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Chasing The American Dream

May 07, 2005


“…you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave…”

Another beautiful, sunny, tropical Saturday in Coconut Grove. It certainly feels like déjà vu, and I guess it is. After I’m done here at work, I’ll have logged in 88 hours this week. I think the key number is three. I *almost* quit three times this week. Almost. Thursday night, I was here until 3:30 a.m. That was the breaking point for me. I had a nice talk with myself aloud. I cursed at myself for falling into this ‘your life is your work’ state that I’m in right now. I complained that I was sitting here at 3 a.m. like an asshole, working my ass off for management who don’t give a shit, for clients who rant and rave, for illogical and fee-hungry auditors, and for staff that I can’t keep from being disgruntled. I complained that I worked 12 hours a day and then had to drive an hour home on the brink of mental exhaustion. I complained that I promised myself I wouldn’t do this ever again and yet I broke my promise. I complained about the email saying ”2-week assistance program.” I complained about my weeks meals consisting of nothing but chips, doughnuts, cookies, snacks and, of course, iced coffees.

I told myself to just say, “fuck it,” and walk out the door. I tried to convince myself to do it. “C’mon man, just walk, this shit isn’t worth it.” I tell ya, if I was single and had no obligations, I’d have done it. But life’s complicated. It’s not that easy anymore. The court isn’t gonna say, “oh so you just walked out? Oh, don’t sweat it man, we’ll cancel your alimony and child support payments.” And the choice to simply not work the overtime is complicated. The job and the project are complicated. I can’t just say, “I’m leaving, you guys figure it out.” This is what they pay me to do. But what I would ask of them is for a little reciprocity. I didn’t get any for Gilligan's Island. I haven’t gotten much for making numerous concessions in my personal life. So for not bringing these matters up to management, *that* I am guilty of.

I *did* have a heart-to-heart with the Managing Director on Friday. I told him how close I was to quitting and why I was thinking of leaving the company. I told him about Gilligan’s Island and all the crap I’ve been through for this company without hardly a thank you. I told him about the straw that is breaking the camel’s back. Oh, didn’t I tell you about that? No? Well, right in the middle of that horrible 19-hour Thursday, my real boss called me to check in with me. I hadn’t heard from him in weeks. I relayed all the horror stories of this project. He had absolutely no idea. So we chit-chatted and then out of nowhere, he gives me an oh-by-the-way. That OBTW, was the straw. He told me he had signed up a new client out of the Tampa area. It was gonna be like a two-year project and I was the manager-in-charge. Thoughts raced through me. ’Scuse me? So like I’m gonna be traveling to Tampa for the next two years??? Are you out of your rock-pickin’ mind, Rubble {obscure Fred Flintstone reference, sorry guys}

Well obviously, there’s no way in hell I’m going to Tampa for two years. So now, I really need to get a game plan together to figure out what I want to do. And it’s not just a matter of doing this same old shit for a different company. That isn’t the answer. The answer lies elsewhere. What do I *really* wanna do with myself? And for that question, I had no answer for myself. I need the answer but just don’t have it yet. So for the immediate six weeks, I’ll be here. I’ll be here with all the crazies, lunatics, assholes, and disgruntles. After all, “we are all just prisoners here, of our own device.”


  • You need to find a way to get the $#%@ out of there. I need a new Web Content Specialist, but you'd be eating mac and cheese for the next year, mixed in with ramen noodles.

    By Blogger Queen Helene, at 3:38 PM, May 07, 2005  

  • So your CV's been updated and is ready to go, right? Time for action.

    You can and will do better. Good things are ahead as long as you can see them. Focus on that, not the bullshit, and you'll be fine.

    By Blogger Jewels, at 5:01 PM, May 07, 2005  

  • two words: Florida Lottery.

    two other words: Butcher Knife.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 9:05 PM, May 07, 2005  

  • i have figured out why your name is plantation, because you are one of the slaves. i hope you find the underground railroad soon. in the meantime know that there are people who care.

    By Blogger ropedncr, at 11:46 PM, May 07, 2005  

  • You live in Florida. You can shoot your boss if he looks at you the wrong way. I think that's definitely the healthiest, most logical solution.
    Alternatively, you quit, work in a music store or something to pay the most important bills, and keep looking for a job you love.

    By Blogger Gatsby, at 11:30 AM, May 08, 2005  

  • the equation gets exponentially complicated when there is a child involved. or a swine of a woman, for that matter.

    do what you need to do to get through this. what's that line that Red says: "(insert your name here) had to crawl through two miles of shit to get to freedom"


    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 4:33 PM, May 08, 2005  

  • I took a chance - and a major pay cut - to escape. It's never too late - there's something out there waiting for you!

    By Blogger Fred, at 8:32 PM, May 08, 2005  

  • www.mosnter.com

    You can shoot your boss in Florida? (Too bad you can't in some other states.....)


    (just kidding about the wanting to shoot my boss thing.....)

    By Blogger Lyss, at 1:48 PM, May 09, 2005  

  • To Mr. "LX Robotnik":

    That's a very nice label to put on someone you've never met, "swine of a woman". Are you married to one? I can assure you that "Plantation" was not. By the way...children do not complicate our lives. We accomplish that on our own, by our choices or lack thereof and then hope that our kids escape the damage.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:00 AM, May 10, 2005  

  • To Mr./Ms. Anonymous,

    "Swine of a woman" are indeed my words and I'm sticking by them. From the information I know (after reading this site for several months), that is my opinion. It may not even be PT's opinion and he may be angered by the label, but it is mine. Indeed, I've never met her...but then again I've never met Idi Amin or Josef Stalin. Gasp! How can I compare such an innocent soul to those bastards? I'm not...I'm making a point that I often don't have to meet someone to form an opinion. If the opinion is later shattered, then so be it. If it's not, then so be it. We go on living.

    In our lives we discriminate. Think about the meaning of that word. We discriminate every day. It's not a negative word. If you or I didn't discriminate, we'd be running with child molesters, insurgents who take pleasure in decapitating innocent souls on videotape, lawyers, doctors (these last two are my personal choices, hence my propensity to say that discrimination is mucho personal--I hang with my peeps, and you with yours), etc.

    If I didn't form opinions based on conversations and information and tried to play "a clean game" I'd be Buddha. I'm flawed enough and happy to report I'm not. There are two sides to every story...the truth lies somewhere in between. Yes? Perhaps. But my opinions are formed nevertheless. I am open to changing them. In fact, I welcome any challenge to my position and am indeed willing to listen to anything which might change it.

    Also...children do complicate our lives. But in a good way. There is such a thing, you know. If you believe that complexity is always a negative, then it's a pity. My life is wonderfully-complicated by a ten month old baby girl. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    And, no. I didn't marry a swine of a woman...she married a swine of a man.


    auf! auf! Here's hoping next time you leave a viable name or email address so we can continue this literate debate.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 8:58 AM, May 10, 2005  

  • oh man, that sucks. I have been feeling the exact same way about my job lately, PT. Entertaining the thoughts of quitting and just leaving. But my situation pales in comparison to what you're going through.

    Like someone else said, make sure your CV is updated- just in case. Keep your eyes open to see what else pops up. These things have a way of showing up at moments like this.

    By Blogger girl from florida, at 10:16 AM, May 10, 2005  

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