I’ve been unemployed right at two months. I didn’t imagine it possible, especially in Austin. I thought I’d be picking jobs like cuts at the deli. Yet, here I am, getting overwhelmed with anxiety every time I open my inbox because I’m scared to find another handful of rejection emails. I know there are easier routes to getting a job. I could hookup with a temp agency, or, if things really get shitty, go find a drive thru to slang burgers out of. But I don’t want to find work. I don’t want a job. I’m ready for a career. I just want to be a corporate schmuck.
I’ve always been told I have a “cool job.” When I’d introduce myself I’d get “oh that must be so cool,” or “that’s nice, you’re not stuck inside all day,” or, my least favorite, “so you must be pretty good then.” To some extent everyone I’ve met whose jealousy burst from their responses is right. I have had a “cool job,” in the traditional definition. My attire was never formal. There’s a reason I own less than two hands of ties and have to watch a video every time I try to tie one. I’ve never once been required to wear one to work. Never once been required to wear a jacket. In fact at some points throughout the year I could show up in shorts and not be sent home because it’s understood the next few days are going to be shorts days. I got to step outside without having to take a cigarette with me or check and make sure it was cool with my boss before I walked out. On more than several occasions my entire workday was outside. On even more occasions than that my workday ended at lunchtime and I just hung out at work till dark screwing around because my place of work also happened to be my leisure pleasure.
I can’t do that anymore. The biggest reason is it stopped paying the bills a few months ago. On top of that, as “cool,” as my job has always been perceived to be, there are elements of it I’ve more than had my fill of. I’m done pandering to people who come out and spend five hours tearing up my product then come in and complain about the conditions and the price. I’m done being shackled to an outdated style of entrepreneurship my superiors insist is the only way to run a business despite that same management style being what dove the industry into a now more than decade long deficit. Maybe more than anything, I’m done having my performance and my livelihood hinge on employees I can’t incentivize enough to care.
There are other elements I don’t miss. I don’t miss showing up when it’s raining 5in because we have to have someone manning a landline phone. I don’t miss spending the day outside when it’s below freezing because that’s going to be our only chance to inventory and repair the cart fleet. I don’t miss becoming the Mayor of SWASS town as I’m outside manning a pressure washer for 3 hours in a 100 degree afternoon because one of my high school employees called me 30 minutes before their shift with a “fever,” and “their mom won’t let them,” come to work.
I just want to try the office life. I want to put on a monkey suit and stare at fluorescent lighting while I listen to an A/C crank out an uncomfortable temperature. It’s not because I’m some kind of masochist and I want to torture my temperament. I want weekends. I haven’t had weekends in 8 years. I haven’t had a 4th of July, Memorial Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, New Years Day, Good Friday, or MLK in 8 years. I want to know what it’s like to feel Sunday Scaries™️ and not Thursday Scaries one week and Friday Scaries the next week because last week I got Tues/Wed off and this week I’ve got Wed/Thurs off. It’s not conducive to a personal life, to raising a family or putting in the time to cultivate and keep friendships. It’s conducive to burning yourself out on an underpaying job pandering to ungrateful customers in the name of some nonexistent higher service to a “game,” that’s been so perverted it ought to have been renamed decades ago.
Maybe I’ll hate office life. Maybe Monday thru Friday won’t be for me and I’ll be right back to watching 30 handicappers beat slices into the trees before the summer. I don’t know. What I do know is I worked my ass off in the golf business and didn’t see the pay or leisure time I wanted, so it’s time to find something else. Plus I just want to try it. I just want to try being a corporate schmuck.
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