the quote above is from one of my favorite movies, Office Space. it’s a movie i’d watched often in college, but i never had a true appreciation for it until about 5 years ago when i got my first “real” job working as a tech support phone rep at a company called Intuit. those days were interesting for me. i had been homeless (living out of my rusty ol’ toyota 4runner) for a couple months after the girl i had moved to Denver for on a whim had broken up with me and left colorado for an ex of hers. i had been sleeping on friends’ couches as long as i could without wearing out my welcome, bumming meals, smokes, beers, and any kindness people could offer until i could figure out what i was doing with my life. it was 2009, nobody was hiring, and i had basically given up on my dream of being a starving musician in a band somewhere. and then somehow i got an email back from intuit, scheduling an interview.
i didn’t know anything about tech support, or sales. they were hiring for a hybrid role where i had to do both. i sat across the table and lied my ass off, tried my best to make them laugh, employing my best self-deprecating personality, and tried to convince them that i was a perfect fit (which was probably not the case). my goal going in there was to just make them like me enough that they wouldn’t mind sitting next to me at a bar somewhere if there was nothing else going on. i must have done something right because i got a call back before i even got home (or whomever’s couch i happened to be crashing at the time) and they offered me the job.
fast forward through the next few years, through a lot of sales awards, a couple promotions, a wave of outsourcing, mass hirings, mass firings, divestitures, acquisitions, site relocations, and now, ultimately, a site closure. and now, here i am, i’ve come full circle.
or have i?
today marks the first day in over 5 years that i don’t actively have a job to go to at any point in the near future. i have a clean bill of health, i have no kids, no significant other, no mortgage, no demanding responsibilities anchoring me where i stand. my employment at homestead, where i have been a manager for the last 3.5 years, and sales & support rep before that, has come to an end. i am, quite literally, free.
the scene in Office Space that is quoted above obviously is one heavy with sarcasm. but also honesty. some people look at their job and they find a safety and an identity that allows them to live their life with a comfort and security. some of those folks are lucky enough to be doing something they don’t even consider work, and they draw all of the energy of their life from it, while others… (to quote George Carlin)
“…work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit”
i found too much of my own identity in my occupation these last 5 years. i allowed myself to think that my internal value was tied to my job, my title, and my paycheck, and i eventually grew weary and complacent. instead of growing and learning and creating and inspiring, i gradually and slowly devolved, and sought fulfillment in anything that would give me a temporary release, without success.
i am now determined to “undo” as much of that as possible. this place here will serve as my documentation. today i begin a quest to relentlessly evade the mundane. to find a way to live this life extraordinarily. to go against the grain of the american worker bee mentality of working and saving and preparing for the inevitable demise that comes with age, and instead i will wholeheartedly commit to being present and living now. adventure will be my creed, and discovery my motto. i will not wait until retirement to live. i will live now.
stay with me, friends, i have a lot of big things coming up. music, video, travel, pictures, and of course, the dissection and recollection of my mind. it’s time for me to get back in touch with my creative side, and i want to share it with you.
2 thoughts on “Peter Gibbons: What if we’re still doing this when we’re fifty? Samir: It would be nice to have that kind of job security.”
I’m excited for this. Can’t wait to live life vicariously through you from the comfort of my couch.
I hate my life so much…