Sunday, January 31, 2010

LABOR LOSS

I have wondered for months what it is that makes me want to crash my car into a tree on the way to work, to avoid 12 more hours in the hole.

I've said before that I don't fit in there, I'm not going to tread down that path again, readers, you don't deserve that kind of redundancy.

In the world today, there's a lot of dislike. Republicans and democrats. Conservatives and liberals. Talk show hosts. Neighbors unhappy with the guy next door. Drivers in traffic, not happy with being cut off.

A maelstrom of conflict. From the door in the morning to the pillow at night.

That's the way it's always been and always will be, yes? But I've come to an understanding of this that relates to my workplace.
Yes, my occupation is contained within a compressed microcosm of everyday disdain.

From 1st shift to 2nd shift these guys don't like each other, and it weighs on me like a wet blanket after 12 hours. Like some kind of warfare being waged in the trenches of disharmony, I'm caught up in it, in a foxhole between two sides, not wanting to load my rifle anymore. It's exhausting, it takes a toll, it's a tremendous draw on my body.

It's black weight.

Finger pointing, guys trying to set each other up for failure or a harder day. Name calling, ignoring, ad infinitum.

I used to partake in this, now it's too much even for me.

I'm tired of trying to be an emotional Jason Bourne, seating myself in the corner of a restaurant, back to the wall, as to be able to case the whole place. You have to see your existential exits and your metaphysical entrances, needing the broadest view possible to avoid that next soul-sucking attack.

After enough time of dealing with this, it starts to become a physical malady. A pain deep in the stomach (or maybe buried in my soul somewhere), I can't sleep at night if I have to work the next day, I am mortally drained of all want to do what it is I have to do.

Now, I fully understand that in this economy I should feel fortunate to be hanging onto a job with decent pay and benefits, but I'm not like these guys. I don't like working with my hands, I'm not mechanically inclined, despite being a printer for 18 years. Am I that good of a liar, or just smart enough to accomplish something I hate doing for the greater good? The answer to either question is not a good one.

And I certainly don't want to be part of their complaining, name-calling, desultory disdain, or scheming negativism.

I'm right brained, working in a left-brained facility and it's killing me. I'm not asking to be president of the United States, but there's no one to blame for myself. For I made the collegiate decisions, and faulty base-covering in my youth that put me here.

Here on Earth, savoring every glorious moment at home as if it were the last, every note of "Don't Change" by INXS, every single frame of "Fight Club", for those are the things that really matter, not this over-pondered and all too seriously taken production industry where paperwork, sweat, sometimes blood, frustration and anger, all go into making a giant roll of what will soon enough be landfill. (And don't think that that hasn't crossed my mind either)

Here on Earth.

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