Sunday, July 30, 2006

Like frogs, oblivious

So, in response to a comment: does my work have an anti-blog policy? I have no clue. I can't imagine they would.

However, I am aware that people have gotten in trouble for blogging about their work before. That is because they listed real names, real jobs, protected information, etc. I don't plan on doing any of that here. Even though y'all know I'm a manager for the feds and I work really hard in some difficult situations, this blog isn't gonna be all like "then Mike told Jim that Nancy did this, and she got written up because of this, etc.", it will be more limited to general observations that won't put anyone up shit creek without a paddle.

There are also policies about writing about specific goings-on without authorization. That is why I'm not writing about specifics. The stuff I write could impact anyone in any workplace.

My goal here is to relieve some stress, find some kindred spirits, educate some people and share a few laughs in the process. This blog will not be used to slag on individual people or specific situations.

Anyways, on with today's comment:

Floating in this cosmic jacuzzi
we are like frogs oblivious
to the water starting to boil
No one flinches, we all float face down...

Incubus, "Warning"

There always seems to be a metaphor that gathers steam in pop culture at any one given point in time. The boiling frogs scenario seems to cover that right now. The general idea is that if you put a frog in room temperature water, and slowly start to boil it, the frog won't notice the water getting gradually hotter until BAM!, poached frog's legs.

It seems like as humans, we put ourselves through the same experiment on a near daily basis. At work, we always have to do a bit more, at home, the house always has to be a bit cleaner, the lawn a little greener, the car a little newer, the kids a bit smarter, and we don't seem to realize that not only are we stewing in the pot and the water's getting hotter, but we're the ones turning up the temperature on ourselves. Until one day, the water gets too hot and you're too weak to get out of the pot to turn off the element.

Old man sits at his desk
Waiting for retirement
Let himself over you
The question what to do is never there
The workload grows

I’m always wishing, I’m always wishing too late
For things to come my way
It always ends up the same
Count your blessings
I must be missing, I must be missing the point
Your signal fades away and all I’m left with is noise
Count your blessings on one hand

So wait up I’m not sleeping alone again tonight
There’s so much to dream about, there must be more to my life

Poor little tin man, still swinging his axe
Even though his joints are clogged with rust

My youth is slipping, my youth is slipping away
Safe in monotony, so safe, day after day
Count your blessings
My youth is slipping, my youth is slipping away
Cold wind blows off the lake and I know for sure that its too late
Count your blessings on one hand

So wait up I’m not sleeping alone again tonight
There’s so much to dream about, there must be more to my life

Can’t help but feel betrayed, punch the clock every single day
There’s no royalty and no remorse
You spoke for present check
That makes me fucking sick
He sick of, he can’t say no


So wait up I’m not sleeping alone again tonight
There’s so much to dream about, there must be more to my life
So wait up
So wait up I’m not sleeping alone again tonight
Between the light and shallow waves is where I’m going to die
Wait up for me
Wait up for me
Wait up for me

Alexisonfire, "Boiled Frogs"

Is that what happened to the generations before us, did they burn themselves out and not even realize it?

Now, I'm more resistant to stress than most. For the record, I already experienced what psychologists call a "burn-out", at about 13 years old. Through that experience, I learned what I need to do to keep things in perspective and avoid a reoccurrence. I push myself very hard in work and in life, because I'm the kind of person that likes to explore my limits. I strongly believe that anything I can do, I can do better, but that kind of inner drive is starting to take its toll.

I first noticed it a few weeks ago, when I was flipping through old photo albums, and came across a picture of my dad, at my age. Now, he didn't have it easy himself, and worked some pretty high-pressure jobs, but in that picture, he probably looked 5-7 years younger than I do now.

So, as of yesterday, I hit the release valve. My resume has been posted in various places, and even if I never leave this job (which I honestly love), just the fact that I'm giving myself permission to consider doing something else is giving me a sort of feeling of relief, like I'm only there as long as I want to be.

So, as I drive into work later today on a Sunday afternoon for about 6 hours of unpaid overtime, I remind myself, I'm doing this because I *want* to do it. The water's getting hotter, but I haven't started to boil yet.


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