Losing my soul, one 9-5 day at a time.
I'm in the world I never wanted to be in: chained to the 9-5.
I commute along with the rest of the city at 8:30am. I navigate up to the 6th floor of the already packed parking garage in the middle of downtown. I nod Hello to the security man and dread riding up the elevator with a stranger.
I usually eat lunch at my desk, alone, but when I do eat lunch with everyone else, they're talking about buying new homes, refinancing the homes they already have, fixing up their home, buying a new car, buying more stuff, what they're going to do with their one week of vacation for the year, etc. Every day I think - I have nothing in common with these people.
6:00 rolls around and I'm out of my office, down the elevator, nod Goodbye to the doorman, cross the street, go up 6 flights to retrieve my car, drive out of the parking garage, get stuck in traffic with everyone else on the way home.
Why do I do it? The paycheck. Yes, after enjoying every minute of an unpredictable career running around on sets for television/film, I've stooped to the very boring realm of post production. It's technically still part of the same career, but it's sucking the soul out of me. I wasn't made for this, ever. I need adventures and new experiences all the time - not just in travel, but in work. Every morning I ask myself - Why am I doing this??
I'm a freakin' saver with a goal.
I want to go on an awesome trip to Eastern Europe and explore my heritage, see the Ukrainian sunflowers in full bloom. But I don't want to only spend 2 weeks. I want to be gone for 2 months, or 3 months.... (I realize that isn't a very long trip for most of us wanderlusters). I want to ride the Trans-Siberian in the dead of winter across a frozen tundra whilst reading Anna Karenina. Maybe I'll explore Southeast Asia.
The stupid thing? I probably would have enough money now, but I want a sizable cushion upon my return - or just in case I want to extend my trip a month. I also know how fast the money goes once you're gone....you can never save too much.
But daaaaaaaaang 9-5, you are my mortal enemy, but I need you, at least for a little while longer.
I know there are more folks like me out there, probably you, if you've read this far. How are you making it? Where do you want to go?
But you do walk in that door, step into that elevator and sit at that desk. Because that is what you need to do right now.
I'm in a similar situation in that my job is also tedious and soul destroying.
It has the benefit of a really fantastic group of work mates but the role itself is very dull and I cannot stand the company I'm working for. I'm currently looking for a new role and really struggling to summon up the enthusiasm to convince another company to hire me - because I don't actually want another job; I want to be travelling.
I spent most of last year working and saving my pants off and had nearly reached my savings goal and was planning one last summer (ha!) in London before heading off for an open ended adventure.
Then two things happened: I got made redundant and I met my boyfriend.
Losing my job was luckily not too much of a set back financially but it did mean I had to alter my intended departure date by a couple of months.
Being in a relationship has completely thrown a spanner in the works.
Luckily my boyfriend wants to travel also. Unluckily he is only just at the very beginning of the saving process (in fact he's still paying off the last of his debt at the moment) and he's working towards a goal of being on the road and in Brazil for the football world cup in 2014. That's two whole years away!
And I just have to wait. I can't pay his way in order for us to leave sooner (both because I can't afford to and he wouldn't let me) and I can't leave without him because I don't see how that would be anything other than the end of the relationship and neither of us are prepared to let that happen.
So I'm stuck here, working jobs I don't want to do, without enough time or motivation to re-train or transition into something more interesting, waiting impatiently and trying not grow resentful. And it is very difficult indeed.
I feel your pain.
Planning For The Future [escape].
Glide over the expensive and disastrous financial commitments of your coworkers. Their mistakes are not your problem. You have better ideas. Allow your coworkers to self-destruct at their own pace.
Continue on at your job making money but spending little. Your money has better ideas. Always remember you are slaving now, but have a better adventure for the future. Not for something vague, but for a defined version of where you want your money to take you. If you keep your vision, you can get there. Your vision is not of cars and houses, but of adventure. Save, save, save your money.
Keep your job. Use the system and your talents within it to build your currency. Grow your resume and your savings. Hang on to your friends.
