|||||Taniuchi Hideki / Kaiji OST - Shadow||]|
OKAY SO LIKE.
I just finished up a six-month-ish stint of Working Full Time. I'd been apprehensive about doing the nine-to-five (actually eight-to-four-thirty) thing for anything remotely long-term, given how exhausted, soul-crushed, and generally sullen and dissatisfied I'd always felt during my previous forays into that world—which, up until last July, had never lasted more than three weeks at a time. (The forays, not the world of forty hours a week.)
However, it turns out that working full time is not all that miserable when your job does not actually suck balls. I mean, I've actually been pretty happy. It's a relief to find out that the reason I was so miserable scoring wasn't that I'm fundamentally unsuited for traditional employment and doomed to a life of tooth-grinding drudgery and/or hermithood, but that scoring was just kind of a shitty gig. In hindsight it's obvious. The clock-in system was designed to short us a couple minutes here and there; every minute of our workday was carefully assigned and controlled; the worst failures of the education systems in the poorest schools in the poorest states were on display, front and center; there was no privacy; the air in the scoring rooms was stale and dreary (I can't overstate how oxygen-poor it was. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a carbon monoxide leak somewhere around. I blacked out or nodded off at the computer more frequently than boredom or sleep deprivation made reasonable); and, if I may be awful for a moment, a good portion of my co-workers looked like nothing so much as the kind of person I've always hoped never, ever to grow up into.
But in editorial, I had my own cubicle. I took lunch and breaks when I wanted to take them. I could read books or websites at my desk during slow periods without being scolded or reminded that I had to at least look busy. I got to proofread! I gained actual professional experience with actual widely used applications. There was cake, and also camaraderie. There was a window near my desk and hand lotion in the bathrooms. I got to use some really nice reference materials from which I learned many things I'd had no idea I didn't know.
2009 may be the year I get around to for-real applying to teach in Japan with AEON, or I'll maybe climb Ayers Rock or something (I want to take a shitload of peyote or something and see if I can touch the supercontext), who knows. But the other members of my team seemed pretty confident that their having me back would be a matter of when and not if, and hell, that sounds like it'll be pretty okay.
Happy Christmas, Festivus, Belated Solstice, rest of Chanukah, premature Kwanzaa, end of Advent, and early Boxing Day, you crazy hippies.
Distract yourselves with these three wise mystery links, codenamed Balthazar, Melchior, and Gaspar. (You know, after those computers in Evangelion...)