*Note: This is somewhat of a rant. I feel like I should disclose that from the start. Carry on.
Monday, while “watching” Jason’s team nab 1st place in their hockey league, I was making a list of what would be my ideal career and/or job environment.
What motivates me?
Results driven: I am a person driven by the need to start and finish things. I want to “get er done”. I generally do not start projects and leave them lying around. I’m one of those people who reads a 700 page book in 2.5 days. I drink my large coffee in 20 minutes. I eat my dinner in about 2.7 minutes. I drink my beer like it was water and I had been stranded out in the Sahara with nothing but a match and a camel for 5 days. I do things, so finish them. I realize this leads to a whole different post about realistic expectations and learning to sit back and enjoy life, but this post is about careers and I’ll finish it first.
Pretty and/or sparkly things: I am a visual person. I enjoy pretty things. I just was telling a friend that I found my doctor to be aesthetically pleasing to me, so I’d keep her. I enjoy having, touching, enjoying and looking at nice things. It makes me happy. I’m not a person that could think, “I’d give it all up and live on the streets in a cardboard box”. No. That’s dumb. I don’t work hard because it gives me the warm tinglies… I work hard so that I have pretty things on my body, my house is pretty, my car is pretty, my food is pretty and so I’ll catch a pretty guy (handsome… or whatever). Maybe that’s shallow, but it’s true. I didn’t say it was all champagne and caviar. We have a whole lot of high life and tacos in our house. But we have what we want when we want. We don’t have the leftovers out of the garbage bin from the dinner someone else worked hard to eat. Gross.
Words: I like good words. Solid words. I like words that lift me up, have me nodding my head in agreement and driving me to take action of some sort. I like to hear of other people’s successes. I enjoy the lighthearted, the reminders to live life to the fullest, and to love everyone. I might be a sarcastic person sometimes, but I really am just a softy at heart. Picture a dragon that shoots bubbles instead of fire. Or a Unicorn that farts lasers. I’m a nice balance of some sort.
So, what does any of that have to do with my current career? Nothing. Not one thing. The only good words are the ones I print or write and hang in my cube. The only fun colors and sparkly stuff is also in my cube or left in someone else’s cube when I’m bored and screwing with them. Lastly I work in a field where assistance is the name of the game and results are not. You are always cleaning up someone else’s mess so they can stand with the mop at the end of the day and get the congratulations while you leave out the back door… just happy to be going home to your high life and tacos.
I want a career where it matters that I have showed up for work… or at least makes an impact when I’m not there. I want people to feel like their life is 1% better for knowing me… or at least not worse. I want to feel like the wealth of knowledge, creativity, wit and work ethic inside me is all be funneled and put to some great use… and not just left to consider my next blog post between projects that take other people 6 hours to do and I can finish in 1. Being efficient would mean I was putting out more great things, not just earning other people’s work.
I want a career where I can make people’s lives better. Where I can look back and know that I gave so much of myself to other people that there was nothing left all bottled up inside, potential just rotting and dying, that I didn’t use. Some days I just know that I wasn’t born to sit in a cubicle. Does everyone think that? I think some people long for their couches and pj’s and would be happy with unemployment. I’m not talking about that kind of non-cubicleness. I want to be out there, laughing, learning, teaching, sharing, growing, loving, eating… just living.
Do I settle for just making the money for 8 hours per day, sleeping 8 hours per day and being awesome 8 hours per day? 1/3 of the day to awesomeness… sounds pretty good… but I’d rather have the numbers be a little more in my favor.
Where is my career?
So, as I’ve been pondering this question over the last couple days… I come upon this morning. A morning in which every idiot driver was in my way and traffic and stupidity both ran rampant. I sit in my car and come to the realization that this is how good people become felons. As I drive behind someone in the fast lane (the concept of which obviously eludes this person), I literally fight the urge to flip them off. At some point I am sure my hand has actually cramped up from the physical effort it is taking NOT to use the 1 finger salute to share with the person in front of me how I feel about their law-abiding ways.
As I take a ramp that is marked as 45 miles per hour and the person in front of me is doing 25, I stare ahead… blank expression on my face… only to be mentally screaming, “What the hell is wrong with you? Are you mentally handicapped? I’m going to rip you out of your car and beat you to death with your own hands… which I will have ripped off your body already.” I think holding in the actual anger probably only exacerbates the situation. Instead of honking, flipping off or flailing around like an epileptic… I simply drive with my finger to my temple thinking of all the ways I can share with the person in front of me how much I despise them.
The most poignant expression of my disgust is when I clearly tailgate someone. I’m not dumb. I know I’m tailgating you. I can actually read your lips while you discuss your displeasure at the situation. Well you know what? MOVE OUT OF MY WAY. Then, I will not have to tailgate you and we will both be having a better day. Since I cannot have a verbal communication with you, you will have to know that when I am so close to the back of your car that we are seconds away from having Siamese twin cars… joined at the bumper… you should move.
All these thoughts ran through my head this morning and I thought… this is how some poor soul ended up living in a cardboard box on the street. They lost their ever-loving mind on a commute one day and decided to just lay on the street and be the body speed bump for everyone walking to work. I kinda get it now.
All this to get to a job that doesn’t satisfy my creative appetite.
This is why we have happy hours.