the  actual execution was a different beast entirely.  The company tinkered with their methods and procedures so often that it was nearly impossible to keep up.  True proficiency was a fucking pipe dream.  Just when you got used to doing things one way, BOOM, they decided to change it up again…and for no good reason.  Their feeble and half-handed attempts at ‘training’, if that’s what you want to call it, were just a ridiculous ruse.  I literally had no idea what I was doing, and spent the bulk of every day winging it…and I did it for years.  Talk about disheartening; it’s the most depleted feeling inching your way to five o’clock blindly, in the dark, not knowing what the hell you’re doing.  For years.  Even after it’s been explained, because their explanations amounted to a fresh pile of zebra shit.

  There’s a great line at the end of the movie ‘The Usual Suspects’, where Kevin Spacey’s character states “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.”  I’ve gotta say, convincing this joint that I knew what I was doing, that I was a stand up, functioning employee, ranks up there with the greatest. 

Story Time Saturday, featuring an excerpt from A Million Little Boxes – a work story.

When would I decide that enough was enough? Had I determined what enough was? Or when? What was my threshold? My breaking point? How much would I have to endure before I realized that I’d had it up to here? It had been years of the same old, years of stringing together reason after reason, excuse after excuse, line after line. Coaxing together a thin fabric of a façade that masked my true purpose, a purpose that had lain dormant for God knows how long. It was once asked if dreams deferred wither and dry up like raisins in the sun; I often wondered that same question. 
 What happens to dreams when they’re cast aside like old laundry into an old darkened corner? Do they begin to smell? Do they rot? Do they grow hairy mold? Or do they just die…regretfully, painfully, scornfully, and utterly unforgiving of the person that relegated them to that less than golden fate? Do we blame ourselves? Do we blame ourselves as the result of our jobs? Or is it all one giant soup that we’re all stewing in, bubble by bubble, until we reach the boiling point that sends us oozing over the edge of the pot and into the unknown? Maybe there in that zone lies the reason behind it all…the purpose that we all so desperately seek…the one that very few of us have ever truly lived enough of in order to assist the rest of us schlocks that were too afraid to step out and live. 

A Million Little Boxes – a work story (excerpt).

The trials of being me:
 “Damn, a year’s already gone by.”
“Fuck, I really can’t believe I’ve wasted two whole years at this place.”

“Yo, please kill me if I make the three year mark.”

“Hey man, for real, throw me off a fucking bridge if I make it here four years.”

“Like seriously dude, something’s seriously wrong with me if I make it to five years.”

“Wow, three months from now will be my six year mark.” 

“Well I’ll be damned. Six fucking years.”

So begins the current situation. Keyboard clicks, telephones ringing, clunky fax machines humming their disjointed rhythms, random chatter, overcooked professionalism, clichéd power phrases, false motivation, no incentives, wilted prospects, dried up ambitions, phony smiles, fake promises, and utter loss of concentration await. Deep breaths.

Theatrical Thursday – Joe Versus the Volcano (1990).

Have you ever seen a movie six thousand times, but only gotten half a whiff of the real depth of that movie after the most recent viewing?  Case in point; I’ve seen Joe Versus the Volcano at least 30 times since 1990, but only recently came to understand the immense truths contained within it.  The film was always on in the background, and I’d often half ass watched it without really seeing it for what it was.  The realization and understanding came slowly; a little bit here, a little bit there, until one day I said “fuck it” and sat down and really watched the film again for the first time.  I took it all in with a renewed sense of awareness, and a considerably open mind.  I dissected it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d enjoyed the movie time and again previously, but I’d only just seen the surface of it.  And in truth, I was sincerely blown away.  For all of its cheese, the movie was an acutely effective, multi-layered glimpse into a man’s thirst for knowledge, meaning, purpose, and self discovery.  Looking beyond some of the dated, clunky 90’s camp, it’s quite a deeply rendered portrait of the journey that we all endure in order to accomplish whatever it is we want to accomplish with our lives.  It is a great little tale about overcoming obstacles, standing up for your beliefs, and never giving up.  Who can’t relate to that, right?  And if you’ve ever hated your job, the “I quit” scene below is a revelation.

 

Monotony – A Story – Part 6

A sharp shudder awoke me from those old thoughts, and the quintessential office cacophony of keyboard clicks, ringing phones, and light chatter swirled around my ears like bad porn music. I’d only dozed off for a scant few minutes, and traded a (quite pleasant) humorous dream for a very real corporate prison cell. Not a good swap; those dreams and daydreams were the fuel that propelled me through the persistent tedium of the day. My screen stared back at me with rows upon rows of untouched work, a dull mishmash of numbers and letters, reports and spreadsheets that I’d scarcely mastered after all the years being there. Those rows and worksheets stared at me with dead, drab, critical eyes, and I stared back at it with equal scorn. It was abnormally cold in the cubicle that morning, and the fluorescent lights above shone down as coldly as a winter star. In the office, it was always either too hot or too cold…as if working in a state of discomfort was somehow great for productivity. I was dreaming of zombies again that day, and those raggedy bastards managed to grab hold of me and tear the hell out of my jugular. Again. I deftly flicked a bit of morning crust from the corner of my eyes and squinted hard in an attempt to refocus them on the computer screen that I’d been staring at for hours; a gang of work needed to be done, and it was only 9 a.m.