Hate Your Job?

This morning I woke up with a sore throat, a headache, and a weird, slight phlegm rattle when I take deep breaths. Obviously the change in weather (finally) has brought other changes with it. I took a sick day today. Since not everybody understands that there is an important protocol that you must establish and follow in the event that you take a sick day from school, work, or regular life in general, let me help you out: there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Thus, then, you are joining my morning in progress.

I brought something like eighty sick days with me when I transferred classrooms. I didn’t even know something like that was possible, but in more than ten years in education, I am still not fond of taking a sick day, as it invariably creates more work in a field where the last thing needed is something more to do. Regardless, here I am, typing away, hair super-trendily unkempt, clad in an old white t-shirt and blue basketball shorts. It is unlikely I will shower for many hours. I’ve taken the first of many Alka-Seltzer daytime remedies. It goes down like hot, grainy lemonade. My classroom is the last thing on my mind.

Next to me on this desk is a DIY CompTIA A+ Certification book, a package of lemon Oreos, and an Xbox One. My mind has been wandering all morning, and now that I have opened my eleventh tab in Firefox, it’s time to write something.

Dear friends and readers, I hate my job.

This is nothing new. I have hated many jobs over the years, for a variety of reasons. “Hate” is an interesting word, and perhaps it is inaccurate. None of us probably want to work, but at some point, we find it necessary to subscribe to lifestyles, and that usually costs something, depending on the categories involved. When I got all noble-like and decided I wanted to “make a difference” by entering the education industry, one of the categories that comes with it is, has been, and (most likely) will always be: lack of pay. I knew it going in, so I’m not going to go on and on about it. Until this year, I have had extra jobs to supplement my pay. It’s not a big deal.

Let’s agree that “hate” is kind of a ridiculous term. I experience personal mental and emotional discomfort in my current position. My discomfort stems from a very real and long-running knowledge that I want to do something else. So I am.

I want to share a couple of obvious things with you, and maybe some of it will resonate. Maybe we can all be together on this one. Most of us are not doing what we want to be doing.

“You’re not your fucking khakis,” says Tyler Durden, psychic and physical manifestation of the Narrator’s real wants and desires. Fight Club is Palahniuk’s best work for a reason. Don’t take Tyler’s word for it, though. Especially if you don’t wear khakis. I Googled “change jobs every ten years” and had some interesting hits. I vaguely remember some statistic from when I was in high school or just entering college.

“You Are Not Your Job” by Alyson Madrigan is an interesting article about the author’s failed startup, which she details. Alyson had a fantastic idea that didn’t work out, and she put her all into it. Read about it Joyo and life after Joyo here. Ray Williams’ “You Are Not Your Job” for Psychology Today (posted May 2009) extends the theme, but there is one line early in the article that drops like an 808: “When your job defines you, your world becomes very narrow.” If you need confirmation of what you already suspect, head here.

“Breathe” by Telepopmusik just switched to “Hey Now” by Odesza on Pandora’s Chill Out radio station. I don’t need any more open tabs. Here is my declaration of purpose: I am returning to Imagination Land. I am sorry I ever left it. I am hoping to see some of you out there, in whatever form you wish to take. It’s going to take a while to Create, but that is all I want to do. I think we can do it together.


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