Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Schtick und Helter Skelter

Is there an alternative?

I work in an office with an accomplished man who officially retired back in August. He's constantly worked more than full-time in the months since then. All the while making wry comments every chance he gets about how hard he's working despite the fact that he's "retired." When I first started at this office several months ago, I was told, "Now, __________ is officially retired, but, boy, he still can't seem to get a break!"

I get it. I understand. When he really retires, he's nothing; as long as he hangs around, though, making his presence known more than 40 hours a week as "someone who's retired but is obviously so needed that he can't really cut back on his hours," he's still a somebody.

I like the man. (Weirdly, he has the same Scorpio birthday of someone I still love.) But this shilly-shallying is driving me nuts. Ideally, I'd like one of two things:

(1) Announce you don't want to retire after all and officially come back to work full-time.

(2) Be retired and come into work part-time. If you happen to work more than 20 hours a week, just work your extra and shut up about it.

I just can't stand this "I'm retired but look how much I work" SCHTICK constantly.

On a personal level: My own tired SCHTICK is: "I moved to New York City for 3 years. I've seen things. And that's why I don't have a car or a job-with-benefits now." I'm bored with that, as well. Though, come to think of it, I'm also bored with: Why am I ashamed of not having a car or a job-with-benefits? Why can't I pleasantly live sans car and just LIVE with whatever job? (While I'm happy in a one-room apartment with my books, paying all bills on time, I'm also well aware that I'm smart and have a Master's degree and that I should be making at least $75,000 a year. If only I were willing to put up with multiple other people's bullshit.)

I remain uncomfortably in-between worlds. I feel that I've come to the crossroads where I should choose one, but since I hate both options (hipsters are as phony as office people), it's hard. I keep telling myself, while currently being a highly-paid secretary: "Just get the money and go home." But what I'm doing during the day, and how some people speak to me, AFFECT me. I don't just come home and automatically switch over into being an independent person --- there's still very much the residue of anger of how I was condescended to during the day.

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