10,000 Words: 3960-4950
I resigned from my idiotic day job on January 2nd of this year. It was part of my “New Year, New You” plan which involved leaving a day job that was trying to force me out anyway, finishing a sci-fi novel, eating more cheese than advisable, and marathoning every episode of Doctor Who from 1963 onwards.
Stupidly, I gave my resignation date as March 30th. I was carefully balancing out my budget and, if I could keep a paycheck coming till the end of March, then I’d be golden. I could survive a few months on my own wits and try and make a go at being free and happy. I figured, hey, it’ll be March before you know it.
That was un-fucking-true. What proceeded to happen was an endless slog of days where I could barely tolerate to even be physically near my office. Like, my health really has started to fade, and I’ve been plagued by dread dreams every night. I’m writing this on February 7th and I’ve lost track of the 10,000 Words project at the moment. If I’m posting every Tuesday like I promised when I started writing these 10,000 words this morning, this will probably go live in late March. So it’ll be especially ironic to read because I’ve PROBABLY FUCKING PUT ON A SUICIDE VEST AND BLOWN UP MY OFFICE!
Or, actually, probably not. I’m probably sitting there, squirming under the buzzing fluorescent lights, being pecked to death by my moronic boss. Fuck. My friends all told me that I should get fired. Never resign. And, here on February 7th, I wish I had been fired.
I agonized for months about my decision. I’ve had a steady paycheck since I was 16. To put myself through college and pay the bills during and after those years, I worked six jobs. I worked back to back shifts at a catering job to the point where, sometimes, I wouldn’t make it home for days in a row. I’ve worked like a dog my whole life, scaling back only in 2012 when, finally, I aged out of the emotional and physical ability to work multiple night shift, heavy lifting jobs.
So quitting a steady job to embrace the not-at-all-steady writing and publishing world is just short of screamingly insane. What am I thinking?
I think it was about late January when I finally made my peace with my decision. It was the healthy decision. The job had taken a turn for the worse anyway. After a company-wide scandal, just about everyone above the level of Director got bounced. All these Old Guard employees who’d been at the company for decades were gone and all these young bucks were coming in, bent on updating and changing what was actually a broken system. So fair enough, I guess. Except the company I work for is an NPO. That great and strange land known as “A Not for Profit Organization.” No matter how big or rich or fancy they are, working for an NPO is like working for an overly organized chain of lemonade stands run by an autistic kid. NPOs are bastions for insane people who say they want to make a difference but, in reality, just want to sit in their office for 40 years, surf the net, and talk to anyone who’ll listen about their growing number of cats. It’s worse than some forgotten backwater government office.
Whenever there is a dramatic change in upper-level personnel of the sort my company recently experienced, NPOs usually attract people who think they’re changemakers and rainmakers. They think they’ll whip this lazy place together into something awesome. But, in truth, they’re delusional idiots incapable of changing anything effectively. Or, if they do change things, they make inconsequential changes that no one understands, needs, or cares about. And, worse, if you’ve been with the company for more than a few years you know it doesn’t matter. The change maker will either burn out or move on to greener pastures and the next delusional idiot will change everything again, making every effort and every day spent under the last idiot a shocking, pointless waste of everyone’s time.
I’ve worked some shit-ass jobs, but my current day job is the most demented and pointless of them all. 18 years I’ve been there. Every second of those 18 years has been a colossal waste. My best years. Years I should have spent doing something better, being someone better. And anything would have been better. Anything.
So I now look forward to March 30th. Or,rather, April 1st. Because I’ll finally be able to decide who I am, and what I should be. This 10,000 Words project will carry over into my new life so, at least for me, it’ll be interesting to watch as these articles post. My mindset in early February spilling into a brand, new spring. Sexy.
Right now, besides focusing on writing and publishing, I’m thinking any employment options for my immediate future should be true dummy work. Like become a dog walker for Wag!, or maybe get a part time clerk job at a bookstore. Something where I’m just a warm, nameless lump of nothing filling some temporary need for just a few hours each day. I’ll wake up naturally with the sun, I’ll take my time at breakfast, I’ll stop riding the fucking plague train Metro. If I feel like a day where I don’t want to talk to any of you stupid motherfuckers, I can have it. I can work on a novel or program marketing shit for my publishing company and not have to hide it from the boss. If it takes me an extra hour each morning to get motivated, I won’t be consumed by guilt that I’m wasting what precious little time I have to myself.
Or I’ll check in sometime in April and probably just be crying and sobbing and begging whoever’s reading for a job.