Random little thing about work and stuff

Write now, I’m a part-time graduate student. I’m FAR past my 40th birthday and grad. school was suppose to’ve been very much in my rear view mirror by now, but I digress. I have a stable job, and except for a brief period a good while back, my employment situation has mostly been pretty stable as an adult. Anyway, a bunch of my coursework is built around Human Resources-related topics…….and right now, we’re talking about something known as ‘Need’ theory and ‘Expectancy’ theory……..these are old, stalwart parts of the world of human resources. So, I’ve been thinking about stuff like why we work and (you guessed it) what we hope or expect to get out of work, yada-yada-yada. It’s funny how, in big parts of our lives, we hope for ‘stable’ work and/or a ‘steady’ paycheck……that is, of course, a big thing for most people. I’ve been laughing, lately though, about how shortly after I get that very thing, I tend to gripe about how bored I am. Work is just so DARNED BORING sometimes. Weirder still, I’m not sure I’d even want the stress of a so-called ‘exciting’ job! I just rarely ever feel ANYTHING that I’d describe as exciting at work. It’s just a grind…….and for what?! I wouldn’t say I’m feeling depressed right now…..just laconic, really.

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On smallness and being small

I suppose for no particular reason, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about just how small my life is. I don’t mean I have a terrible life (because I don’t…..MANY people have lives 500% worse than mine has EVER been). I guess I just mean that my life, in general is very small. My job is perfectly OK……and what I do is important, but it doesn’t have a sense of IMMEDIATE impact on the lives of hundreds of people. I have a few friends, and that’s great and I appreciate them….I really do. But, y’know……few people ever really seek out my opinion or my input.

Some years ago, I ran a medium size business (got out of it….too stressful for me)…..I sometimes remember those times, and think about how people would stop chatting with others and turn and listen to what I had to say. Now, one might argue: ‘Here’s a guy who obviously got too much emotionally from his work, or at least tried to.’ and those people might be right. I don’t know…..I’m just feeling a little mopey, I guess. I’ll snap out of it, I always do.

Life in the Now

{Although a bit stale, here is a bit from a NY times article published March 15th of last year}

 

Article’s Title: ‘The Shame Culture’ (speaking of ‘life’ via the internet these days)

“……….people are extremely anxious that their group might be condemned or denigrated. They demand instant respect and recognition for their group. They feel some moral wrong has been perpetrated when their group has been disrespected, and react with the most violent intensity.

Crouch describes how video gamers viciously went after journalists, mostly women, who had criticized the misogyny of their games. Campus controversies get so hot so fast because even a minor slight to a group is perceived as a basic identity threat.

The ultimate sin today, Crouch argues, is to criticize a group, especially on moral grounds. Talk of good and bad has to defer to talk about respect and recognition. Crouch writes, “Talk of right and wrong is troubling when it is accompanied by seeming indifference to the experience of shame that accompanies judgments of ‘immorality.’”

 

I should point out that a writer with the NY Times was touting (in a positive light) an article that was ultimately published in Christianity Today……heck, that’s worth noting alone!

I find it funny (if not bizarre) that there are no more ‘fringe’ groups anymore!  Every group/clique/cluster-of-minimally-meaningful-weirdos has now been legitimized via the digital ocean.

 

 

Blasted……..

So, I’ve had a lot of things happen over the past several months. Oddly, most of the ‘bad’ things really haven’t happened to me (in my personal life)…..it’s just stuff in my professional life etc. Last week, I testified in a divorce proceeding (that was also a custody situation as well) for a long-time friend/co-worker. The whole business lasted ALL DAY. I was so exhausted when I got home……it was a beating. This, after spending quite a few-dozen-hours on the phone with said friend over the past few months (not complaining…..just takes a lot out of you)……in the lead-up to this giant event. You know, maybe I would have NEVER wanted to be an attorney…..that stuff is rough, man. It was such a sad, painful event…….but in the end, my friend ended up with custody and they’re divorced…..it’s over. He gets child support, too…….not a lot, but it’ll help.

Maybe this’ll help someone……

I generally don’t get too carried away here in terms of mental health stuff, but I thought I’d toss this into the ether as it might help someone out there. I could make this a REALLLLLL-LLLLLLYYYYY long post but I’m busy and not in the mood to do that right now.

This summer, while away on vacation, I had some time to do a little thinking about a few things…..to take stock of where I am and what I’m doing in my life. I’m in my mid-40’s (and sliding rapidly toward my LATE 40’s!)…..so these kinds of thing tend to happen around this time in a person’s life.

I make my living in the field of social services, which as anyone knows DOESN’T tend to reward workers in a large monetary sense of the word! A good number of years back, I spent some time in healthcare administration….and made EXCELLENT money, but it was VERY stressful on me and my family. Here’s the critical thing: I had several flavors of superiors (‘Senior V.P.’s’ blah-blah-blah….you get the idea). I generally DID NOT feel like I was cut out to climb the ladder and become one of those types of corporate talking-head type guys…..fine, great, groovy. In my self-talk, I might say: ‘I’m just not that type of guy.’ …….and hey, that’s perfectly fine. HOWEVER,  during my ‘epiphany’ I came to realize that, in very subtle ways, I’d been insulting myself for NOT TRYING TO BE one of those kinds of guys. I’d been tormenting (so-to-speak) myself for not being one of those conquer-the-universe type guys! On one side of my brain, I knew what I was/wasn’t…..but on the other side of my brain, I spent a lot of time calling myself a ‘loser’ etc.  That’s really twisted……..and so strange to me that I was just ‘deaf’ to that.  To continue this thought further, I’ve often been a ‘You’re OK, I’m not OK’ kind of person. I lean toward…..’Everyone else is on a cruise’……’Everyone else is getting promoted’…..’Everyone else is getting a raise’ in my mind……..all the while, ignoring the people who’re failing/struggling left-and-right!

So, here’s the deal: Life is hard……..FOR EVERYONE! That neighbor of yours, who’s always doing great…….he isn’t……….trust me on that. Everyone you know is struggling, and clawing and huffing and puffing their way through the day JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. One of those guys I know (I respected him, and still do today)……he experienced HUGE amounts of success in a company I worked for. Then, one day, his wife couldn’t pick up a dish. He took her to the hospital, right during the midst of his perfect life and his perfect kids (each of whom belonged on a magazine cover)….and his amazing house and his incredible salary…….to learn she had a massive brain tumor. She died 18 months later, at 42…..and his world got turned upside down….his beautiful, sweet, intelligent wife, who adored him and their kids.  I don’t glory or revel in that….I care about that guy……but life didn’t hand him perfection……’cause it NEVER promised that it would to begin with. No one gets perfection…..no one. 

It’s all about the money!

A quick little post: I was musing last night, realizing I’d made 3 purchases during the day.

I bought (all digital, all online)

I. A single MP3 of a song I liked (Allison Kraus)

II. A magic instructional video (Gregory Wilson)

III. An an eBook (via Amazon)

The whole business was probably less than 10 bucks, but 3 purchases and none of them were a physical item! The world is different now!

Interesting look back

During President Bill Clinton’s first term in office, much of the United States took for granted that there would be welfare reform of some sort. The question was what it would look like. The answer came 20 years ago, on Aug. 22, 1996, when Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. President…

via Why Bill Clinton Signed the Welfare Reform Bill, as Explained in 1996 — TIME