Thursday, April 17, 2014



This is my second attempt at writing this.  The plan to write about the work sits in my head but I have cycled between busy and tired without finding the time to compose. The writing has also been hampered by the fact it always felt too soon. Now is a good time for one reason alone. I found time to think. It is near enough midnight as not to matter, I have not showered yet, and I am fighting The Lady Baroness for control of the keyboard, but it is a good time to write.  

Its funny, I would not disagree with the accusation that I am a socially awkward, seemingly intellectual person, certainly I try to dress the part of intellectual, yet this identity has had little to no bearing on the work I have ended up doing.  No, appearances aside, most of my work has been in hard places often with hard people.  I tried changing that up once, worming my way into an office job, turns out to be a miss match. 

A bit of an detour is needed here.  Working again has gotten me thinking about my previous job.  The one where I tried to punch MapInfo into submission.  I was not happy there, for many reasons.  Key among them, working in visual medium is not something I have practice or skill for.  But at an even more basic level it was hard because, as it turns out, keeping a tight focus while glued to a desk all day is far harder for me than I could have expected.  A couple other things that should I ever digest them more fully will warrant their own essays, also added to my non adaptation to office life. 

Offices have a culture of what feels like to of enforced politeness. It can be understood why this, but I don't fit in it.  My brain's output filter is a little on the coarse size, but that was less a problem than the input filter. Too much politeness becomes ambiguity.  Knowing what is not being said, is a skill that remains under developed.  

While potentially ambiguous interactions may leave me wondering if offence was caused, they come in second to my troubles with ambiguus work.  As said, I had one office job, working in a media I had limited experience, often unclear outcomes.  It was forever a guess for me if the project was ready.  Hours could be spent on one set of details at the expense others.  The cycle of missed details and resulting revision repeated too often for everyones tasted.  A cycled made worse by a tool that at times was as likely to eat my progress as to allow me to adjust things.  It was a couple years of practicing the ancient Dutch tradition of pushing water uphill. 

That cycle, those tools, and the real possibility that some people on the team were not really nice, made it a tiring period. Coming home with aching jaw and a head full of unresolved, but not particularly interesting problems was common. All this under the fear that gold would tank and I would again be made expendable.   All while telling myself and others I want this, and am enjoying this. 

It is in that light that I think about the jobs I am doing now.  None of the work I have been assigned I would want to do as a full time gig, but I can in retrospect say the same about all the jobs that were part of what I thought was my career.  The work, has fallen into two main clumps.  Warehouse, shipping and receiving and janitorial.  The cleaning job work is by far the toughest.  

The jobs are hard, but they have a wonder finality to them.  The day ends, the work is forgettable, my body may ache but my brain doesn't, most of the time.  Admittedly the evening shift 4 to 11pm is harsh, and the job even more so.  No single part of the job is all that hard, but to fit them all in the scope of the evening it is go go go.  Not since the Rabbit lake job have I had to maintain a fast pace as consistently.  

For a baltering thermalphoeb such as myself the working conditions are extra tough.  Trying to work in a coordinated manner in a overly warm office is trying.  But I do, by mid shift I am so heated through that it takes half my break to feel like I am no longer glowing from the endless movement.  Thats the thing endless movement.  Physical labour is nothing new to me, but on nearly every other job there are chances for breaks and pauses in activity, outside of a restaurant rush, I can't recall maintaining pacing like this. Yet there is camaraderie, the work does get done even if sometimes my new guy slack needs to be pulled in.  In the end it would seem that for now being a grunt makes me happier than wrestling MapInfo, or looking at rocks.  

The notion of getting a real job, and regaining stability still holds water, but the range of things I might yet do is not narrowed down yet. 



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