ISSUE #8 FEB 06

Nish

I Can't Get No Satisfaction

Reality bites. Well, at first it does and then it begins to gnaw and then chew; you can almost hear the slurp of gristle and fat.

I was bitten (and not for the first time) last month when I decided to quit my job (that’s job not career – I wasn’t suddenly struck by a burning desire to end my days basket weaving or investigating my genealogy) without securing another first. It was impulsive, dashing and daring. It was stupid. But like the path to the Dark Side the way I felt about my job saw me moving from one powerful emotion to another until I was left teetering on the edge of a final decision. I made my choice and reality bit: what the hell was I going to do with no job?

There was nothing really terrible about my previous job (Ooops! that’s a bit of a giveaway - there’s a happy ending after all!). True, I could bitch and moan about it for hours without respite but it provided a little cocoon of comfort: the work was within my capabilities (smiling was tough though); my colleagues were great; and my bills were paid. I could have stayed. I would have money for Christmas and if I waited until February then I’d have collected a bonus at the end of the financial year too.

So why did I leave? The reasons are various, but perhaps the most compelling one was that I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t going anywhere…that I wasn’t sure where I could actually go…that I was perhaps stuck inside a Talking Heads song (“You may ask yourself, ‘Well...how did I get here?’”). Like I said earlier I could do the job, but I wasn’t satisfied doing it even though it paid each month. I quickly sussed that retail is for those who can say “Thank you” instead of “Fuck you” when handed a whole heap of bullshit. I can’t do that or at least not for the rest of my working life.

What do I want to do then? I’m still not 100% sure, which is more than a little worrying at my age. I fear it might just be a case of doing anything for the next 40 years or so…moving around like the Littlest Hobo (obviously I’m less cute) because I’m not sure what I want and, worse, probably won’t know if I’ve eventually got it or not. I’ve no idea how many people have a career in their own most idealistic sense of the word but I envy those that claim they’re happy in what they do.

At present, money is more important than happiness and if that isn’t tragic then I need a more poetic way with words. As well as tragedy it’s also reality and it’s something I fought against and lost.

The happy ending is that I quickly secured another job. For the moment I’m happy meeting new people and working in an environment that complements my interests. However, it comes as no surprise that like murder, retail breeds retail. It’s surely only a matter of time before my manners deteriorate and the stench becomes overpowering.