Today I am Going to Fly

Some men are born posthumously. ~Nietzsche

Sleepless Meditations on Work and Friends

Posted by penuruloki on July 27, 2008

After going to bed exhausted all week because I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep, I finally got a day off (Saturday) got a good night’s sleep (though I didn’t “sleep in”) and now, I can’t sleep. =(

Confidence in building toward something or not, the desire not to go in, or quit outright grows daily. It’s spreading too. Andy took the next two days off, and is making more noises about wanting to leave too. He claims boredom mostly (and he comes home in a foul mood most frequently when posted to Pod Control). My desires are rooted in something less direct.

When I left before, one of my motivators for going back to school was a distinct feeling of isolation. The people I worked with did not have the same interests, or the same mentality that I did, or that my friends did. The best jobs I had were defined not by the job I did, but by the people I worked with. The people I worked with were _friends_. The people at PCF are not my friends. I don’t just mean the inmates, I mean the staff. Even though I have good friends that work there, I don’t work with them, and I couldn’t say for sure that they are my friends while in that environment.

To some degree, I’m not sure I feel like the friendship extends to that sphere. I’ve been at social functions hosted by Pete, with other people from the facility (his friends) there, and felt distinctly uncomfortable. The expression of his personality with that crowd was too foreign and uncomfortable to feel like I had any friends there, including Pete. That isn’t to say that the Pete there isn’t Pete, it just isn’t the same expression of Pete that I became friends with. Frequently, our gatherings are set up with mutual friends, whether the link was made initially through him (Jesse O, James L, Katie, Tim, to some degree Ben) or through me (Andy, Sam, Erik, Rachael, Jenn, James B.). Being close to the “link point” (i.e. being closely linked to a majority of the group) generally means that the mood and activity suits me well, and I feel comfortable. Having hung out with people from work who were distinctly _not_ my friends (though not disliked by any means), the experience leaves the impression that it is to be endured rather than enjoyed. I skipped a bonfire in April after the CD7 Convention, partly out of this feeling (not expressed at the time) and now another one comes up on Aug 2nd. I want to go to be with a good friend, but not sure I would even get to be with the person I am friends with, even if I go.

In a more professional sense, enduring people we don’t like is part of having a job, or is it? We make such sacrifices to further a career, support the family, or pay the bills; but what if you didn’t need to work the job to pay the bills, and didn’t have a family or a career? For that matter, with no family and limited material aspirations, do you even need a career?

When we are young, we’re told to pick a career we enjoy, so that we will be happy with our jobs. The focus is placed on the activity. Yet it seems like everyone’s biggest complaint at their job is the people they work with. Why shouldn’t we prioritize organizing our lives around career flexibility, the ability and financial freedom to change careers or jobs to find the most pleasant environment, rather than limiting our options based on chosen task? I’ve very deliberately tried to limit my liabilities to keep my options open, but never really for _career_ flexibility. I was more focused on having options about where, and how, I would live my life, but maybe that view needs to be expanded.

Ultimately, most of this is simply venting and trying to justify a strong urge to quit. Mixed in is a sense of resistance against looking for a job “in my field,” just because I will (soon) have a college degree. The urge is to downgrade to something that simply demands less of me, while conventional wisdom (and most advisers) say to look for something that demands (and rewards) more.

If I have any level of foresight left, I think my days at PCF are numbered, and this time I won’t be going back. I knew when I left that there would be only one opportunity to return, and that once used would be spent forever. The same sentiment might be true for Morris. Having stayed this long and been led only back to PCF, it might be time to plan my exit. As usual, I will let the omens guide me, but this is what I am sensing at the moment. Comments from friends are always welcome, so feel free to give advice.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: