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Job. Yuck. Have been utterly unable to summon up the energy to do any work, although this is a busy time, what with us having been off of Christmas and suchlike. I can't tell whether I'm depressed or realistic (which feeling is often a feature of my depression, but not necessarily so. It doesn't do to be too optimistic.) Nevertheless, I fear that I won't be in this job for much longer. Just before Christmas I had the 'Talk I've Had With Every Boss I've Had' with my boss, in which she pointed out that I wasn't really working very hard, and I agreed that I must try harder. Practical upshot: my probationary period has been extended rather than ended, (again, something that has happened both of my previous permanent jobs) and I have been warned that I should work harder. Which, it almost goes without saying, I haven't been. I did for a bit, but I just find it all too boring and frustrating to concentrate on. Again, this is part of the pattern of all my jobs, with only the proportion of boredom to frustration altering.

Thing is, I know this a pretty crap job, but it's probably the best I've had, in that it's mostly easy, near to home, and pays enough for my purposes. However, this isn't, and has never been, sufficient motivation. Self-interest and logic won't cut it, and I've never been cursed with ambition or a work ethic, so I really don't know how to make myself give enough of a shit to do enough to stay on. Unfortunately, I find this sort of analysis depressing, smothering me in a nihilistic mind-set and making it less likely that I'll do anything about it. It feels like I'm getting perilously close to a point at which anyone examining my CV will start to worry about that fact that I've never had any job for more than a year; like I'll soon be in a position where the only companies willing to hire me will be offering exactly the sort of unfussy, low-pay, high-turnover jobs that will hasten this effect.

So, what should I do? "Snap the fuck out of it" is my initial response, but that doesn't seem to be an option. About the only things I can muster any kind of sustained effort for are reading and playing computer games. I've got no evidence that I am capable of keeping a job, really, but does this mean that I should accept this situation and resign myself to the fate of an itinerant IT skivvy (which isn't so bad, to be sure) or try to, I dunno, do this job properly, or find one I'd actually like doing the work bits of? What I suspect I'll actually end up doing is enjoying the enjoyable bits of this job while I last and postpone the inevitable until I'm axed, then stay in bed for a couple of months until my money runs out (by which I mean my over-draft maxes out, of course), then desperately borrow money off people to support a desperate search for any job going until the cycle begins again. At least this job has enabled me to pay off most of the debts (to friends) I accumulated last time this happened, and I'm able (if not desperately enthusiastic) to pay off the rest.

I'm normally firmly committed to the path of least resistance, but in this case, I wonder whether I should be...

Current Site: Seethru. Yes, it's a website to promote/interface with a dot-com soap-opera which, by all accounts, is a bit crap (see www.everyonehatesattachments.com), and as such none of the 'real' bits are at all trustworthy. It's still fun though. The e-cards, some of the rants, and the ticklists particularly recommended for others whiling away bleak hours at work (for those trying to do so without net access, may I extend my most heart-felt sympathy.)


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2002 09:20 am (UTC)
What you should do? Get a job as a computer games tester is my suggestion. Or possibly try and scare up work as a publisher's reader:-)
Jan. 4th, 2002 03:08 am (UTC)
jeremy hates work too
Nyah. The thing is, fun slack jobs are either given to friends/relatives (and we know no-one right now) or pay shit, which won't keep you in minidisc players.

I get this too, and suspect that you, like me, labour under the impression that you work less than you actually do and your bosses are actually are picking up on your increasing guilt as you feel your burden of slack increasing. That's just the sort of soft "people" skills a boss has, you know. As for this "I'm not sure if I can" bollocks, yes you can, mate. Grim, I know, but true -- frequently I wish I could do nothing but art, but it ain't so.

But what tricks I've got for getting around the lack of interest I'll pass on to you

How I can make myself work despite (well you know):
1. The tasklist. I make up a list of everything I need to do, a couple of things I want to do, a couple of "extra credit" things in wordpad, and have it open on my desktop at all times. Whenever I glump, I go to the list. Whenever I finish anything, I cross it out using strikethrough, which is very slightly satisfying. End of every week I clear out the struckthrough tasks downwards marking them "completed 10/1/2002" or whatever. As well as reminding yourself that damnit, you have done stuff, it provides a handy reminder for reports, waving at bosses etc. Save the files, start a new one every quarter/6 month/year, whatever.
2. (Inadvisable because it requires getting a different job) Work for people you care about. Comes with its own problems. No IT jobs going at Oxfam right now but there often are. You've probably got the right attitude for IT support. ;P
3. Do something for yourself, but ration it, and force yourself through an hour of work before permitting it. Lots of people do this, you've probably seen them at work. They often have chocolate bars on their desks which they eat, one square at a time throughout the day. Me, I rake my miniature zen garden right now. And Live Journal, of course.
4. Compare your work and attitude levels to that of your workmates. It's important to start by looking at all of them and look at your own last of all or you'll think everyone's doing better than you.
5. Calculate how much you're earning per hour. When you've completed a task remind yourself of its worth in CDs, bottles of wine, noodles, cinema tickets, whatever. Good for temping.

Stupid head tricks. It gets me through the day. Except when it doesn't of course. And then it's time to sleep for a month, get a temping job and go job-hunting again. But through sleepign for a month is fun, temping sucks, and job-hunting really, really sucks, and you're still recovering financially a year later. You're job's OK, isn't it? Make the effort. Keep it for a year, and then see.
Jan. 4th, 2002 10:56 am (UTC)
Jenni actually likes work -- usually
Yes, I know it's an unfashionable viewpoint, but I actually quite like work. I still reckon that Jeremy's list of tactics above is sensible in any workplace (even the nicest place is boring for some largeish percentage of time).

Point 4 is especially good -- it's easy to guilt yourself into things, but actually, if you're getting as much work done as the next person, that sounds pretty good to me. (Assuming the next person is not actually dead or permanently asleep.)

Point 3 is always useful to remember. I use it to get me through the housework, too.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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