"It Doesn't Really Work"

"I hate my job." Some days, I wonder if that phrase isn't the most used in America. On my more depressing days, I wonder if I'm kidding myself and most people don't hate their jobs. Given the popularity of "Dilbert" for one thing, I think my first thought is probably correct.

And do you know why? Because "work" by definition isn't what you want to do, it's what you have to do. People talk about having jobs they love. Do they still love them when it's 6:30 in the morning, you just came in from a 4-hour bender on Sixth Street (or wherever your local bar avenue is) and you have to go to work with a hangover? Do they still love them when they have a fever and hallucinations and they have to go in despite what the purple bunnies are telling them? Do they still love them in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer...no, wait...that's the wrong script.

If they do, they can have them. My philosophy on work is "Do as little as I have to do to make money for things I want to do." I've accepted that I spend 40 hours a week doing something I could care less about. Because the money from that supports the rest of my life, which I'm actually pretty darn happy with. It's not ideal, and it's not a situation I intend to stick with, but I can live with it.

The thing about work is that it gets monotonous. You could do anything for 40 hours a week and pretty soon you'd get tired of it. (Yes, even that, and get your mind out of the gutter. Although you'd have to be some kind of athlete or Madonna to do that for 40 hours a week.) Which means, if you take something you love and turn it into something you do for a living, you might get sick of it and then you've ruined a perfectly good hobby.

I know. I've been down that road. I love comic books, and in college, I worked at a comic book store. It wasn't bad, but I got tired of it. I'd be in the store with nothing to do and I didn't feel like reading comics. That scared me. It really scared me when I started associating stress from work with reading comics in my off-time. Now? I love comics, I review them (not a job, just a hobby), they're a hobby again. On some days, I think I might like to write them, but I wonder, even if I could break in, would I lose that sense of magic? Once you've looked behind the curtain at the way things are done, you can't ever get the sense of magic back again.

So I'll just keep on, doing something I would never do if they weren't paying me for it. I'm not losing anything I might otherwise enjoy that way. That's about it for this month. I need to wrap this up and get back to work.

Randy W. Lander

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