Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Collecting A Paycheque

I'm kind of depressed today folks. Usually an air of annoyance surrounds me in the office, but today its full out depression.

The root causes of my depression are two fold.

First, there was a certain gentleman that I share a bed with, that was still in bed when I left. He was supposed to go to work but he didn't. And this initially enraged me but now it depresses me. Sure, his department was disbanded and he's kind of in limbo until he gets reassigned. But generally, he has a good salary, job satisfaction and the ability to just not go to work.

I have none of those things. I'm 25. This depresses me.

The other cause of my depression has to do with my reading material of late. I have got to stop reading non-fiction accounts of people that found their passion and managed to get out of dead end cubicle jobs. Initially it was uplifting, now it just makes me want to jump off a bridge.

Remember that whole Julie & Julia fiasco when I cried instead of feeling uplifted and hopeful? (I tried to find you lovelies the link but...blogger is being a beyotch this morning)

Well if you will direct your attention to the right of the screen you will see a section entitled "Books on the Bus", right below my pathetic attempt at getting you to follow me on twitter and find the lastest culprit to elicit such a heartbreaking response from yours truly. "Books on the Bus" are the books that I'm reading right now- generally they get read on the bus, but sometimes I'm so hooked that I need to read them all the time- like what happened with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo last week. Oh man that book was good. I literally woke up early on Saturday morning to finish that sucker.

(The Boyfriend did surprise me with its sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire --I hope that means pyros...damn now I feel more bad about being so loud this morning while he was sleeping...)

Right...books. So I'm reading The One-Week Job Project by Sean Aiken. Basically this guy is 25, finished school and now has no idea what it is that he wants to do for work. So he comes up with this idea to test drive jobs for one week at a time for a whole year and see if that doesn't shed some light on his dilemma. Along the way he talks to people he's working with and for to see how they ended up doing that job and why they like it.

Here's the section that I read this morning that almost made me cry on the bus:

"Don't sell out, don't find a job that's a means to an end because its a paycheque for you [...] Find something in your heart that you want to do [...] it's about satisfaction and enjoying life. It's not about stressing on a Sunday night because you have to get up for something you don't want to do on Monday morning"

This from a guy that is spending his life trying to raise money to cure cancer.

What do I do? Sometimes I take one sheet of paper and add 3 to it. Sometimes there is just a series of mouse clicking and typing. No human interaction. No saving the human race. Not even saving the environment.

Just collecting a paycheque.


Sean also points out that a huge part of job satisfaction is the people you work with. I don't even have that. Those of you that have been checking in for a while know that I have an ineffective "boss", a stony-faced beyotch manager and a backstabby, fake supervisor. And let's not even get started on the collection of chimps that they have hired to 'work' here.

To sum up, I don't like my job, I don't get paid well, and I (mostly) don't like the people I work with.

It gets worse. I'm about to add a mortgage to the mix.

No, no, that part I'm really excited about. I just wish that people would list their apartments already so that we can view it, love it, buy it and I can work at Chapters until I find my heart's desire.

In the meantime I guess I will continue to read about other people that have done just that. Because I'm a sucker for punishment.


  1. I TOTALLY understand. I have 11 years of post secondary education and specialization behind me and I am STILL not in my dream job. Never have been. I too am collecting a paycheque for mind-numbing work. And this leads to my restlessness and general apathy to life. I guess we need some stimulating hobbies or something.

    In other news, GOD DAMN wasn't The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo awesome?! Have you seen the trailers for the movie? Also, the next book looks daunting but I am sure is just as good. I am about halfway thru Bitter is the New Black and am LOVING it. Thanks for the rec on that one!

    Just keep slogging. We can do it together!

  2. Oh girl i know exactly what your taling about!! As I write this I'm blaring music in my ears because my job is listening to the yankee game on the radio & watching it on tv in the conference room. I hate my job too & it is basically a paycheck. I'm waiting for the better job to come like all those people in those books but alas I'm kinda stuck. Your not the only one. My last bf was unemployed for 2 out of the 3 years we dated and it drove me nuts that he could just play while I suffered.

