Wednesday
Sep142005

« Bah »

It has been about five weeks since I moved into this apartment and started my new job. The summer was a whirlwind affair of angst, hard work (even while being unemployed), and separations from things I once swore would be insurmountable things to leave. One would reason that I should be somewhat happy. I keep telling myself that maybe it's not all bad. But I just don't really feel this is any better.

I have tried to do well at my job and no one has led me to believe I've screwed up outside of the usual new guy mistakes and the learning curve in general. Still, I have a hard time getting into this work at all now. Each day I come home predictably tired and sore. I still push myself to do things in the evenings—a couple counseling sessions a week (solo, couples), and on the weekends we seem to keep busy. Kelli is at school now, gone most of three full weekdays each week. I get two nights to myself now, but with one of them taken with a counseling session smack in the middle of the time I get out of work and go to bed, it's sort of one night I get to myself and can use without consideration of others. Every single day I have worked has been at least a two shower day. On some of the days, it was a three or four shower day. Some of the days when I had to do some moving after work pushed it into four shower days. It's crazy. The work is sweaty  and often dirty too. Usually it's either a lot of physicality or numbing repetition. And it's almost always standing up for eight hours.

That is the simple thing to tell about my experience there. The deeper concerns are that the whole thing is a dead end waiting to smack me in the face. Well, everyone will get the same smackjob eventually. The thing that won't escape me is that this job is one of the most disposable services in the world. Sure, we work for some of the biggest companies you've heard of. We have contracts with Nike, Yahoo, Starbucks, Sony, Microsoft, the Chargers, and lots of others but what no one gets is that corporate America, for all its power now, is going to face quite a time when people can't afford to buy their stuff, either because of greed or because of the gas prices that are going to send all prices higher across the board for anything that is manufactured, grown, and transported. That pretty much describes everything we know. At work, I'll be pushing road cases from A to B and back again, or teching out some gear, or going through bins of cables and checking connections, and all the while, I am thinking, 'all this shit is going to be next to worthless in a few years.' The company depends on corporate America to survive, and corporate America depends on consumerism and consumption. And that will be going out of style before long. Who will be able to afford to actually pay for things they use and need? People will drive their cars as much as ever and make cuts in other parts of their personal budgets.

The fact is, most of the work I do now just sort of takes me back to the old days of being frustrated with gear, hating corporations and high society engagements (did a load in for a Chargers related benefit at Pamplemousse restaurant the other day). People make such a big deal about the smallest and most annoying details. The small mindedness of it all just eats at me. All day long, I think of things like, 'I should really be hanging out with a craftsman who can make useful and attractive things by hand using found items, or I should be learning how to grow carrots, or I should be out making presentations to community groups about peak oil and post carbon living. But no. For eight hours a day I move cases, fix cables, tighten components, and troubleshoot electronics. All my productive time in a day is sucked up doing shit that is really fucking meaningless in the grand scheme. I keep telling myself I will have to study Kafka more and try to live a doppelganger life, split between utter boredom and misery doing worthless work during the day, and doing more intrinsically valuable stuff at night like addressing the REAL problems in the world. No, all my brain cycles and physical energy is mostly given to the company. And with their business picking up, it's a bit more frustrating—add an hour to this morning, drop two at the end, add two hours to the end of Monday, slash part of Friday but add it back at the strike of midnight on Saturday, drive eight hours to Monterrey next week for an overnighter that culminates in a ONE HOUR GIG! Return.

I did another EONSNOW presentation this last weekend, on the 11th where I showed the movie that just slashes through all the feelsorryforourselvesbutputmorebumperstickersontheSUVandkillmorearabs 9/11 shit. I used gear from work to do it since the big screen TVs I had available to me before were not this time around. I took the stuff to the church on Friday and did the setup that night, focused the projector, then went to that Nike gig from hell where I was a crew guy for the lighting director, and general loader. I hurt on the way home like after any gig of that sort, but I slept nearly all of Saturday until about 4:30 PM, with a short span of time awake around noon. Then Kelli and I went to Phil and Nancy's place for Kelli's birthday, and spent some good time there, but I was tired and sore still. Then on Sunday it was church and some errands before I did the actual movie showing, but I always get there with an hour to prepare. The showing itself was great even if a little sparse in attendence, but afterwards, striking it and going home just seemed like work. Well, it was work! I was moving their stuff on my day off! Then the next day it was up at the crack of too early in the morning and time to take that stuff from my apartment to the truck and get on with the day's work, and that culminated in a last minute, two hour extension tagged on because some idiot associated with that Chargers/Pamplemousse gig didn't actually sign a contract with the salesman, and he had thought she didn't want the gear, so nothing was done till she called with a rather startling 'where the hell are you people???' So, the whole gig dropped in the laps of whoever was on staff that day. It was a mad dash. At least I got a savory snooty dinner.

And, even more ridiculously, on the way to that gig, I got a call from Mitch Grant. Mitch is still the main figure in my audio and production career. We had a falling out a couple years ago after some stuttery times in the wake of 9/11. When the new job was cutting hours even in the first week or two, I called and left a message saying that I would be interested in some pick up work if he had it to offer. Anyhow, he called me just as I was on the 805 at "the merge" and I could barely fathom telling him I could do the gigs he offered me now that the current job is starting to pick up again and it's already overwhelming. All he had to offer was some Sea World stuff which I might have taken but it was on the weekends and was pretty time consuming, and outdoors. Ordinarily, I liked SW gigs, being the venue that I used to work at about 40-60 times a year during the summers from '98-'01. But right now, it's just a fucking 'nother day at work on the weekend after a long week.

Ahh, pisser. It's getting "late" now: only 10:45 but it's late according to the new me. Gone are the days of staying up till 6 am. Bummer. I really liked that.

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