round and round...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday was, well, weird.

As I said to the woman who served us lunch today, "Today is a strange day. The morning was a bit like an angry teenager, but I have a feeling the day is maturing into something a lot more likable." Said morning was filled with technological issues with my work computer, which is a big problem since I'm on it all day and it's the only equipment that allows me to do my job.*

The Rover and I had lunch, which was a lovely break from the tech insanity. He's awesome and we went to a cool place. We both had burgers and - get this - they give you a half pint draft beer with every burger for free. Yeah! Old Speckled Hen was a nice accompaniment to the meal. Plus, at only a half pint it's the perfect lunch sized beer. I can't remember the last time I had a beer with lunch, but it was great. Have you ever done that? Had beer or wine or something when you have to go back to work afterward? I had hoped that by the time I got back home the tech issues would be cleared up and I could get on with my servitude work.

Uh, nope. No work done today. None. Not a bit. Couldn't access anything because Corporate IT Dude had taken remote control of my machine to run some diagnostics and such. It's very strange to see your computer being used when you're not the one controlling it. It's a little like what I imagine will happen when the robots come to take over the world. As of 5:41, no progress. Computer is screwed. Need a new one. I've been saying the same thing since mid-December, but now I think there might be some movement on that front since Super Nice Corporate IT Dude pushed for it with his higher-ups after banging his head against the wall for 6 hours today trying to fix it. Ridiculous.

*I had a realization. I realize that I feel bizarre and unsettled about having my work be totally virtual. Meaning, I use a computer for everything - even phone calls - and that makes me feel disconnected from the world. I email, I use online systems, I don't see another person all day, I don't write anything down... ever. I have no product to show for my work. I am in project management and client relations, this means I am a name/email/face that deals with things, but who doesn't actually produce anything. I have no output for all of my input. It's so shocking to me because I work really hard! This is what I can't wrap my brain around. I work my ass off and then at the end of the day I shut down my computer and it's like I did nothing. Not a damn thing. What do I have to show for all my efforts? ... ... ...?

I got to thinking about this on the walk home after lunch. The Rover is an actor. A very good actor, actually. He has something to show for his work. He's an artist. People watch his performances and see what he does. It started to dawn on me that I think my work is meaningless. It does nothing. It changes nothing. It affects no one. This is not entirely true because my work actually affects millions of customers around the world, it really does, but I don't think helping millions of people around the world to be able to use various graphic art programs makes a gnat fart of difference. Does it? Does it really matter that some guy in Japan can use Photoshop in his own language? Sure, but only to him and to the company who sells it to him and the CEO's kids' trust funds. I guess I believe my work is insignificant. It's not getting me anywhere. It doesn't help anyone. It doesn't fulfill me. It doesn't feed anyone who is hungry. It doesn't put a roof over any homeless person's head. It doesn't teach a child. It doesn't move people artistically. It just... makes money for a corporation.

This feels bad. This feels like I really am nothing more than the title of my blog. I am a spoke. Just a spoke. Something has to change. I need to do something that's good. I need to find a livelihood that doesn't make me feel... well, nothing. This job, and every one before it, makes me feel nothing. I want to feel good about my work. I know this is some existential crisis and I'm lucky to be in the position to have it - I have a job, and that's great. It means I earn a paycheck that I use to pay rent and feed Duke and pay for my wedding and take The Rover to lunch. BUT, can't I find a way to get a paycheck and make a difference? Is that too idealistic? Is it too late, at 30, to change gears and go in a completely new direction? What direction would that even be? I have 3 years of college, no degree, 8 years of project management experience. What does that equal? It equals corporate nothingness.

I'm feeling a little useless today. Not sure how to fix it. Something has to change.

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5 What people are saying:

Blogger guesswhat.karma rambles...

i feel the exact same way, dearheart. well, you know i do- because we've talked about it in length. blah. i want to open an animal shelter. but, right now i sit at my desk in my law office in beverly hills, being a spoke in another wheel. if you roll by- make sure to say hello.

p.s. get the fuck out here soon or i might just wither away.

1/11/2008 06:45:00 PM

 
Blogger cajunvegan rambles...

I thought of the movie Pretty Woman when I read your post. Remember the homeless dude on the street? "Welcome to Hollywood. What's your dream?"

1/11/2008 10:36:00 PM

 
Blogger Claire Joy rambles...

I've changed careers about five or six times over my life... thirty? you is still a baby... babe, whatever... you got time to do it. You do!

on the other hand, I use photoshop a lot and if I were Japanese... oh never mind.

1/12/2008 08:17:00 AM

 
Blogger Sandra rambles...

UGh that is EXACTLY how I feel about my job too. My only consolation is that I spend my income on organic food, green products, yoga classes, good books, and my animal's happiness...whereas someone else might spend it on a Hummer or a drug habit. Still not good enough though, I know.

1/12/2008 06:21:00 PM

 
Anonymous Kim rambles...

I think we all feel "useless" or pedestrian or just ennuied at some point, often.
However, that gent you help to use Photoshop in his language may be fundraising bazillions of dollars for some worthy cause. Or, some starving artist who just happened to use some corporate 'puter who got a spark and starts his own company. Or your good customer service may have restored the paying public's faith in humanity. Seriously. There are many poopheads out there.
But if you're bored, then keep the job ,but look for something else.
Great post.

1/12/2008 09:25:00 PM

 

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