I've contemplated quitting because I can't stand to be half-assed at one of the things that I actually enjoy doing. But it turns out I like you people more than most people I actually know in real life, and would feel too sad to say goodbye.
So here I am, being half-assed as usual.
I was honored to be invited over to Rassles house to play nintendo (i.e. to guest post) and I told her I'd be right over as soon as I was done with my chores and she hasn't heard from me since. I'm trying to figure out a way to beg for forgiveness but unfortunately my head remains inside my own ass, making even posting this extremely difficult for obvious reasons. Rassles, I AM coming over to play nintendo, so please save a nutty bar for me. It may get to you too late for you to ever use my stupid post, but you can save it for when you are too busy, or if you ever have one of these wordless bouts like I do. Lucky for the devout Rassles readers among us, you never do. Fuck, did I mention I'm sorry? I would buy you one of these if I could:
At this point, maybe people are done reading my apologies for things they don't know anything about and want some details about the jobby job.
Words come and then evaporate like NOx emissions (I don't know what I'm talking about. Do NOx emissions evaporate? We'll get to this ignorance later) and I try to hang on to them but a memory of a word is hard to keep once it has slipped away and become a contaminant. My mind is a mess of formulae and chemical elements I should have memorized my junior year of high school.
So, I'll use math to describe my current situation:
Making money + a quiet mind + a level of responsiblity that I'm comfortable with = something that resembles contentment + X, where X equals unforseen bullshit.
Or, we can do the long calculation.
- My desk is positioned in such a way that makes it impossible for me to read blogs, fuck around on facebook all day, or actually work on anything other than what I'm supposed to be doing. This is my excuse for why I haven't been round these parts in a long damn time. While being away from blogging is not good for me -150, being away from facebook is +125. Be gone, oh ghosts of yesteryear, pulling at my mind and making me feel old, what with your pictures from 1997 and all.
- I cross the Guadalquivir river every day en route to work and actually see the horizon again on a regular basis. I cannot describe what this does for my spirit. +200
- Guess what? I get free shit: Almost-Free (EUR .75) lunch everyday + 300. Free legal advice twice per month, although I hope I never have to make use of this benefit +50. All the language courses and computer courses I care to take. Free +100. Did I mention I like free shit? Access to an English speaking doctor, free of charge, every wednesday in my office with no appointment. This man better brace himself for unprecedented levels of hypochondria, and he better brush up on his dermatology cause I'm about to shove my moles up in his face on a weekly basis. Hello, blue skies. Fuck off, melanoma. +500
- There are beautiful views from any office in the building. Beats the dungeon I was pissing my life away in before in 8 hour increments. I have no good memories of that place, just memories of my sanity slipping away one day at a time. +100
- The pay is nothing to sing about, but this is an economic crisis, so I'd be stupid to look at my absolute income rather than my relative deprivation. Besides, considering the level of stress I'll have to endure compared to my last job, I make a killing. But I can't afford hired help anymore, so it looks like I'll have to clean up after my sloppy self again and I've never been very good at that. -10
- In my last job, I dealt with three kinds of people: 1) Those whose behavior I was responsible for, whose potential for fuckupery no words can describe; 2) Those that I was responsible to, and to whom I had to bear the unbearable shame of the behavior of the aforementioned fuck-ups. These people were the company clients who served rations of shit day after day for my eating pleasure; and finally 3) My bosses, who were nice enough but were too busy to notice I was about to jump out the window or hang myself with the telephone chord. They only called when there was a major problem. Basically, this meant that every time the phone rang I almost went into cardiac arrest thinking about what kind of fecal storm was about to hit the fan blowing on my face.
Such is the life of cannon-fodder middle management.
In my new job, I am positioned squarely at the bottom of the food chain, happily munching on discarded food that untrained labor entails.
Well, to be honest, I haven't really been able to clearly identify the food chain at all and I don't even know if there is one in the traditional sense. I only know that I am only responsible for the task at hand and the actions of others effect me and my ability to work very little. This gives me a sense of freedom that makes me want to do cartwheels. Naked ones. I don't even know exactly who my direct boss is and it doesn't seem to matter. I just know that I need to show up and do my job.
I share an office with a Hungarian, an Italian, and a Dutchman. In the office across the hall there is a Turk, a German, and a Spaniard. I have no idea what they do, but I know it doesn't involve me. They aren't up in my business demanding explanations and they don't make me cringe because they are so brain dead that they can't even fill out a time sheet properly so that their dumb asses can be paid. I know that most of them are experts in whatever it is they do and they are probably freakishly intelligent. Mostly I like them because they don't need me to do anything to bail them out of some mess they've created. I know that they are pleasant people to share coffee and lunch with and at this point in my life, I don't need any further information from anyone. +1050
- I enjoy a standard, American work schedule. This is really meaningless to anyone who doesn't understand the burdensome tradition of the Spanish siesta. The siesta tradition sounds great to people that don't live here, but to anyone who has to live it, it translates into an extremely long working day, where you are on the go all day without a nap to be had by anyone. The only people that enjoy the siesta are the old school señoritos who have wives at home that iron their underwear and cook them paella on demand. Normal, working families get nothing from this set-up. The luxury of being off work at 5:00 p.m., no words can describe.
- Did I fail to mention what my actual job is? Well, it turns out I spend the entire day reading gigantic documents pertaining to sinter beds, coke oven gas, and heavy metals. Now, I realize that to the untrained ear this sounds like sex, drugs, and rock & roll, respectively, which is more or less what I thought I was getting myself into. It turns out this shit is heavily dense and I don't understand a lick of it. I was trained to be a sociologist, not a geologist or whatever it is these people are. Yet, for reasons still unbeknownst to me, people (smart ones even) believe that I am qualified to do this job, and I have yet to question their judgement openly.
But, I'm just a proofreader. I don't have to understand it. I just need to make sure every sentence has a subject and a verb and that the adjectives are in the right place and shit. It's mechanical. I don't give a fuck what the varying nitrogen oxide levels are or what the combustion thresholds are. I just care if that comma is supposed to be there and if this shit needs to be hyphenated or not.
Brainless work? I don't care. When I leave for the day, my job disappears in a poof and freedom takes its place. Nothing weighs on my mind. Nothing makes me lose sleep. And if that wasn't enough, the end product of my labor is actually something I care about. So +100,000,000 in-yo-face.
Can I get a "hell yeah" from the audience please?
-Blues, in need a new avatar (Nevermind, I'm getting way ahead of myself).