Every morning, around 9:00 a.m., my coworkers and I all travel to the water cooler to get some high quality H2O. It is a ritual that I look forward to every morning. It’s a reason to get up and move around and hydrate. It just feels right. To start the ritual, one of the three of us will initiate the walk down three hallways.
Sometimes we shoot the shit with our budget person, who always has tales of her kids or some crazy story. Other times, we talk amongst ourselves about how much we don’t really want to be there. On this particular day, we talked about that feeling when you wake up and you think it’s actually a day later, only to realize no, it’s not Wednesday, it’s Tuesday.
I work to live. Mathematically, unless there is a holiday or PTO, for every five days I work, I get two days of reprieve. That’s 2/7 fun for 5/7 work. Sure, there are PTO days (which are predominately used for bachelor parties, weddings or end of the season trips to Myrtle Beach) and random days off for holidays, but largely, we all work more than we don’t work.
This is fine I guess. I’ve never really stopped working. From age 14-24, my ass was caddying for people that make more money that I ever will, cleaning clubs, learning golf, etc. To be honest, I’m glad my parents made me get a job; it showed me how much it sucks working a shit job and inspired me to study hard. Many of the people that worked at the country clubs with me used caddying and working the bag room as their real job. As I got older, people assumed I was one of those, and they were pleasantly surprised (and often tipped better) knowing I was working to pay rent for grad school.
I had many jobs in between, paid and unpaid, good and bad. It’s all part of the experience and I took everything in stride. After securing my first job, I showed up wide eyed and bushy tailed only to realize that the only problems I would be solving that day is teaching Rob, my geriatric ex-work nemesis, how to put confidence intervals into graphs and that not every graph needs to be in 3-D.
Like everything else in life, getting a job was completely blown out of proportion. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. The crush to find a job to pay off loans that you took out to get a job is satirical in nature, and many times, I wish I went to welding school or became a mechanic. I fully enjoyed my education, learned a lot and acquired a set of skills, but the monthly pound of flesh to the loan office keeps me up at night. I was fortunate enough to get a graduate assistantship. I can’t even imagine what it’d be like if I hadn’t.
In the end, it’s really about keeping your feet moving. Some weeks drag by and there aren’t enough hours in the day. The weekend is utilized completely for recovering, running errands or having to get your car inspected. I don’t even feel safe on Saturday knowing the Sunday Scaries await me. Basically anxiety from anxiety.
Between everything giving you cancer, or making you fat, globalization, poverty, and all sorts of other shit going on, it’s really tough to find a place in this world to carve out. Even though I enjoy my job, it’s hard to not feel like life is compartmentalized into the weekends. Lately, I’ve been trying to find something different every day that makes it worth getting up in the morning. Maybe it’s helping out a friend in need, making a really great joke or just holding the door for the elderly couple when others don’t give them the time of day, my search for meaning in life is crucial to keeping sane.
Someday, maybe when we’re in our 80’s, we’ll be able to retire. Social Security will be long gone and we’ll probably all be on scooters, but think of how sweet it will be listening to Snoop Dogg in the nursing home. Maybe they’ll have virtual reality sorted out. Right now, all I’m thinking about is hoping we elect Shibby for President so we can have mandatory half days on Friday..
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