Saturday, August 18, 2012
Reasons Why I Love It When I Hate My Day Job
Or, How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Get High On Carpet Cleaning Fumes.
1. Sometimes when I get my notebook out and scribble angry sentences in it, it makes me feel better to know that my employer is unwittingly paying me to write.
I do all my heavy-duty imagining in work time. I might be looking at you with a serious face and an attentive tilt of the head, but inside I’m somewhere else entirely. And it feels right.
2. When I hate my job, I visualise my escape plan. Do I want to be here in ten years? Hell, some days I don’t want to be here in ten minutes.
I like to imagine working somewhere with luxuries like windows. And a fire escape. You know, things like that. But I’m not going to get mad, I’m going to get even. I’m not making enough money yet to quit my job, but I know that it’s possible and that gives me a goal.
3. Hating my job gives me valuable material for building characters who also hate their jobs.
Sometimes it feels like every character in a book is something cool like an architect or a graphic designer or a doctor: those sorts of jobs where you had a dream as a kid and went to university and pursued it. Fine, but what about the rest of us who slacked off at school, bummed around at uni, and then sort of fell into jobs that pay okay but aren’t exactly a raison d’être?
4. My job gives me an unparalleled opportunity to speak to interesting people from all walks of life. People affected by drugs, alcohol, mental illness and, sometimes the trifecta: the heady combination of all three. A woman once said to me, “I wouldn’t trust him as far as a cheese rolling down the street.”
Please, tell me more. Unburden all your crazy on me. It’s all grist for the mill.
And that is hands down the best thing about being a writer: we can use anything and everything, and we do. And that’s kind of awesome.
(I don’t really hate my day job. Or I don’t always hate my day job. Well, sometimes I don’t hate my day job…but last week just kinda sucked.)
The day job. Passionate about it, detest it, or just figure you'll keep turning up as long as they keep paying you?