Yet another post on the work change. Sorry. It's a rather big step at this point. There is still a legitimate question about being on my feet for a whole shift (it's 3 13 hour days folks. That's kinda scary. A little). Health issues. Stuff I didn't have 14 years ago, the last time I was in a print shop.
I'll be working on equipment as pictured here, btw.
I don't want to have to have an opinion. I don't want to have to talk to young entrepreneurs (most of whom - by my experience - are selfish, conceited, snobbish, unaware of their own foibles and sometimes just outright pricks) any more. I don't want to produce a number out of thin air or sit in meetings where people spend hours looking at charts and Power Point and coming to the same decision they would have four hours before anyway.
I don't want to sit in a bar at a convention and have people look at my watch or other people's watches or talk about how much they nailed down in new commissions last month. I don't want to sit at booths at trade shows and say the same thing over and over again to people who are just trying to look interested but really just want to go home.
I'm tired of having to look and sound like an expert at anything. Tired of talking about politics. Tired of caring about the latest news going on in the country or outside the country, or who said what to enrage who about what on the radio or the TV. Who is screwing who in Hollywood.
I remember standing in a gas station about a year ago this time and listening to people talk. Listening to their cadences. The words they skipped over. The fact that nobody talks in complete sentences. I started putting it into what I was writing. The way people actually talk. Not what reads best. Using the exact phrases and expressions. I remember how the book Huckleberry Finn used the language of the time to create a masterpiece. I remember seeing a couple guys standing there talking about the work they were going to do that day. And I remembered all the times people in one strata of the working world would go out of their way to cut down people like these. And I recall participating, being so smug and special now that I was wearing clean shoes every day, in those days.
And every once in a while I'd feel a little envious of the surety. The 1 -2 - 3.
I used to say - wow, what a relief it would be to be on the clock again. Just come in, do your work, punch out and not have to generate a plan of attack for tomorrow. A presentation in the morning. An organizational excuse. To not have to have a strategy. A four step program to greater success. And then have to have other people judge you on what you think and how you think it.
Of course you're not supposed to take steps back. I can tell you right now that people are already working on how they're going to explain themselves at our high school reunion this year. You can count on it. Well I started out on the crew but now I'm the General Manager to the Vice President In Charge Of Looking Out The Window. Well I'm between jobs right now but molecular epidemiology is my field of expertise.
I'm going to say I print and cut and fold stuff. Let people figure it out from there. Say what they want. Think what they want. Kick themselves for pumping up their status and their position so it sounds real good in the program.
But that's not what I'm trying to say in this post. It's not even where I wanted it to go. It's what I'm looking for that counts right now.
Since the late 90's, when I started on the road to corporate/national sales and blah blah blah, I never did jobs I wanted to do. I did the jobs I had to do, and jumped on every opportunity that just laid itself out for me. And I kind of got away from myself in the bargain. It wasn't until I started saying - admitting - that this wasn't the direction I ever wanted that I started back into seriously, purposefully writing again. I was too busy pushing my energy into travel and sales goals and taking this ridiculously unattractive persona and making it presentable to people. Meeting decision makers. Talking to people with those stupid tassels on their shoes.
And I'm sure I'm romanticizing it. But I do remember being in a mix of people I understood, for all their faults. And my faults. And our warts. You could bite into a wet Italian beef sandwich (it's a Chicago thing, sorry) and drip down your chin and onto the wax paper it was wrapped in and no one is sitting there going "oh heavens, how uncouth." You could stop in a tavern on a Friday and the first thing you buy with a paycheck is a big greasy Reuben with a pitcher of beer. For yourself. Go to poker games where there weren't mixed drinks. Or go to poker games at all. Bowling. What about bowling? You could go bowling.
It's relative, of course. This milieu is full of it's own bullshit too. But at least it'll be my bullshit. The bullshit I'm used to, instead of the rarefied kind I've been in for the last 14 years. There's something to that I think.