Thursday, April 07, 2005

work is a four-letter word

The other day, I played hooky. Even if I'm not actively searching for other employment, I went on a job interview at IntlConsultingFirm, which, should negotiations fall through, will up my annual compensation by a significant 30 percent. After the interview, which ended by 3pm, I met with Mader at Greenbelt 3, and stayed there until 7:45pm, when the zeester was to be picked up from her nearby office. That was almost five hours of... bumming around, consuming a ton of nicotine and balancing that (!) with fruit juice, bemoaning the lack of eye candy, watching the set-up for the Ayala Merchant Awards and Sybil doing a soundcheck. It was a whole lot of fun. I've been doing that a lot lately, bumming around: going on leave for interviews, half-days off to help with the preparations for that golden founding anniversary thingy, going home early to see the little boy, chatting 'til the wee hours of the morning, staying up to visit graveyard shifters or watch the American Idol and CSI replays, leaving home in the nick of time and sometimes actually being late for work (a rarity, for those who know my working hours and my supposed-morning-person-ness).

Whereas I regularly log about 15 to 20 hours of overtime within a month, this month I've so far only logged two. I know that the lady in Sales is doing all she can to stop herself from wringing my neck because of an issue we have not yet resolved. There are outstanding items to which I haven't replied, something I could not have imagined myself doing a few months ago (yes, employee of the year and all that crap). Some aspects of work have definitely deteriorated and become bland for me; aside from the internet withdrawal symptoms, the eyestrain from countless hours in front of the monitor here and at home, the growing dependence on caffeine and nicotine, and the frequent trips to 7-Eleven for junk food trips, work has even become quite unhealthy. I would rather veg out in front of the TV or re-arrange my room yet again than work sometimes. Heck, most of the time.

I know: I'm whining. And I'm bored. I sure hope it's just a phase that will dissipate soon. The thing is, for the past few years, I've let my work define me; and it goes against everything that I believe, in totality, in spirit. It doesn't help my self-esteem that my work pretty much sucks sometimes. [I believe] I'm underpaid but I haven't done anything concrete about it, until of course this series of interviews with IntlConsultingFirm. If anything, I've been complacent, mainly because I've grown accustomed to and comfortable with the motley blend of camaraderie, eccentricity, bellyaching and mirth that I experienced everyday here at StingyCo--Reg's antics, Pretty Girl's cute kasungitan, JP's obsessions, cigarette breaks with Direk. Sometimes a bright idea or a novel project comes along and I attack it with gusto, and at those times, I love my work. I would work without being paid... er, no, not really. They say that if you could find work that you love enough to do without getting paid and actually get paid for it would be perfection. Meanwhile, I find that to do the things that I would love to do, I still have to work the daily grind, and work hard at it. Come to think of it, it's not that bad--only, I have to remember that I am not my work, and I am much more than this.

Things to remember when I'm feeling this way:
  • I am not my work.
  • Have I offered my workday to God today? If so, what is this crap I'm offering?
  • There is that exhilarating spark upon the completion of certain projects or tasks that makes me feel real (ala-Velveteen Rabbit).
  • Despite everything, this job keeps food on our table and SkyCable on our TVs.
  • Going on leave sometimes and just fooling around are essential to remaining sane.
  • Remaining sane is not essential to working, but rather is essential to enjoying life.
  • Despite all the whining, I know that it is in me to make the most of where I am and what I'm doing now. Sometimes I just forget.

    Last Song Syndrome : Leaving You Now - Session Road
    [Again, another song applicable to the little boy.]
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