Saturday, April 7

Dear Jim,

Last weekend was warm. This weekend is cool and windy. I like it. It rained all day yesterday. I liked that too.

I’m sitting in the wind drinking a decaf Americano. I used the last few cents on the last of the gift cards that Sis II gave me for Christmas. I thought I would have used them up by now, but it was too cold to be outside as much as I would have liked to.

It’s been a rough few days. All those days off last week spoiled me. I really didn’t want to go back to work and I didn’t get into it once I was back like I usually do.

I keep thinking of what to do to feel less stressed out at work and what to do to make more money, but I’m stumped. Maybe I should think outside the box like the business books and self-help books say, but I’ve been thinking outside the box all my life. It makes me ill knowing business, which demands conformity, steals and cheapens what I have been doing my whole life.

The problem with encouraging people to think outside the box when they are at work is that if you really think outside the box and say ”Let’s slow down. Let’s make fewer changes so we aren’t as stressed,” your suggestions won’t be accepted. At best people will be amused by you. At worst they’d preach to you that if everyone was like you, nothing would get done.

Thinking outside the box is a clever way to make the staff more committed to producing, worrying, and making work a larger part of one’s life than it should be. It makes the company look better than if it says we want people with a lot of drive. Instead of leaving the stress to the executives and the people who sell on commission, the company passes it on to everybody and tries to disguise the stress by calling the staff a team or the company a family.

Remember when being part of a team meant being part of a sports team? You gloried in your youth doing something you were passionate about. You may have hated your parents, but you would never ever dream of referring to the company you worked for as a family.

When we were young pro football players, rock stars, and movie stars had careers. Now people making $40,000 a year at some horrible job are asked if they enjoy their career. ”How do you get along with your colleagues?” I always thought that only highly skilled people like attorneys referred to each other as colleagues.

What’s great about us is we’ve always thought outside the box. You did it with finesse. It took me until I was fifty to have finesse. In this age of stifling conformity, I will have to use finesse to keep thinking outside the box and refuse to back down.

Not so much to say this time.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko