It's a pretty devastating thing when something that has been dawning on you slowly over time — months, maybe even years — finally hits you with the full force of a revelation, an epiphany.
It just dawned on me yesterday that I absolutely detest my job.
In one sense, it's a relief finally to admit this to myself. I don't know how it goes with the rest of you — there might be as many different reactions to similar circumstances as there are individual people to react to those circumstances; or maybe there are only a few, two or three, types of reactions and perhaps, for all I know, mine is in the majority, is how most folks would try to cope — but in my own case, I spent a lot of time lying to myself about how I feel about my job because telling myself that I liked it, or, on really bad days when I couldn't quite pull off the verb "like", that it wasn't that bad, just made it easier to drive to my job every morning, as I knew I had to, and endure every bleakly soul-crushing and despair-filled minute of working at a place I couldn't admit to myself I hated.
It's what you do to survive.
No, wait. Not "you".
I wrote "you" in that sentence above but I don't know if this is how "you" feel or would deal with a similar situation or even, for that matter, who I mean by "you"; and so I should really make an effort to own what I'm saying here and not cop out by implying "you would behave thus", as though this were somehow impersonal, as though this were happening to some unnamed other, someone else; it's happening to me and it is how I feel and so simple, basic honesty dictates that I speak true by saying "this is how I dealt because I hate my job".
My job is not particularly difficult or particularly time-consuming; I am not compelled to work odd hours or weekends; I get vacation, sick and personal time ... I could go on for quite some time facilely listing the various "advantages" and "benefits" of my job but the very fact that I can do that betrays that I have been doing so in my own head for quite some time in a desperate effort to stave off the realization that I utterly hate working where I work. Because it's all true: The benefits and advantages that I have listed in my head numerous times are all real; there are any number of jobs out there that are far worse than mine, that are more physically demanding, that involve working longer hours for less money and zero benefits ... and that's part of the reason I lied to myself about how I feel about my job. There are people way worse off than I am. What right do I have to whine and complain about my job? What right do I have to hate it?
Because all of that is true, too. But the fact remains that I do hate it and that fact may be far more revelatory of a deep flaw in my character than it is of the nature of my job and that, I realize, is also part of the reason I couldn't admit I hate my job — what does it say about me that I hate and can barely abide this relatively cushy job? Or, to be more blunt, only a whiny pussy would feel he has the right to complain about a job like this.
And that may be true too. And I didn't want to see myself that way and so I lied to myself about how I felt about my job.
But from here, from where I sit, my job does not seem cushy; it feels, in fact, like a plague, a curse. And, not being what you might call a disinterested and objective party in all of this, I'm in no position to say whether that's because my situation is truly as bad as I feel it is or because I am, in fact, just a whiny pussy who should learn not just to suck it up, but to be glad of what he has.
So I can't say whether or not I have a right to feel this way. All I can say with any authority is it's how I feel.
And I've been a bit vague, I realize, as to just why I feel this way about my job, and so I will attempt to articulate just what it is I find so contemptible about it, which, oddly enough, has nothing to do with the job itself per se as it does the people I work with.
Not the public. As a reference librarian, I have to deal with the public all the time, and it can be trying at times, but that is only to be expected.
Not even necessarily the people in my own department because as webmaster I'm pretty much left to myself in IT.
But I'm going to let discretion be the better part of valor here and revert back to form, i.e., vagueness, just in case; because I know I am pretty much stuck with this job unless something comes along or I can find some other position somewhere far from where I currently work — which latter is unlikely, given the current economic situation.
But I will say that I am currently forced to work with people whom I consider to be extremely contemptible, people from whom I have to be able to extract reliable information in order to do my job as webmaster ... people who, for reasons I can't begin to fathom, fight me every step of the way in my attempt to get this information in a timely and usable fashion and then ...
Well, I'll just leave it at that.
I don't work to make friends, but there are 3 or 4 people at my job whom I actually like.
Most others I am basically indifferent to, which is fine. I assume they are indifferent to me, too. It's a job, after all, not a social club.
But there is a core of selfish, self-serving and self-righteous people there whom I find both personally and professionally contemptible, for whom I have feelings that verge on actual hatred, one of whom, through typical backhanded dealings, has just leaped to the forefront of that group.