The Honeymoon Is Over

The less I think about work, the happier I am.

Now, this may not seem unusual to you. A lot of people don’t like their jobs, or are at least stressed out and annoyed by them. But for me, at least right now, the act of thinking about work actively makes me unhappy.

I noticed it today. I had the day off, and had passed the time with a mixture of reading and gaming, as I usually do. And believe it or not, I actually felt good! Maybe it was not having to get up at 4 in the morning the past few weekends; maybe I was actually well-rested enough. Maybe it was the fact that I was able to do things I wanted (relatively) guilt free. But for the most part, I’ve been in a relatively good mood today.

One of the consequences of that, however, is I realized how much of a not good mood I’ve been in lately. Working early mornings keeps me fairly exhausted, and the schedule shenanigans I’ve been facing lately have me less than thrilled. And I noticed today that as soon as I started thinking about work, my mood started to darken.

When this happened, I reflexively backed away from that train of thought; I didn’t want to mar a good day off with dread of things to come. But intellectually, I found the effect intriguing. Now, I’ve had my share of mind-numbing and boring jobs, but for the most part those haven’t done much more than evoke feelings of apathy in me. I haven’t really had a job that has actively made me dislike it on a deep, visceral level.

And I’m not sure what to do about that. Sure, “get another job,” you may say. But that means exposing myself to the pain and disappointment of rejection, of going in for an interview and not hearing back for almost a month. It means looking at listings for entry-level positions where I meet less that half of the qualifications. I can’t exactly go out to the Job Orchard and pick a Fresh Job off of the Job Tree to put in my Job Wagon to bring back to my Job Garden.

But I’m sick of working retail. I’m sick of waking up before dawn just to go toil away stocking pallets. I’m sick of not being able to hang out with my friends. I’m sick of my schedule changing from week to week. I’m sick of not having my availability honored. I’m sick of having to ask permission to have access to my weekends. I’m sick of having travel plans torpedoed because I’m so low on the totem pole there’s no way I’m going to have any seniority unless someone retires.

At the same time, I’m too principled to just up and quit. I need the money; I make roughly enough money to support myself, and my girlfriend doesn’t make enough to support both of us (to say nothing about student loans). While the stress of hating your job may be better than not having one, it’s not much comfort. I just don’t know what to do. I feel stuck, and searching for a job just feel so futile.

Happy Friday, I guess.