Haven't Felt Like Blogging......
Been otherwise busy, or haven't felt like staring at a screen any longer than necessary....been working on the post below for days
Jeff Culbreath, who who will be busy
training for a new line of work, wrote a wonderful essay
about the nature of work, and how the contemporary consumerist society thinks in terms of "usefulness" (that is, utilitarianism), profit (abused into Mammon), and "efficiency" (slavedriving); instead of sanctification or the common good.
I work two jobs -- one to pay for food, shelter, and clothing; the other for a little extra money and a lot of fun.
My primary job is data processing for a major computer corporation
. I am not an actual employee, being contracted out from another major company, a major temporary agency
. I've been a "temp" for over eight years now, longer than many people spend at a "regular" job. In some ways, it's not a bad deal for me. Since I'm a bachelor with no dependents, and I'm not concerned about "career advancement" and other artificial concepts, the wage is more than adequate. I've also made some lifelong friends there, and I've been able to use my research abilities and writing skills.
But there are quite a few frustrating things at this job. We have a manager who must constantly tinker with things to justify his existence (he'd make a great liturgist, alas). He's concerned about productivity
which is very important, but it seems to trump all; and other important things such as accuracy and thoroughness have suffered. And productivity is measured by standards which, if they conflict with reality (time-consuming projects, discrepencies, etc.), must be believed over reality.
And then there are the rules
. Many of them make sense, of course. Others are very nitpicky, and seemingly arbitrary and unnecessary. For example, I was talked to because I clocked in at 7:27. Before this, one could clock in as early as 7:23 and it was OK. No-one knew they were breaking any rules until it was brought up.
My secondary job is at ComedySportz
. I work just a few hours a week for low pay doing menial tasks, like stocking the bar, fetching ice, taking out garbage, setting up the theatre, leading people to their seats, and putting on a tutu and leading cars to their parking spaces with a comical quasi-ballet. Yet this job has come to mean a lot to me.
First of all, Dick Chudnow is a joy to work for. He may be the Founder and Grand Poobah, but he's very hands-on, and still shares in routine tasks like hosting and manning the ticket office,as well as taking his turn at playing and refereeing shows.
Coming up a close second is the joy of making people laugh. When I ballet park, I'm the first person a showgoer sees. I welcome them to CSz, tell them where they're going to park, and lead them there in a most ridiculous fashion. It's great to see them cracking up in their cars as I pirouette and plie all over the place.
Next is the menial and basic nature of the work. It can be hard work -- standing out in a parking lot in single-digit weather, ballet parking several cars at once, taking out large, smelly bags of garbage and bottles, hauling heavy buckets of ice. But I find myself liking it and looking forward to it. If I could make a living at it, I think I would.
After that is the chance to watch shows for free. When I clock out, the show is still going on. I can sneak in and watch some of the finest improv in the world, and learn from it.
Last of all are the money and the perks. The supplemental income has helped, the half-fee for workshop is a great benefit, and 50% off food is a good thing. But what I started out doing for the money has turned into a fulfilling job in all ways. .....