Ninety-nine percent of life is spent doing miscellaneous work aimed only at earning money. That’s fine. Popular rhetoric would suggest the one percent always have the best of everything, so the ninety-nine percent can carry on doing the heavy work. However, when the heavy work is completed as a means to an end, it creates a sense of something being amiss.
For example, today I worked for a client. The work was boring, dry, dreary, and forgettable. I earned a small amount of money for it, which will inevitably go toward keeping a roof over my head, and food in my mouth, and not much else.
After finishing that work, I returned home where I completed a similar set of work, which was significantly better rewarded on a financial level, but did not quite fill this overwhelming gap in my soul. This gap appeared about a month ago, and is desperately seeking something to take its place. That desperation will realistically be short-term, as I intend to fill it quite soon. However, now the time is being filled with the monotony of the day-to-day, which is the absolute worst thing about being underemployed.
You see, being underemployed means that you are still employed. By my definition, underemployment is simply conducting work that is either completely unrelated, or just moderately related enough to your dream job. Being underemployed usually means that one has a home, has a purpose to arise from bed in the morning, even has a certain level of freedom with the food and extracurricular activities they choose. Therefore, the absolutely worst thing (without being inherently selfish and Millennially-minded) is that I fear I will be lying on my death bed thinking, “if only I had done…” during my day-to-day.
I won’t remember yesterday, because it did not further me emotionally. I won’t remember the day before, because it was more of the same. That makes me fear whether I will remember tomorrow, or the day after, or will I be doomed to have an utterly forgettable life, where nothing of any significance happened in my work. I don’t want to remember just the one percent of my life as being of value.
The Potential For Deviant Behavior
In a recent conversation I was made aware of just how prevalent the casting couch is in almost all industries. Whether you’re male or female, the casting couch is a universal fear. Shagging one’s way to the top is an easy means of getting what you want, but it’s also the riskiest. You know the reasons why, so I won’t patronize you with the details here. Let’s just say that most women I know make sure they’re wearing their sexiest underwear to work, and the young males spend their free time at the gym.
The casting couch is not the only form of deviant behavior one will experience when attempting to climb the corporate ladder. A personal favorite is the Brag & Bitch move. This is when you’re explaining something excellent you just did in work, the rhetoric goes something like this:
You: Oh, I just corrected a handful of errors in the linguistics, and some of the demographics weren’t quite analyzed to top spec. It was only a five minute job, is it okay?
Boss: This is really great, but why were there errors in the original copy?
You: I don’t know. I was handed it by my only real competition in this firm, and I guess she hadn’t noticed it.
This is only really a bad thing if you don’t have the gift of gab. If you don’t, then I’m sorry if I’ve scared you even more.
The Moment Just After You Wake Up
Last year I was stuck in a consultancy job that gave me severe depression. I would awake at 4:00am with that same churning sensation in my stomach, knowing I would never be able to return to my slumber. After about ten minutes of being stuck in my own head, I would venture downstairs to sit at my desk. Sometimes I would write, other times I would simply browse the internet looking for distractions in competitions, job applications, memes, science news, general news, essentially anything that would take me away from my reality.
No matter how bad the day would become, it never compared to that first moment after awaking. For a split second, you’re nothing but warm, snuggled up in bed, the duvet up around your ears. As soon as that moment has passed, everything turns to a greyscale, and your morning is ruined.
Knowing You’re Worth More
It takes a strong person to not throw a chair across a room. I’ve always maintained this belief. If you can sit still, do the work, earn the money, take the benefits, and put up with your robot co-workers, then you’re a saint.
As none of my friends read my column (except for Josh), I feel comfortable in explaining how most of them make me feel about my work. As an independent contractor, my life is nothing but expensive. Health insurance, rent, taxes, etc. These things add up. The other great thing is that most of my friends seem to think I don’t really have to work if I don’t want to. I am constantly invited to do things during the middle of the day. I am interrupted by my roommate when I’ve explained a billion times that I have a tight deadline. I’m bitched out for being busy in the evenings, because I set my own hours. I want to throw a chair across the room an average of three times a day.
Throwing the chair is a universal emotion. Whether you’re earning a few million a year, living with a trophy wife, or in a cubicle with a computer running Windows 7, you’re going to feel like you’re worth more than your current situation. It’s a wonderfully shite way to live, and a part of the human condition that none of us can escape. Good luck, we’re all in it together.
Kay Smythe, The British Bitch in America.
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