amw (amw) wrote,

  • Mood:

i am grist

I am so done. This was my first full week back at work after Spring Festival and i haven't even gone two months yet, but i am done. Work is such a disruption to my freedom. The pill is especially hard to swallow right now because i still haven't received my first paycheck, so every day i am sinking all my energy into something without any apparent purpose. Each day i reach deeper into what little savings i have left in my Canadian emergency fund and my next sabbatical slips further and further away.

This week really wore me down because my manager, who - just for maximum conflict-of-interest - is also a combo product/project manager, set me the task of moving along the release while she worked on specifying some future product. This would be a big call of any new hire - especially one ostensibly just hired as a line developer - but it turned out to be particularly fucked because the whole department is in the middle of a restructuring so nobody has any responsibilities and the chain of command is murky at best. I talked to the development lead and the new head of QA and tried to push the release of my components forward, but i could tell it wasn't sitting right with some of the other guys in the department who had previously been doing this stuff. I don't think they blame me, because they know i am just doing my manager's bidding. She is a bit of a combative type who doesn't understand how to present her (admittedly correct) solutions in a way that will preserve the face (or the tiny penises) of her colleagues, so she is not widely liked. The problem is, even though i was just hired to work the front lines and should ignore all the politics happening upstairs, it still feels shitty to be a mushroom. When you are assigned work and then other actors undermine it because they were given conflicting orders, or when your boss assigns you work that undermines other people because she didn't arrange it with them first, the result is everyone feeling like crap. Work doesn't have to be this way!

So at least two full days went down the drain this week due to me trying to establish a good process, then having that changed underneath me due to outside politics. By Friday the management started to clarify things again and actually write down the process we should be following and who should be responsible for what tasks, but since i had only slept a couple hours on Thursday night due to the stress, Friday i had all the sleep deprivation of a great night out with none of the happy memories. I was a wreck and made a bunch of stupid mistakes, which i spent the latter half the day berating myself for. As usual i shuffled out of the office after 7pm with glazed eyes and a haggard face, desperate to drink it all away.

I mean, here's another annoying thing. I can't even watch TV to escape. Over Spring Festival i had the special deal of 20-odd gigabytes of 4G data, but that's over now and i can't afford to sign up for cable internet because i haven't fucking gotten paid yet. This weekend i should be paying my first month's rent and utilities, but - fuck - i haven't gotten paid yet! By the time my first paycheck does come in, after the bills i still won't be able to replace the cash i have been bleeding from my Canadian emergency fund, let alone splurge on stuff like a cable modem or wireless router. Well, i will splurge on it anyway, but i fucking hate living like this. I hate when you are dependent on money just to be able to do stuff that should be free for everyone.

Speaking of free, one of my neighbors has graciously shared their wifi password on one of those public wifi registries, so at least i can get online, but i am not a big enough asshole to stream or torrent on someone else's charity. I was thinking of getting back into reading. Kindle is a low bandwidth escape. Unfortunately to read you need to have a little bit of mental energy in the first place and i have none. It's 2pm on Saturday and i am sitting here in my underwear, haven't done anything this morning besides brew coffee and cook breakfast. I don't want to go anywhere. I don't want to do anything. I don't have any money anyway. I am exhausted. I am fucking destroyed.

I hate that work takes so much out of me. 5 days of work means 5 days of work plus one day of recovery plus one day of anxiety about having to work again. That equals full time 7 days a week misery. This is exactly the same problem i had in Germany, and in Canada, and have had pretty much my whole adult life. Don't get me wrong - there are days things go really smoothly at work and i love that i can put together a great solution for our customers or help my colleagues realize their potential. There are weekends i find a shred of energy and do make it out the door. But for the most part my life just becomes eat, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, sleep some more and maybe watch TV. It's fucking shit.

When i was studying my life was the same, but the difference is i was studying for the hell of it. Any time i didn't want to study i didn't have to. If i wanted to leave and go somewhere else i could. Now i can't. I can't afford it. I am trapped here until i can earn enough of a buffer to buy another stint of freedom. Working for years to get a few months of freedom... it doesn't feel right. But i am too principled to shoot for the highest possible salary and invest it and retire early like my more mercenary friends. Then i would feel like an asshole, taking advantage of my privilege to keep myself at the top of the capitalist food chain and the hell with everyone else. So instead this is fucking it. Live life without any luxuries. Work myself to exhaustion. Then use what i saved to buy my freedom for a short while. And now i'm in the work myself to exhaustion phase. That's just the way it is, that's life.

God i am so done, i am so so so done.
Tags: bird in a gilded cage, career

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