Got a Favorite Day of the Week, Go Figure

Not the real view from my house. Not yet.
Ciucaș Peak, Romania by Daniel Mirlea

Monday, I think this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship

For most of my adult, salaried life I’ve distrusted Friday. You know why: they are sneaky, they are a mirage, they make you think that you’ve got your life back. But just for a speck of time.

You can tell there’s something fishy about the Fri when the company men and women putting the monies to buy your forty hours of abject servitude—if you are lucky—start inviting you to ridiculously named events: happy hour, fun Friday, bring your lizard to work day. “Oh, boy!” chortles the resident sycophant. “Do I love fun Friday!”

Most of these occurrences are a mixture of empty conversations, boring games, alcohol, cookies and—sometimes—ice cream.

Ice cream? Fucking love ice cream!

Beware, what comes next is something I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy—Saturday.

That’s it, stop smirking, you know where this is going.

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Published in work and life

Finally Out

Nola, the kitten by Zoë Gayah Jonker

Can I walk the walk for all the talk I talk?

I did it. After a decade of being on a payroll I quit what most chumps would consider a comfortable tech job.

I was sick of wearing the obedient employee masquerade in exchange for cold money while life passed me by. I’ve got better places to wander around, nicer people to be with, and plenty of ideas to shape, so here’s where I start anew.

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Published in work and life

How Not to Get a Job

Spider-Man needs a lift by Judeus Samson

Defying the slick and detestable maneuvers of the American tech industry autocrats

As millions of fellow grubs in 2020, I had the fortune of losing a full-time job in the midst of what we hope will be a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic (betcha it won’t), and a couple of minutes later, after having entertained going back to freelancing and remembering how much I abhor chasing clients, I did what most domesticated adults would do: ignominiously hit the job boards for what I expected would be my last time.

I had wished that the sudden, forced embrace of remote work would uncover new and unique ways of collaborating, that both puppets and puppeteers would finally realize that there’s opportunity beyond the glass partition, and that a threatening virus would bring out the best in us. A man can dream—none of that happened, of course. We’re talking humans here, remember?

I hadn’t been on the hunt for a new master in a while and didn’t enjoy a single second of it, but at least the ordeal inspired me to jot down my thoughts, revive an old draft from my antiwork folder—yep, I have one—and compile my suggestions for how not to get a job in tech, that lazy label pundits attach to anything involving software, Internet, hustle, and billions with a b.

What follows is painfully inspired by the more than two decades I’ve spent solving other people’s problems and sprinkled with extra findings from the myriad of job interviews I endured during the COVID-19 era. So heed the advice of this idiot and I guarantee that you won’t be getting sophisticated, respectable-by-the-masses wage employment anytime soon, but instead you’ll reap something much more valuable and important—a good life.

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Published in work and life

They May Take Our Hours, But They’ll Never Take Our Freedom

Two oxen by Ana Cernivec

The prisoner wishes to say a word

Welcome to life in the twenty-first century, my fellow responsible adult, where you have to toil your way through hoping that, with the right mix of skills and fortune, you’ll earn enough pennies to afford the necessaries of life. Terrific, innit?

What’s that? You don’t like your job? Want some time for yourself? What for? Have you even considered that every second you waste on that life of yours is hurting the economy? Our economy! No, you wouldn’t dare. We’re all together on this so stop whining and get on with the plan.

That’s one of the favorite arguments of those utilizing you as a pawn to extract labor from. The rest—the sheep resigned to the grind—can’t even conceive what a good life is and will just abide. “That’s how it’s always been, what else can you do?”

What else? Well, you can start by facing reality and how you feel about it. I don’t pretend to announce a step-by-step plan in this short piece—I’m sure it wouldn’t apply to you anyway—but if it induces you to start sketching your own I shall be more than content.

And you, lucky bastard who already made a victorious exit, tag along and enjoy the well-deserved schadenfreude.

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Published in life and work

Infinitely Scarce Buckets of Time

Hourglass by Aron Visuals

Your current balance is 692,040 hours and you have one life left

The year was 1866 and the American Civil War was just a few months in the past when a group of emigrants from Germany gathered in a tavern to talk about the needs of their new home—a broken but still nascent country—and to engage in horological discussion. They were watchmakers who shared a love for their craft and wanted to create an organization to represent them and their fellow men.

They originally called it the German Watchmakers Society, but sixty-four years later, as members from other nationalities joined, changed the name to the Horological Society of New York.

Why am I telling you of these mustachioed, hat-wearing gents? Well, I already shared some ideas on how to avoid wasting your days and hours, now I want to explore how people from different cultures perceive time.

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Published in society and life