I was talking to someone about their addictive behavior when I took a look at myself. I write thousands of words daily. Perhaps too many? I keep it in check well enough, I suppose. I try not to overextend my efforts in writing, but the reason why I push myself as hard as I do is because, frankly, I hate my job and my living situation. They are my least-worst conditions, though, so it’s acceptable.
I work as hard as I do to make my escape.
If I were to be fired now, I would be OK for more than a few months, but those few months would be a grueling exercise in downsizing. I would take that time to clear out as much as I could do I could adapt myself to cheaper living environments here or abroad, since I do the work that I do to afford the space that I have to store the stuff that I have, so if I break free from that cycle, then I can focus more time on writing.
I’m trying to do more than just write though.
I’ve already come up with enough of a good writing discipline to where I can go with a sort of Han Solo “type first, think later” approach to writing. These essays won’t directly help me in any financial sense, although purging all my thoughts into essay form does make it easier for me to clear out insecurities, so there is some pragmatic purpose to writing at the pace that I am, and balancing myself between burning out and not for as long as I have.
Let me take you to the nexus point.
I was sitting on a recliner, trepidatious about going into work, when this essay’s title and thoughts came to mind. I’m not addicted to my avocational work – writing – because I write out of an urgency to escape my vocational work. I’m happy to still have a job. COVID-19 has ensured that corporate loyalty will remain for those few who remain employed, I suppose, but the last time I enjoyed working was probably when I worked at the hospital that inspired Eville Medical, the setting for my first novel.
Everything after that first year has been miserable.
I work in this career path because there is no better path for me to take to get the time I need to write as much as I need to in order to escape this career path. If I were to study programming, then I would need to dedicate large sections of my brain to aspects of programming from coding to troubleshooting, and I don’t have the mental focus for writing and working. Other fields might give me more free time, possibly even letting me dip my toes into the writing waters while on the clock, but their pay might be less, so I need to factor my monthly rent requirements into my salary requirements.
Let’s say I could get by with cheap rent and cheap living expenses.
I would immediately do what I could to squirrel away as much as I could so I could continue sustaining that lifestyle. Let’s put it less abstractly. Let’s say half of my paycheck goes to rent. If I cut my rent expenses down, I can take a reduced paycheck with an easier, less stressful job, and not dread going into work as often. That dread will probably still be there for as long as I have to deal directly with bosses other than myself, so even if I could dull that dread enough to sustain myself, that would be great.
That’s why I work as hard as I do.
My motivations are rooted in the absolute loathing of micromanagement, meetings, and meandering through work rather than just striking directly at the heart of work and coming out victorious. That corporations need as much red tape as we do represents a sort of bloat that I hate. I don’t like seeing inefficiencies, generally. In wording, choosing inefficient words can help convey certain meanings, so that’s fine. But the sort of mindset that forces excessive paper-pushing work just demotivates me completely.
My job forces me to document every detail.
That’s fine, except no one is clear on how much detail is needed, barely anyone reads the details to a sufficient degree, and the details change constantly. This sort of corporate moving target is not a lifestyle I like, because it’s not like it’s all progress, some of it is regressive and most of it is not well documented, which is the opposite of how I operate and think. I can build up massive databases of ideas in my mind for story ideas and write them in a linear manner. That makes sense to me, but this sort of corporate chaos does not.
I am also annoyed by corporate pedantry.
No matter where I go, it’s there. I only didn’t mind it in my first year, or so, of employment because I didn’t realize how impairing it was to actually doing anything. You have to find shortcuts because your metrics are counted against weird standards that don’t apply, and if you do them too obviously, then you fall victim to performance improvement plans because surely you’re the one at fault.
It’s all demotivating and I’m not interested in doing it long-term.
I do, however, need the money to pay for this apartment-mansion with all this stuff. This has been a weird, roundabout way of saying that if I had made different life choices, of not wanting to engage with as many physical objects, I might not be in the spot I am now, where I have to do this work I don’t quite hate, but leaves me feeling angry at times, sitting at home, wishing I’d made better decisions so that I could do less stressful jobs right now.
Still, there are benefits to this job; learning to deal with people addicted to their stressful has some uses, I suppose.
|Sources: My professional and personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: It’s funny. I like my job more than I hate it, but the hatred really seeps through, and so I explored that hatred and just found out it’s because of the sort of corporate bureaucracy which is the same everywhere and hard to avoid. I was also talking with some coworkers about working from home, where I wrote “I think businesses were forced to realize that having everyone in the office is just a matter of insecurity and lacking trust in your employees.” It would be nice not needing to take propranolol to continue working somewhere, too… Also, the original title was “Addicted To Work,” which is a fairly generic title, but I only caught that after the slug/URL went with a -2, so I had to rename it.|
|Related: Other Sober Living, and by the end, I suppose, other Downsizing Zeal, essays.|
|Picture: Just the picture.|
|Written On: 2020 April 10 [From 4:21am to “keep it in check well enough, I suppose” at 4:22am. From 4:29am to “Let me take you” at 4:38am. From 5:02am to “and the details change constantly” at 5:16am. From 6:16am to 6:26am. Gdocs.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 April 10 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|