I had a moment of extreme clarity this afternoon as I was sitting in my cube quietly seething at the inefficacy of things in general – and of the minuscule probability of ever getting my office computer fixed in particular. Like a real living version of Office Space, I realized that I’ve basically achieved every professional goal I’ve ever set for myself and my last real motivating factor is to cut hassle to an absolute minimum wherever possible. I try to do respectable work because that cuts down on the number of people who are going to ask for it to be redone. I cancel meetings when I don’t have anything new to share because a meeting running loose with no agenda will breed more work all on its own. I smile and nod to all manner of ridiculous ideas because fending all of them off would be both exhausting and futile.
It’s not the recipe you would want to use for ginning up someone’s best efforts, but it’s certainly one that works when the overarching objective seems to be reaching “good enough” and proceeding no further. If I were young and impressionable this might have the tendency to being dispiriting. Mercifully I gave up having spirit many years ago. Then I jettisoned professional pride and shortly thereafter personal pride in a job well done. What’s left then, it seems, is the motivation of not being hassled. What happens when that’s no longer a motivating factor, the gods alone know.
I supposed it’s yet one of those cases where I’ll have to burn that bridge when I get to it.
Tis the season to be meh. Honestly, if it weren’t for the calendar in Outlook and the sparkly Rudolph blinking happily on the neighbor’s lawn, I wouldn’t have any real idea it’s less than two weeks until Christmas. I have exactly one present purchased, which means this Saturday is probably going to involve the painful ordeal of going to a mall of some sort. On the flip side, I’m ridiculously excited about being off for 9 straight days and spending a big chunk of those banging around Allegany County. I’m insanely happy that this Christmas isn’t going to involve a 16 hour drive to get anywhere. So yeah, while Christmas spirit and holiday joy isn’t exactly twinkling inside me, but I’ve been doing this long enough now to be damned appreciative for the perks that come with it. After the last five years of Tennessee exile, I’ve come to think of Cecil County unblinkingly as home… But getting to spend some time at the real thing is definitely going to make the holiday for me.
As of a couple of days ago I’ve been running my Hail Mary play to get out of Memphis for seven months. I dropped my first resume in the files on August 22nd, so you can check my math and make sure I’m doing it right. Seven months is what I’ve come up with… and in that time I’ve drilled exactly 276 dry wells. I’ll drill 5 more tomorrow and five the day after that.
This great escape can be left to incubate for another seven months, but know this – You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can torture me with powerpoint until I’m tapping out briefings with bloody stumps of fingers, but you cannot break my spirit. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness. I shall be delivered.