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Oh.

So, my resolution to post every day has failed. I guess that the true test of character will be how I respond to this fact. I'll just have to wait and see... I blame the fact that I've been training someone this week, which really cramps my style, as when I'm not taking calls I have to be giving him advice or some shit, rather than craftily surfing or staring into space composing my thoughts. Also, the new guy has bad breath. He's a smoker, but it's not that. Eventually I realised that it's the smell of Scalextric: a combination of hot electrics, plastic and methylated spirits used as track cleaner. I wonder if he's a robot? Though if he was, I'd expect his spelling to be better... 'Known' spelt 'none'? Ack.

This is the second person I've had to train and I've only been here four weeks. I'm beginning to feel less flattered that they said "Yes" to me within half an hour of the interview, as they're clearly desperate. The job itself is the same old, same old: I'm a temp logging tech support calls and passing them to people who can actually fix them. I guess it's better than most (certainly more to learn than my previous couple), but not good enough to stop this week turning into another slide into depression. I want to stop feeling like I've reached my level, that I've fucked up a promising start and am now going to be doing jobs like this for the rest of my life. I now realise that I recognise that feeling from university, and I don't want it to become a recurring theme. Most of my co-workers have been younger than me in the last couple of jobs. I don't want to feel like they're on the way up past me, that this is their stepping stone to something better but as good as I'm going to get. I want a job with a desk and (more importantly) a PC of my own. I want to be able to take paid sick days.

Fuck, self-pity sucks. Especially my own. Still, mix in some self-contempt and you've got anger, and that's more... practical. It can keep you warm, and make you do things. Even change, maybe. I keep seeing myself kneeling in a parking lot with a man pointing a gun at my head. It's straight out of Fight Club, though I feel as if I've felt like this when I'm low since long before then, it's just that Fight Club supplied me with a concrete image to contextualise and clarify it. Then again, there are naggingly familiar recurring dreams that I've only had once, so maybe this feeling is like one of those. I just hope that the guy with the gun is also me. Though Brad Pitt would be pretty cool, I guess. I find it helps to ask myself What Would Tyler Durden Do? I don't ever do it, but it broadens my mind, makes me realise that I have options that I never normally consider. I loved that film.

I'm rambling now. Every other post like this that I've written has been deleted before posting, but perhaps my need to get back on track with my daily posting will encourage me to let this one live. And perhaps that's a good thing. I guess my day's been brightened by the idea that the new guy might be a robot, which I hadn't had until I started writing this. Maybe LJ is what I need after all.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
cleanskies
Oct. 3rd, 2003 08:34 am (UTC)
ketones
You're smelling ketones on his breath. He should go see a dentist pronto before the gum disease gets drastic.

tinyjo
Oct. 3rd, 2003 09:19 am (UTC)
One of the reasons that I'm doing better on Weightwatchers than I do dieting on my own is that instead of one big long-term possibly nebulous goal, I've got a whole session of short term ones. I want to lose another couple of pounds this week. There's a defined time soon when that'll be checked back on by others (the people at my meeting) and so it's easier for me to focus on than thinking "I want to be thinner by Christmas". Your strategies to improve your willpower seem a little like this to me. The strategy when you fail to meet one of your short term WW goals is to look back over your week and say "What went wrong?". Why didn't I manage it this week. Consider strategies for avoiding or working round the problems you identify. And then put it behind you. It's not last weeks goal that matters, it's this weeks. Perhaps you'll set your expectations a little lower (lose 1 pound rather than expecting to lose 3 every week). Your new strategies can help you work towards your goal next week and that's what you focus on, not the fact that this week didn't work out.

I'm going to resist the temptation to offer my advice about work & depression for the moment (gasp! What a model of restraint I am) and restrict myself to saying flippantly "At least here you get late shifts :)"

See you later.
(Deleted comment)
oxfordhacker
Oct. 7th, 2003 09:49 am (UTC)
Re: look, jude law is commenting in your journal.
You are now. How could I resist your frank admiration of my writing, especially when coupled with the slightly spooky charm of Jude Law?

Not that I'm gay or anything...
coalescent
Oct. 3rd, 2003 10:18 am (UTC)
This is the second person I've had to train and I've only been here four weeks.

I've got to train someone next week because they're hiring him to do the job they hired me to do originally. As they have told me, in so many words, yet without giving me a pay rise or even a title bump. If I were the paranoid sort, I'd be a little paranoid now. ;-)
mr_snips
Oct. 3rd, 2003 11:03 am (UTC)
That this is their stepping stone to something better but as good as I'm going to get...
But what would be better?


I think this is a serious question. What do you want to do?


Do you want to do as little work as possible, while being reasonably paid, and spend the rest of your time having fun?

Do you want to support yourself with a not very good job while you become a famous DJ, pestered by underwear throwing teenage girls wherever you go?

Do you want to join Oxfam and spend your life trying to save people?

Do you want to be so rich and powerful that head waiters fall at your feet in an ecstasy of worship?

Do you want a job that you find interesting to work at, even if it means you can't spend time browsing the web and have to do overtime?

Do you want to have a "solid job" with a "stable career path" so you can bring up a family?


What do you want to do (for the rest of your life. Or at least for a while)?


What Would Alex Williams Do?

oxfordhacker
Oct. 7th, 2003 07:03 am (UTC)
Re: That this is their stepping stone to something better but as good as I'm going to get...
But what would be better?
I think this is a serious question. What do you want to do?

See below...

Do you want to do as little work as possible, while being reasonably paid, and spend the rest of your time having fun?

Yes.

Do you want to support yourself with a not very good job while you become a famous DJ, pestered by underwear throwing teenage girls wherever you go?

That'd be nice (assuming that it's underwear thrown in admiration, not anger). However, in the absence of a (competent) manager/agent and/or a hitherto unsuspected vein of arsedness, it's not going to happen. Actually, thinking about it, I'm not convinced that I'd ever want to make a career of it anyway (though I'd give it a go.) A semi-regular gig in Oxford that makes me a bit of CD money would suit me just fine, I reckon.

Do you want to join Oxfam and spend your life trying to save people?

Nah. As I'm sure we've discussed, if I worked for Oxfam, then every time I slacked off I would be killing third world babies. That would take some of the fun out of LiveJournal, I fear.

Do you want to be so rich and powerful that head waiters fall at your feet in an ecstasy of worship?

Hell, no. Anyone worshipping me deserves everything they get.

Do you want a job that you find interesting to work at, even if it means you can't spend time browsing the web and have to do overtime?

Hypothetically, yes. However, I don't really know what one of those would look like, and have a well-founded suspicion that this is, in fact, purely hypothetical. I try not to be too close-minded, but I'm not holding out much hope.

Do you want to have a "solid job" with a "stable career path" so you can bring up a family?

Not especially. A job solid enough that I don't end up having to borrow money from my existing family will do, and I'm not too far away from that, at least.

What do you want to do (for the rest of your life. Or at least for a while)?

Live a live of idle luxury. Failing that, live a life of a jobbing in-house IT guy, doing odds and sods of everything (to stop me from getting bored) in a mostly reactive way (to stop me from having to plan). Ironically, my first proper job was doing just this, and I liked it and was good at it. I wish I had realised earlier how well it had suited me.

What Would Alex Williams Do?

Whine in LiveJournal.

Though, to be fair, I guess that got me some supportive and thought-provoking comments, so that wasn't such a bad idea...
(Anonymous)
Oct. 5th, 2003 02:04 pm (UTC)
resolve
It is alleged that Freud said "Depression is anger turned inwards; humour is anger turned sideways." And a century of good Jewish comedians have supported this hypothesis...

Self-pity does suck. Ditto self-contempt. But anger, as you say, is good - and indeed can be productive, especially when it goes outwards at its proper targets, rather than inwards, where it rarely belongs.

You are doing better than you might think. Acknowledging that you are where you are is EXCELLENT even if you don't like being there. You can't change without being realistic about your present position, and I mean realistic, not moping through another avoidance racket.

Mr. Snips has asked a lot of the right questions. Can you answer them? yes. Can you change your answers over time? Yes. You have reached, what, 24-ish? Are you going to change (willy-nilly) over the next 50 years? Yes. You have daily opportunities to experiment, to enact solutions, to re-enact them if they continue to work, to do things 'better' or differently or more efficiently or whatever your goals for the day might be. This mind-set about "the rest of your life" is a highly-ditchworthy concept, for a start: nothing you *plan* can assuredly be for "the rest of your life" (doom-laden futures included), it's all a matter of hope, faith, and daily details.

We all fuck up promising starts - every day, in fact. Fortunately there are new promising starts every day, too. The world is chock-full of redundancies, fall-backs, alternative routes in case Plan A doesn't work out, and often what we think Plan A should have been turns out to be Deeply Awful and A Good Thing To Have Avoided.

You make a lot of people happy; a lot of people are glad you're alive; and the work thing is very conquerable. Have a good week. Keep posting.
oxfordhacker
Oct. 7th, 2003 09:43 am (UTC)
Re: resolve
It is alleged that Freud said "Depression is anger turned inwards; humour is anger turned sideways."

That's an interesting line, correctly attributed or not. I had wondered where my anger is most of the time. This equation suggests the answer...

the work thing is very conquerable.

I know this to be true. Normally when I think about it I realise that I know whereabouts I want to live, and I'm there; who I want to be going out with, and I am; I have friends whose company brings me great pleasure, things that I enjoy doing, and am coming closer, I hope, to understanding what it is that I need to do also.
Given how lucky I have been to sort out these essentials, finding a decent job is trivial if you're not being too idealistic. Hell, there are people whose job it is to help you do that very thing!
Perspective: Guaranteed to ruin a good whinge.

Thank you for your comment.
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