    I really need to read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've heard about it but everything is great about it! Thanks for the motivation to read it!!! =)

  3. Yesterday I informed you about Dildo today....Comebychance...yep real town.April 13, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    The funny thing about all this is that they did an article about that Aiken guy in the Metro today and I was on the skytrain yesterday and someone was reading that Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

    You should just start playing games at work with your coworkers (only they won't be aware). Stuff like spend a week where you only talk in questions or pretend you're the dhali lama one week and talk in riddles and quotes. At the very least it should entertain you :)

  4. Hey there, this is Ian (Sean's friend and filmmaker). Sounds like you're in a tough spot... one I'm sure many people are facing at the moment.

    In some ways, sounds like you need encouragement to take a leap and find another job... but likely you haven't because you're not sure where you'll land.

    Instead, I'd like to offer some other advice: start looking inward. Meditate. Reflect on everything in your life. What serves you, what doesn't. Keep doing it and the right path will materialize before you...in fact, it will become obvious.

    Here's an article I wrote a while back that may explain more


  5. I have to tell myself (daily) that our lives are marathons not sprints, because I want my life to change dramatically all the time and it never does. Then I'm sad and pissed off. Think of it this way, buying a house is a step in the direction of being happier, and after you purchase you can take your next step. (I know, probably sounds just like one of the books you read - sorry.)

  6. Don't get depressed. You will find your dream job. And if you don't, create it. Easier said than done as I am still searching (many many years) for what I should do when I grow up. For a few days, put down all those self-help books and read something juicy. I am just finishing "French Trysts" about a Parisian courtesan. Trashy but mindless. Maybe what the Career Counselor ordered.

  7. Thanks for all the feedback guys!

    Ian, I can't tell you what a thrill it was to have you comment on my blog after reading about you all morning.

    Carmie- your advice is sound. But I should point out that they are not self-help book (oh the negative connotations), more memoirs. Of people like me that work in cubicles and managed to work miracles and get out. Or test drive jobs. Which really, is a brilliant idea.

  8. I'm generally a person who thinks of what I'd like to say to someone I don't know, but who never actually says it (shyness I guess..and I think 'MY story' isn't ever interesting enough). I'm a friend of Sean's (through my bf) and a fan of The One Week Job Project on facebook ...where a link to your blog was posted...which led me here :) I couldn't help but bring my thoughts to my keyboard this time though upon reading your oh-so-familiar pain-full words (and from what I've read you seem to have a witty way with them, which I always love!).

    I'm 35 and until 15 1/2 months ago, I miserably worked in a cubical for 15 years for the tax dept in BC (does it GET any worse than that?! I hope not). I'm a creative type and didn't really know what I wanted to do all these years (except that I wanted a secure income), nor did I have the confidence to believe I could make it by doing something creative or that I loved.

    I started taking night courses in Interior Design a few years back and then finally, at my most miserable point ever at work, quit my job in Jan '09 to finish school full time with my lifetime savings (not much, but enough). I was finally at a point where given the choice of my job or possibly debt once my savings was gone, I chose debt.

    Design school inspired, yet turned me off a bit with it's all encompassing workload and stressful time lines however, I proceeded to try to find work in that industry once school ended last summer. Nothing interesting that I was qualified for (or that felt right) appeared and after an unsuccessful interview for a semi-design related job that I didn't really want I felt hopeless, uninspired and lost... yet at least still so glad to be out of my old job.

    This past fall, to kill time and to make a few bucks while I hunted for work, I started turning my long time hobby of thrift shopping and refinishing second hand furniture into a few sales online from home. Then a month ago a friend of a friend contacted me to hunt for several furniture pieces for her which I'm currently working on. Just this past week my mother's bf asked me to design plans (he's paying me) for his basement which he's just gutted and can't get a building permit for without.

    Looong story short, I took the blind leap of faith on a hunch of what I MIGHT want to do and accidentally ended up making a business out of doing what I've always done as a hobby (apparently also with a little design work on the side!).

    It's still just the beginning and the money isn't enough yet but things appear to be unfolding before me and I'm excited for my career future and proud of what I'm doing as a 'job' today, after all those painful years.

    "Do what you love and the money will come"

    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got"

    ...in other words, shake things up in your career even if you don't know where the pieces will land and take a blind leap of faith but keep your visions of your new future positive ("like attracts like"). It's hard to keep positive in the face of the unknown but when your mind strays to the negative, keep bringing it back.

    Best of luck to you...if I can do it, ANYONE can!!! Who knows, maybe you'll find a way to turn this witty blog into a paid living??