I’ve been doing a lot of traveling recently. I went from never having been on a plane to being on 10 planes in a month. One thing puzzles me. Why do airplane seats recline in the first place? What kind of douche canoe rams his seat back into the face of their neighbor to the rear without so much as a ‘how do you do’? Now, my flights were relatively short. The longest was close to 3 hours. So, I’m not talking about one of those 8 hour inter continental monsters. I’m talking about the flights so short you don’t even get a blanket. What makes you so important that I have the whole 3 hours to judge the quality of your anti dandruff shampoo? Next time, don’t be surprised if you have a little lingering back pain from a well place knee. Or perhaps the lingering cold from a well placed sneeze. Just saying.
I work for a very large company, so the annual ‘bring your kid to work day’ is a pretty big ordeal. In the olden timey days folks just brought the day care convicts in and pushed them up to a desk. The place sounded like a Wal-Mart with someone crying every 3 minutes. I had to navigate little feet sticking out from under desks to make it to the cafeteria. I was pretty sure I had died and gone to some sort of snotty nosed hell.
After the 5th fire alarm incident, the company decided to set some rules and create a little structure around the event. While I appreciate that I no longer have to tread the gauntlet to get to the bathroom, I wonder if the activities scheduled for the tots are really giving the right impression. There will be finger painting, snacks, movie time, and a visit from the Hands On Museum and Bay’s Mountain. Is this really what we want them to think work is like? Yeah, Mom finger paints in the morning, followed by snacks, movie time, lunch and finishes the day off petting a raccoon? I think we should make them sort through lines of code in 6 point type on green bar paper. This should show them what the real world is like, not be like a day at summer camp. But, of course, they didn’t ask me.
I saw that statement on a calendar tacked to the carpeted wall of someone’s cubicle at work. It reminded me of the old “you don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps,” sign that you see on the walls of tiny offices. It spurred a series of thoughts. I am about to FINALLY finish my first undergraduate degree. I feel like something should happen, like I should run right out and find a great new job. Most of my classmates are young enough that they don’t have their “real” job yet. Me, I’ve been banging away at the same keyboard for over 11 years. I have great medical, 4 weeks vacation and a 401K. Wow, how old did that make me sound?
Back to the original thought, if you compare your job to being crazy are you really happy in your job? What are your options if you are really settled? You could be like my new hero, Jonathan Coulton. He left his programming job to become a music making Internet phenom. Check him out at www.jonathancoulton.com. Buy some of his music.