May 19th, 2010

planet

hating your job?

Got my driver's license renewed today (Do you still weight 150 pounds? uh... sure!). First let me say that yesterday I tried to go on my lunch break, and there were like 40 people in line. I also read a sign on the wall about proof of address and I didn't have a utility bill or anything with me so I bailed out. Well today I went after my 8-9 meeting, and there were four people there. I got right in, took my test, and got out.

What struck me the most was how all the workers HATED THEIR LIVES. I mean where do they find these people? And I might not relate, but I don't think their jobs are that bad. Most people in Kansas find the drivers license/tag renewal process pretty reasonable. We don't wait in line for days here, most of us renew our tags online anyway. The driver's license is a once-every-five-year thing. It seems to me like the public comes in pretty happy. But seriously, the voice inside the self checkout at the grocery store makes me feel more warm and fuzzy than these people, who try to make as little eye contact as possible. No smiles were cracked, no "hi how are you", no jokes. It was just misery and government work.

But it's not just government... I got that same vibe once when I went to Panera Bread in Olathe once. Johnson County is not known as a terribly creative place, I have to say it, there's a lot of manufactured chains of places. Anyway at Panera Bread all the employees have a section on their nametags that says "my passion is..." and they can fill in whatever. The one by our house is staffed with a lot of college students and generally fun people, so the nametags have stuff on there like, "my passion is... SUPERHEROS." or "jogging suits". or "my abs". At the Olathe Panera bread, every single name badge just said "my passion is... family". That's it. I'm not saying I expect an extra dose of FUN with my onion soup, I just feel bad that all those people work someplace so boring.

I just feel like I'd kill myself if I couldn't make my job sort of fun. I think that's what I hated about the movie The Office, which came out when I was in college and was like a really horrible crystal ball into the most pessimistic future I can imagine. As a college senior, I did NOT like watching The Office, I dreaded the idea that I could be that miserable. I'd never worked in an office long-term, I didn't know it wasn't so miserable. Well now that I'm out I do know people who are miserable at their day jobs, and it's unfortunate, because life shouldn't be like that. Especially if you can DO something about it. And you can't always do something, sometimes it's not the right year to make a change. But going for four, five, ten years at the same job you hate, and never trying to get out, or even see what you like about it? Eventually I feel like it's your fault, and you're wasting way too many hours a week. Do yourself and the world a favor and at least get your resume out there. Not trying to be all pollyanna bullshitty, I'm not saying everyone should be a ray of sunshine, I just really think some folks need to realize that not everyone is so unhappy, and they should step outside.