Ever reach a point in your life when something you’ve been doing for some years, months, weeks or days, can no longer be done?
Back in 1994, I was working at a rental hall for over two years as a kitchen staff slash handyman. It was sometimes hard work with awkward hours on the weekends, a couple of weeknights and occasionally a minor holiday like Memorial Day. I hated it. There was nothing challenging about it that a simple teen couldn’t do. I felt it was beneath me. There was nowhere to go with it, no advancement, just regular torment by the owner’s daughter and the other female staff as myself and my brother were the only males. I was too meek to defend myself or fight back, I had been raised with two older sisters so I thought I had tough skin.
One day, I cycling the 1.5 mile route to work and I passed through the field that goes to my high school. I decided to take a detour through Rosie’s Park and ride the track a lap or two to get some excess energy out of the way. I found myself not wanting to go to the hall. I wanted to stay home and work on something else. I wanted something better. I could no longer stand being teased, treated like a retard, washing dishing dishes until my hands were raisins, or being the grunt to lift things because someone just had their fingernails painted.
I stopped at the bleachers of the school’s baseball diamond for a think to see if I just needed to calm down and suck it in. Two hours later, my dad pulled around in his pickup truck since the hall had called to ask if I was coming in. He wasn’t mad, but rather worried that I was just sitting up in the bleachers with my bike and not in an accident. We sat and talked for a few minutes while I explained I just couldn’t do it anymore. For once, he was rather understanding, loaded my bike in the back of the pickup, and took me home to order some Chinese carry-out from “The Wokery”.
Shortly after that, I had started a job at Toys R US working in the warehouse and receiving area. I thought I was be stocking toys, doing inventory, and helping customers but instead I worked for about 5 months as a grunt, unloading the trucks, retrieving large ticket items from the warehouse and loading them into people’s vehicles and causing my back all sorts of problems. Mindless. The only fun thing about the job is that I violated so many OSHA rules by standing on the very top of A-frame ladders, climbing the warehouse shelves like a monkey, jumping from shelf to shelf like a squirrel. It was like a giant jungle gym. Unfortunately, I grew tired of breaking my back, putting in 12+hour days, dealing with smokers in the employee lounge while I tried to do homework. Then, one day, I simply couldn’t walk into the store. I just drove to an arcade I frequented and played a couple hours of “Killer Instinct” and various other games. The next day, I went to the store and said I’d be no longer coming in.
I’ve had several other jobs since then that have brought me various levels of joy, frustration, misery, education and pay but I don’t think I was ever really “happy” doing them. CompUSA, IDSI, ESI, Volkswagen, Noma…they all left me feeling like there was something else I’d really rather be doing.
I’ve spent the past several years learning various Windows systems, Groupwise, Netware, Exchange, Backup Software, Anti-virus and other office applications but now I’m finding myself at a point where I just don’t care anymore. I don’t see a point to it.
I thought it was just the environment I did not enjoy. I thought it was the people. I’m starting to realize it was the subject material itself that brought me pain, sleepless nights, anxiety, and misery.
I’m tired of supporting these complex systems of software that only seem to conflict with each other, make themselves targets for malicious programs like viruses and spyware, no ROI, and have design flaws that make me wonder if this stuff was meant to be broken all the time as job security. It’s quite frustrating working until midnight cleaning all the systems in the ENTIRE company of some new version of a virus when you had just done the same thing not a week earlier.
I no longer wish to be a “System-Supporter”.
I wish to be a “Content-Creator”.
I want to make content. I want to make functioning systems of my own design, cartoons, animation, web-pages, comics and games. If I have to work in a business environment, then it will be in an environment that caters to my needs professionally and personally. I no longer wish to sacrifice personal health, relationships, personal time, holidays, birthdays and weekends for “the good of the company”.
Money alone is no longer worth my well being.
What do I plan on doing? I’ll explain in a later post as I start to realize it myself.