Saturday, May 18, 2013

Jobs That Are Too Small For Our Spirit

"It was an itch I've been trying to scratch for many years." Love this story about Nigel Clark, a call center employee who spent seven years working out shortcuts to help customers skip through the dozens of menu options. Proving my theory that anger is the ember of initiative, that only pissed off people change the world, and that once we channel our frustration into something useful, all the bullshit we endured becomes worthwhile. Exhale. Nothing beats the exquisite satisfaction of spinning straw into gold.

"I added this app to ensure trust in my loving relationship with my boyfriend." Reviews in the app store are a comedy writer's dream. This particular user installed a family member locator app on her phone that nearly ended her relationship. Allegedly, the push alert inaccurately notified Marcy's boyfriend of her whereabouts. When he found out what club she really went to, the waves of jealousy came crashing down and they ended up getting into an epic fight. Thanks, Life360. The point is, if you need an app to ensure trust in your loving relationship, you shouldn't be in a relationship. Or have a smartphone.

"Budget time so it's not all sucked up by one step of the process." I used to work with a designer named Chu. He was a master at managing his time, and inspiring others to do the same. The best was, if he noticed someone getting bogged down by one particular task, he'd sneak up behind them and whisper, "You're spending too much time on this." That's all it took to get people back on track. In fact, even today, if you hold your ear up to a mousepad and listen closely, you can make out the faint voice of Chu's ghost.  Doooeeeeeit.

"Jobs that are too small for our spirit." Over the years, I've waited tables, sold furniture, parked cars, sold watches on Ebay and refereed youth basketball. But none of those jobs were beneath me. I did what I had to do at the time. The problem is, when you're housing an immense spirit, witholding your best skills and talents and gifts and abilities, it's not only a misuse of professional resources, it's an existential disservice to yourself. You have to pay the bills, but eventually, you have to make the most of everything you are. Inspired by a passage from Working.

"To keep her in love with me shall be my chief object." Timeless marriage advice from a greeting card I picked up the other day. That's what I tell my lady: My goal is to see how many times I can make you laugh before you leave for work. That way, your reservoir of joy is overflowing for the rest of the day. Point being, we all need something to distract us from the complexity of reality. Laughter works pretty darn well.

"I use what remains of my dreams of the night before." I once bought a book on dream interpretation. Total nightmare. Didn't understand a word. But I did steal the suggestion of writing down your dreams as soon as you wake up. And I've been practicing that daily ritual for many years now. Pretty interesting stuff. Learned a lot about myself, picked up a few good song lyrics, even stumbled across a good idea or two. Sure beats reading another dense psychology textbook. Inspired by the infamous interviews with Eugene Ionesco.