I Quit my Job
by Paul Delaney
I woke up this morning wanting to do IT. I did IT about an hour ago. I hear Norah Jones playing faintly. I best drown that out with some Ramones. I want to bask and frolic in what remains of my youth. The youth drained by IT. The youth that is still on its soulless,foul breath while it devours us all without remorse.
I did IT? Am I writing openly of kinky, loud sex with a killer clown? The kind that not even Prince would sing about? No. I quit my job. Yes, I am making myself unemployed in the midst of The Great Recession or as some call it The Great Economic Recovery. Sensible people told me,”Delaney, you are playing Russian Roulette with a semiautomatic pistol.” Yeah. It stands to reason I just built the gallows, ascended the steps and put the rope around my own neck. I suppose its sound logic. Its sound and sad logic. We are told we better work or we end up homeless, with bad credit or possibly dead when we get a visit from the cancer fairy when we’ve got no health insurance. That’s brilliant. That’s the shining city on a hill. That’s a thousand points of light. The American Dream is nearly all of us getting held hostage by a private company for wages and benefits. I have to tell you that I see a better world. Its a world where 8 hours of our time isn’t traded for an amount of a dying currency. 8 hours is quite a bit. It would horrify to me add it all up and determine the percentage of an average life that is spent doing God knows what.
I nod my head as I write this and realize I won’t live to see that world.
I worked for a large wireless provider. I came in wanting to be a company man. I wanted to get promoted, maybe find myself a woman to marry and buy a house. I got myself promoted. I worked hard. I didn’t get my woman. I got me a condo and a mortgage though. You wonder why anyone does that. You wonder why you sign on the dotted line and sign tons more than cash away. That Hallmark Channel TV series life never happened. I question whether I ever truly wanted it. I wonder how many of my desires are truly mine. How many of my dreams are actually my own and weren’t planted there by some wannabe Don Draper on the other coast. I stared at computer screens. I filled out forms. I listened to my co-workers bitch and bitch and bitch. I heard them admit they prayed to get laid off. Internal company surveys indicated low employee morale and a rate of employee disengagement far greater than 50%. The suits were out of touch. Hell, they didn’t give a flying fuck. Why in the hell should they? The company was rolling in bread. Their bonuses were big enough to buy Hell and Heaven and all the souls contained there. We got rah-rah sessions. We got video presentations about record iPhone sales and record profits. What? Were we expected to brag to our friends and family about that? What did it matter to us? We bled. We gave up our time. We shortened our lives. We got ulcers for those profits. There we were the work force drowning and our millionaire masters just laughed, sipped some cognac and had another blow job.
I suspect this lamentable state of affairs is the same all over America just with different names and different faces. They tell me be a climber man. They tell me be Jobs or Zuckerberg. I ain’t no Jobs or Zuckerberg. I don’t admire that sort of ambition. I don’t want to be a conqueror to one day do the same that was done to me. Yeah. They tell us to admire the conquerors. They try rallying us with quotes by generals and robber barons. Forget that boys and girls. Your people are greater.
Ask yourselves American worker. What is it you really do every day? What would happen if you stopped? Do you think the McCompany that gets to own your ass for 8 hours a day would collapse? I suspect many of our jobs are pointless. They do not add to the businesses we work for at all. I suspect this is most true of work that takes place in a cubicle farm. Some of the enterprises we work in are gargantuan. It would not surprise me if there are entire departments in companies that have been forgotten. We find ourselves adrift in a corporate expanse. We forget who we are. We forget each other. We forget time. The Reaper sneaks up on us.
What do I do? I dream of a different and better world. I dream but I live here. Its likely I’ll find myself another hell hole that’s a bit more tolerable. Maybe I find a way to do something I enjoy and get some green for it to keep bad credit at bay. The warnings echo in my ears. The warnings that I’ve done something very unwise. I shrug them away. Bad credit and homelessness know where to find me.