It has taken me a long time to become comfortable with my job in corporate america. I have worked for the same company for the last 11 years and for many of them I have been unsatisfied. But recently I have given some thought to the situation and realize that I am pretty lucky. I guess for whatever reason I always hoped I would be one of those people that had a grand passion that they just had to pursue like the marine biologist chasing after the ever elusive giant squid or the lucky person who knows from a young age what the want to be when they grow up. But alas I am 47 and I am still waiting for the lightning bolt to strike. I have the funny feeling that it’s not going to happen and due to a management and title change at work for the first time I am okay with it.
The only things I ever really wanted to be when I was little was a jockey or a ballet dancer. After those two failed to pan out due to a million different reasons like body type and general feasibility I never again had any inclination towards a specific career. In college I opted for Philosophy as my major for no real reason except it was the most esoteric thing I could think of at the time and also the teachers were easy it was hard not to earn an “A”. But I remember getting close to graduation and mulling over grad school but really having no direction at all, I made a half hearted attempt and applied to Columbia like I would have gotten in with my B- grade average.
So what happens when you have no direction and you have wasted enough time taking art classes after you graduate? You go work for your Dad. So off into the crazy world of paper I went. And then from there to a stint in direct mail and then back to paper until I ended up here after I moved upstate. Now I wish I was one of the super talented people who have a dream and the moxy to make it work as a living but I don’t well at least not yet. But as I have been pondering my time in corporate america I have realized there are quite a few perks for working for the man.
Perks you say? Yes perks and lots of them. Especially now in this digital world I could be home on the couch with the tv on, my lap top on my lap, and my phone in my hand or I could be at work in my little cube pretty much doing the same thing except the tv watching and getting paid for every minute. Now don’t get me wrong I am not a slacker I work hard but there are times even though I am quite often batshit crazy busy where I have some down time.
Now what do you do with down time? You can stare at the wall and play air guitar but this gets noticed quickly and is frowned upon. Or you could sit at your desk and look busy but actually you are playing a game on your phone or checking up on facebook or writing your blog. Sometimes I even read there are great websites that have free literature and I am giving Proust a shot. Although I always spend a lot of time saying to myself is it Proust like prune or Proust like prow.
Besides goofing off in the guise of working hard there are other things that make sitting in a grey cube not too shabby things like four weeks of paid vacation, 401K match, health insurance, and free food. There is a ton of free food in corporate america pizza lunches and potlucks for morale and then there is all the sandwiches that the Bigwigs can’t finish during their meetings. Who gets the leftovers? We do, well if you get there in time you have to beat the guys from tech services. And not to mention the ever present intrigue of who gets fired next.
So even though I often feel the pangs of being shackled to a cube spending my days pressing buttons and figuring out how much it costs to make envelopes and wondering why I am not a famous poet or painter or best selling novelist working in corporate america affords the safety of the guaranteed paycheck and some silly perks to boot. Sometimes it even feels like I am taking advantage off the system when I am doing something like doodling I chuckle to myself and say I just got paid for doing that.