Friday, July 15, 2005

There's no "i" in TEAM but there's one in LIFE

Mark Morford, you are playing my song! Why Do You Work So Hard?

The “day-job” thing is quite frustrating. You would think that with needs as simple as mine, I would be able to get into a suitable situation, and if not follow my bliss, at least preserve my sanity.

I am a recovering workaholic. Being a Virgo (even a cuspal one) makes this almost inevitable, and I was raised by a Virgo who was raised by another Virgo! Worker-bees, all. At least I ended THAT cycle! (No kids). (All three of us were un-Virgo-like cluttery packrats instead of neat-freaks, but the code is more like guidelines, really... these aberrations happen)

Like a lot of people, I lived to work during my 20s and 30s, especially my 30s. That's when you think you've got your eyes on the prize, you can almost taste it... it's a matter of "OK, what will I have to do to get that all-important promotion? Work 60+ hours a week? Get another degree? Do them at the same time? Give up my family? Oops, my husband and I don't know each other anymore. Ah, hell with him, it's his fault for working that 70 hour a week job. The least he could do is try and get one day a week off with me. No? Not even my birthday? No. Sorry. There are important things that must be done" PRIORITIES!!

It was unfortunate, but it wasn't just that we had no life together. We didn't... but the real problem for me was that I had no life. I poured myself into various geeky obsessions that were not really fulfilling, but didn't even know who I was anymore, didn't know what I liked to do, mainly because I had no spare time.

I gradually started to get enlightened about what my career really was about. I was a meaningless little piece of lint in the pocket of the fat-cat corporation's trousers. Even more so, given my line of work... how do think the in-house art department ranks on most corporate org-charts? And if you are not a manager of same, your name will be damned close to the bottom, right above the department where people run copiers, collate and staple (if your corp. is big and bureaucratic enough to have a department just for that... otherwise the art department or administrative assistants do it, and in that case the A.A.s rank higher than you do). Even the lint particles go through the same brainwashing bullshit as everyone else, we will try harder, work faster, be more productive in a never-ending spiraling cycle of happiness and profits through better teamwork. And what's the reward for all those years of gung-ho workaholism?

I want to work, I want to feel good about whatever it is that I'm devoting my time to, I want flexibility so I can be there for those once-in-a-lifetime events that are worth more than gold, and would like to sleep 6-7 hours a night... enough to stay healthy, and to not be stressed to the point of illness, and spend time with my second husband. It's not worth my time anymore to spend the day with assholes, backstabbers, and people who don't see the point in taking their vacation time because they will somehow disappoint the corporation. Life is too short.

So, who will hire me? I've got skills out the wazoo, I want to work about 30 hrs. a week, and don't want to harm animals or lie about my idealogies in the process. Is that too much to ask?

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