See You In Hell!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Quit hogging the armrest

Stacy over at Jurgen Nation has just posted a brilliant poem about the desperate tedium of Jobs.
I, ever the post hog, commented with the novella below. After re-reading it a few times, I decided that it warranted its own home on my blog (and Stace, sorry about commenting so "long" on JN lately; it seems that the only time I can summon up a good blog post of my own nowadays is when JN inspires me to do so. Piggybacking, I guess it is. Or something):

All jobs will eventually make you feel this way.

Changing jobs will keep it at bay for a little bit…so will going back to school, both of which I have done. Every one of my friends is in exactly the same boat on this…I don’t know if all people feel this way, and just deal with it differently, but I tend to think that we creative/OCD/depressive types are hyper-sensitive to situations that aren't going exactly as planned (or maybe my friends and I are just insufferable whiners. Perhaps that's why we aren't invited to more parties. But I digress). I think we scrutinize every aspect of our careers (or relationships, for that matter) for “red flags”, and then obsess about them. Don’t get me wrong; we aren't being fatalistic. We just want everything to work out SO desperately that the MINUTE we arent 100% happy, we try and figure out why, and then try to “fix” it. Even when the "fixing" may be something completely beyond our control.

This, of course, is a methodology that’s doomed to fail, but for the life of me I can’t seem to change it. That’s why a “change of scenery” is always a good temporary fix. But my basic personality always guides me back to the same place once the Novelty Of The New has worn off. The geographical cure seldom lasts. My friend Eric & I call this “the ability to be unhappy in any situation”, and it’s the reason why I never want to live in my dream city of London; I never want my ideal place to turn out to be just as boring and unfulfilling as say, Minot, North Dakota. It’s also why I don’t ever want to try and make a living from my photography. If photography becomes my Job, then at some point it will inevitably fade from Life's Passion into Something I HAVE To Do To Pay The Bills. And If that happens, I might as well just dip myself in gravy and jump into a vat of crazed poodles.

Of course, this is no way to live and I KNOW it, and I’m trying to change my behaviors and expectations.

A co-worker of mine has the exact opposite approach to life (he’s one of those disgustingly well-adjusted “what me worry?” types), and he recently described his take on Job Frustration like this:

“it’s like being stuck in the middle seat
in coach on an intercontinental flight. You fidget and struggle, but you just can’t get any more comfortable, and the jackasses on either side of you have hogged the armrests. And you know you have 6 hours left of this. So I just Give Up. I stop trying to get more comfortable, stop jockeying for my share of the armrests, and just give up. I resign myself to the situation, and once I realize that I have no control, and I just let it happen, Then I relax and fall asleep. Hell, I might even enjoy the in-flight movie, which is invariably something like ‘She-Devil’ or ‘Stargate’.”

"Yeah, RIGHT"
I scoffed, “Why in the HELL would anybody fly COACH on an intercontinental flight?!!! And for the record nobody, and I mean NOBODY, enjoyed 'She-Devil' or 'Stargate'.”

And there, my friends, THERE is the very essence of my problem.


Blogger Mike Lopez said...

Best thing I've read in awhile. Thanks for posting it.

Friday, May 25, 2007 at 2:52:00 PM PDT

Blogger Jege (Jen) said...

Thanks, Mike.

Friday, May 25, 2007 at 3:30:00 PM PDT

Anonymous Anonymous said...

imho, the fastest way to break yourself of the illusion that you have control over anything is to travel in a 3rd world country. nothing will happen in any way that remotely resembles the way that the "person in charge" has said it would and shortly you realize that you're the only one who had even the slightest expectation that it would. then you reach your aha moment and are one with the universe.


Friday, May 25, 2007 at 3:45:00 PM PDT

Anonymous Jurgen Nation said...

I love what you wrote and don't ever apologize for writing too much. It makes so much sense, and yet...

Well. It just proves your point. I agree with it completely. I'm just not happy with it and think that there must be another way.

Even in this situation it comes out. Why, dear God, why?!

Friday, May 25, 2007 at 4:48:00 PM PDT

Blogger Hunter Williams said...

Having just flown intercontinental in coach, I feel qualified to comment. The flight was bad enough. The armrests...I never get the damn armrests. And if the movie had been She-Devil or Stargate I would have freaked out and caused a bigger scene than snakes on a mofo plane.

Wait, what were we talking about? poodles? mmm...gravy

Friday, May 25, 2007 at 5:18:00 PM PDT

Blogger kari said...

brilliant, jege. completely brilliant. i am proud to be an honorary leingirl.

Friday, May 25, 2007 at 6:19:00 PM PDT

Blogger Jege (Jen) said...

Calvert: But does the "Aha" moment stick? How long does it last after you get back from the 3rd world country? Does it ever need "touching up"? Plus, I'm scared of 3rd world countries after your story about the toilets and lack of civilized feminine hygiene products.

Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 7:40:00 AM PDT

Blogger Floyd's Lists said...

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Floyd remembers when this site was all about making fun of Jesus and eating children. Such a shame.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 2:21:00 PM PDT

Blogger Jege (Jen) said...

Floyd, you're right. No wonder I'm so depressed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 5:56:00 AM PDT


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