Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Hi Ho Hi Ho

I took a quiz the other day, that I found on Amy’s blog, that tells you what office moron you are. Since I am obsessed with the show The Office and work in an office, I was curious. Amy’s persona is Incompetent Egotist. Mine is Disarmedly Young Temp. It gave a description, which I can’t remember now, but it was right on. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it made me think. I do still feel like I’m temporary. Not that I started my job as a temp, but I really thought of my job as a jumping off point in the beginning. Four years ago, when my boss hired me, he said, “My plan is to slowly switch your job from a coordinator into a designer.” Whoopie, thought Ellen. Well, here it is four years later and he is still vaguely talking about it and I'm still archiving CDs and sending FedEx packages. But I carried on through that frustration and then resigned myself to it. I even tried to move around twice in the company, both times falling through for one reason or another. And here’s the kicker… I have managed to dabble in the design world a bit since being here, and realized that I don’t want to do that anyway. I stopped hinting around to my non-committal boss (who hates his job more than me) that I wanted to be a designer because frankly, I don’t. I’m hoping he’ll just forget it.

Every once in awhile, I sit at my desk and just look around and think, “How did I get here? And why am I still here?” I think, for one thing, that I am a fairly complacent (read: lazy) person, so not counting the few times that I have grasped for something new, I just resign myself. My husband even mentioned it last night, although he saw it as something different. He told his mom, “Yeah, Ellen hasn’t complained about her job for six months. She’s liking it a lot more now.” I thought about that. No, I do not like my job any more than I did before. I still feel brain/soul comatose during much of the day (interrupted by mild distractions of blogging and Solitaire playing.) I guess my mind decided that since there wasn’t much to be done about it, it should just get assimilated with the rest of the Borgs.

The other reason I’ve managed to ride out my time, is that I am quite secure in the knowledge that I am not my job. In fact, my talents are never used here, much less seen. I put in my money-time here, then I scamper on home to work on my real projects. I only wish that I could start making some money on those real projects instead of pushing paper around on my desk.

It’s just that I never meant for my work life to become this. I am very happy and satisfied in my personal life. I love my husband and we have a great time together. I have cherished friends. I have managed, in life, to find other members of my “tribe” and hold on to them, which is a blessing. I have a beautiful (though a pit right now) home filled with stinky, hairy animals. But let’s face it, my work life has consistently been mind-numbingly boring, passionless and soul-sucking. It’s difficult to feel good about yourself when you know that, without a doubt, a trained monkey could do your job. Not the smart monkeys. Those monkeys with the big red butts.

We have two new people joining our category right now. Our department is much more laid-back and unstructured than the rest of the company, so they are reveling in their new-found freedom. I see the hope in their eyes. They are excited by their new prospects. I felt that way for about a year. But my cubicle mate and I can’t feign even a minimal spray of “Let’s go, team” anymore.

I know that God has had a reason for me being here for so long. And He has provided some good friends, great benefits and lots of birthday cake along the way. (Has anyone seen the Seinfeld where Elaine refuses to eat office birthday cake? That was me for awhile. I caved.)

Maybe I'm just missing the point. Maybe you aren't supposed to enjoy your job. I mean, that's why it's called a job, right? Maybe resistance truly is futile, and I should embrace the assimilation.

I just don’t know the answer. I just keep praying that God shows me a purpose, an answer or a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card.


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