Yesterday was a weird day for me. It did end up as a revelation of truth in my life, but sometimes facing the truth is not the easiest thing to do. Yet the truth will always stand whether we want to accept it or not...
I went in to work at 7 AM. There are a few big jobs that have to get done by Monday morning. I spent the first 4 hours trimming laminated book covers. Word came in at 11:15 to stop what I'm doing and come over to the bindery. I stopped what I was doing and went over to the bindery. I only had 4 covers left to finish, but I know to do what I'm told, when I'm told to do it, the way I'm told to do it, don't ask questions, just do it.
I got over there and it was an assembly line for the rodeo booklet. My boss showed me what the process is and I got on it. I couldn't keep up the pace with the rest of the guys doing it...they were lapping me every other pass...after a few minutes, my boss walked up and said John, you're in the way. Go punch out and go home. Thanks for the work you did earlier, but you're making this take longer and I don't want you here. I said OK, went over and punched out and left.
I was embarrassed at first, my feelings were hurt. My pride had taken a hit. But then I reminded myself of what I told my boss when he brought me back to work in another part of the company...scanning, indexing and archiving...I can't keep up with those guys. They're 20, 30, even 40 years younger than me. They fly around me in there. They treat me like I'm stupid and that pisses me off, because I come from another world altogether that they don't now and never will know anything about that minimizes their experience, knowledge, culture and ethics. But that's beside the point, and it would never make any difference if they were made to stand one day in my shoes. Here's the bottom line...
I've lost a step, both mentally and physically. I'm slowing down. WAY down. I'm 61, heading to 62 in a hurry. I'm no stranger to hard work, but I don't have the stamina, strength or capacity to handle high-stress situations anymore. I just fall behind and get mixed-up, sometimes I go completely blank while the younger guys are talking behind my back, reaching over me and running circles around me to get their work done. I just don't belong in there. Although this type of work is not my particular area of expertise, that incident served as the catalyst for this realization and it exacerbated the situation I've found myself in. It's very clear to me now. I'm almost hoping that when I show up at work tomorrow, they let me go, even though I don't have unemployment benefits and my Social Security checks are still 7 months away. I don't want to end my career as a top-flight worker, designer and process engineer in a downhill slide. I watched others in other fields who are (or were) my equals try to keep up the pace and still win and they fell flat on their faces and were disgraced by what they did. That's not for me.
I still have creative and technical skills. I still have full control of my musical and artistic abilities and I am well-known and solid in that business. I have a full lifetime of experience working in my favor in that direction. I am thinking I should work towards expanding my involvement in that area and do what I can to make a living as a musician and graphic artist and give up the rat race I'm unwillingly caught up in. I know my boss was right. I would have said and done the same thing he did if I was him. He's been a good friend to me...but yesterday he was a better friend than he probably knew he was.
I'm still searching for the perfect tone. I'm still searching for the perfect riff. I'm still searching for the perfect picture. It's just taking me a little longer to find and produce than I thought it would...it could be that it's time for me to back off the throttle and coast through the traps on this pass. Cheers, WC1
Last edited by WildcatOne
on Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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