I had asked The Universe and the Job Angels for some work. I specifically asked for a job that was well paid, with nice people, interesting work, and some travel. I think someone out there is having fun with me.
I have been temping this last month and the job finishes on Friday. The pay is good. The people I am working with are nice. I have to drive to work. That is not what I meant about travel. However, my drive to work is very scenic as I drive along the seafront every morning and evening and there is relatively no traffic as I am going against the main flow of it. As for the work itself, well, it is mind-numbingly dull. I am basically extracting information from one place, putting it into another place, and then putting all of that somewhere else. I am a data collector.
To feel good about what I am doing, I have had to look for some positives aspects of the job. Apart from helping the company with the data I am collecting, I am able to listen to my music collection on my MP3 player while I am doing it. This helps relieve some of the boredom and can help me set a pace to my work and keep me focused on the task at hand. I am also listening to stuff I don’t normally listen to as I have my whole collection on shuffle. I could start with a Tango, then have a bit of Rock, some Classical, etc. With the headphones on, I am able to hear things in the music I might not ever have noticed before. Listening to the music also blocks out the voices of the other people in the room I am in, which is part of a call centre.
A downside to this work is that the only time I have any human interaction is during breaks, with my colleagues. We tend to take our breaks and lunch together. If we didn’t, we probably wouldn’t really talk to anyone else, or each other, as we tend to speak to each other only if we have specific queries about what we are doing. We have found that talking is a distraction while working. We have certain targets to meet.
Speaking about targets, we have surpassed ourselves and surprised our employers as to how quickly we were able to learn how to use their system and increase the target base. We are left to our own devices as they know we just get on with things.
A big downside to this work is that it is very tiring. Even with breaks. I am so tired when I get home that I haven’t been dancing. I haven’t been having an evening walk. I haven’t been painting. I’m not really up for cooking. This is so unlike me. It is as if the computer has sucked the life out of me. I know I haven’t worked for a while, but I have never felt like this before. I’m joining a gym around the corner just to get some exercise and the blood circulating through me. If the gym wasn’t around the corner, I don’t think I would have the inclination or energy to contemplate even joining one. Now that the days are getting shorter, if I am working all day, I won’t be able to walk along the seafront. It isn’t a good idea to go alone at night.
After three weeks of this work, I realised that I would never be able to do this full-time – three times a week, tops. I am grateful for the work and the money, but I miss having the time to go outside for a walk. I miss painting. Although the time can pass quickly, it is not a fun or interesting job. Doing this work has made me realise what is important to me. I just need to find a way of getting it and having it all. It reminds me of the expression ‘cash rich, but time poor’. Somehow that just doesn’t seem right. I am not really cash rich although I have more cash than I did before, however, I am certainly time poor and I am really feeling it.
Now, I just want you to know that I am not complaining. Really, not one bit. I am just stating some facts about what I am doing and what I have discovered about what I want from work, apart from the money. I have learned what I am capable of and what I can tolerate. In this era of unemployment, and trust me I know about being unemployed, I am very grateful to have gotten this job, albeit a temporary one. By earning some money this month, it means that I don’t have to tap into whatever savings I have. I have met some nice people. If it weren’t for my colleagues on this project, I wouldn’t have had any people to talk to. We have been going into the same office for the last month and only one person has bothered to say hello to us. I find that really odd.
I have never really worked in a large company before and it has made me realise what I like about working in a small to medium-sized company. The repetitiveness of the work has reinforced in me that I would like to have interaction with others and do something that would stimulate my intellect, and that offers some variety to my working day. I am not being challenged in ways where I can utilize my skills effectively. I know it’s a job and somebody has to do it, but I can’t do it for too long without being damaged by it and that really isn’t worth the money to me. I don’t think that is a fair exchange and doesn’t offer much satisfaction. It seems like being in survival mode, which is not a place I want to be in, and yet I am aware that many people are.
Today, I came across this quote by the Dalai Lama: “When asked “What thing about humanity surprises you the most?”, the Dalai Lama answered:
“Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
I always find it amazing that I come across this type of thing when it is most pertinent. Yes, I need to work, but not at the expense of my health or certain things I want to do. I am still trying to find out what it is I would enjoy doing to earn money and to still be able to do what I want to – like paint and being out in nature, and dancing. I have a few ideas.
Sometimes we have to try things in order to work out what we really want, or don’t want, in our lives. Sometimes we are given an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life or vice versa without realising it. Apart from earning money, I believe I have benefitted in other ways from this temporary position. I don’t think I could have survived it without the humour and kindness of the people who I am working with. It will be odd not seeing them when this whole thing is over. I have discovered things about myself and others I never knew before.
So, when opportunity knocks, open the door. You never know what might happen.