Then go. Not just for two weeks or a month--go.
Have a vision, know what you are shooting for, know where your dreams are, and sacrifice now to make the future reality come to pass. No one else can do it for you. Let those other suckers mow their mortgaged lawns every Saturday while you go pub crawling in Kiev. Their loss, your gain.
It's all worth the sacrifice.
The 9 to 5 can be tolerated if there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The hard part is not blowing the money in the in-between.
[dammit you can do this]
Disliking one's office job while pining for leisure travel is such a First World problem. 90% of the world's population (indeed, a sizable percentage of the unemployment in our own countries) would kill to have this 'problem'.
No one is forced into a soulless, consumer lifestyle. Gah, I wear a suit for work quite often. To look at me, you'd be surprised that I don't have a car, don't subscribe to cable, don't golf, and travel three months out of the year, often sleeping rough.
Lucky Luke - I KNEW there were more of us out there. I suppose our slaving away will make that trip all the sweeter in the end. Frustrating to wait for the boyfriend, but what a great trip that'll be!
Sophie - GREAT POINT about mortgaged lawns vs. Kiev pub crawls. So true! Great pick-me-up, thank you.
Felix... Thanks for the counter perspective. It is very much a first world problem. We're all lucky to have jobs that pay more than $2 an hour, and to have the choice to travel if we just save for awhile. I just wanted to vent with folks who can share my pain in a forum named "Corporate Wasteland".
Who else out there is chained to their desk?
With perspective, it's pretty good. I don't worry about being able to afford lunch. I have more money than time for travel, and romantic problems are more acute than financial ones.
My current job is up and down. I'm an accountant, which sounds deathly dull to many people (including many accountants), but is quite interesting to those of us who find stories in numbers, and enjoy teasing out the answer to some random question from the numbers that we track. Some days I get to do that, and then I very much enjoy what I do. Many other days are spent just doing routine things, filling a seat in front of a computer from 8am to 5 pm, maintaining the information that I occasionally have use for. Overall, though, if you asked me on a day when I wasn't trying to "look busy" while killing time on the internet, I'd say that I love my job.
But who you work for makes a huge difference. I did the same job at a different company until a couple of years ago. Interesting questions, which are what I thrive on, were few and far between, and I was pretty depressed. Aside from the people in my immediate cubicle, I didn't really interact with my coworkers, let alone feel at all important the the product (engineering drawings) that they were producing.
Moving companies, the social scene is more active - I'm on a rowing team with my office, and next week we're having a foosball tournament on company time. The questions I get asked are more challenging, so my intellect gets used, and I'm more connected to the work being done, and made to feel more like my role in making sure the designy types get paid is actually valued. There's presentations about a highlighted project every Thursday, and when major projects are being constructed, we're invited to take tours highlighting some of the innovations we've incorporated into our buildings.
Same job, totally different atmosphere. It's entirely possible that you might find the same thing by shuffling sideways into a different firm and different culture.
All that said, I still pine for the days when I could just take off and see the world on my own schedule. The flip side is, though, that the few weeks I do get involve a fewer restrictions than when I was traveling long term, so the time away that I do get allows for more concentrated enjoyment.
Everything in life is a tradeoff, I guess. If I wanted to, I could quit, rent out my condo, and hit the road within a month or so. I guess the fact that I choose not to tells you (and me) something about my priorities.
Like you, Larizzle, I once worked freelance in video production, but now I have gone to more of the technician side of things. I actually engineer video conferences for a major oil company. One which I will not name as it may be grounds for having me removed from the board! Yeah, I am a whore.
So, anyway, during various parts of the day I zone out and think about the past places I've traveled and about how much fun I've had doing it. I will continue doing this job until my partner and I save a bit more money and get seasonal jobs somewhere. We had an excellent one in Australia and are looking for its equivalent in the USA.
Just remember, this is temporary and when you get back to living your life, it will be worth it.
No what i need is a rip rouring adventure some place, even if just for a few days. This mundane stuff is just boriing me to death.
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