Monday, September 19, 2011

My general life philosophy: don't be a dick.

So, I don't talk much about work here. But I have a little rant brewing inside.

I pretty much love my job. I've enjoyed almost every job I ever had; I'm good with that whole "be content with what you've got and if not, move on" thing in life, and have been extremely fortunate to land great bosses, be surrounded by good people and gain interesting experiences. I'll say that even about the waitressing jobs I had when I worked my way through college. Working is easy.

I am proud to say I have never willingly participated in office politics but that doesn't mean I don't see when it goes on. It's inherent for groups to assemble themselves into hierarchical structures. It happens in flocks and herds and packs and societies, and the obviousness of it all is not lost to the nature documentary constantly playing in my head. So I notice dynamics and choose to celebrate mostly their positive aspects.

My general life philosophy is don't be a dick. It seems to work.

I am totally doing this the next time someone
parks like a dick during a snow storm.

I can be a bit of an outcast sometimes. Fashion bores me, I hate sports, bad attitudes annoy me and my head is usually wrapped around larger issues then the small world I occupy during business hours. I'm thinking about the things everyone wraps up tightly at work: the coworker whose family member suffers from a worrisome illness, my mom undergoing a nuclear stress test, the possibility of bugs entering the mainstream food supply as an actual food source, how the the moon's striking beauty continually grabs me, the usefulness of animal noises as a human communication medium, how happy my ex looks with his new life and how shitty that makes me feel, why can I never remember trash day, and myriad other goings on around the planet. Articles about people struggling don't leave my mind just because I click away. I pay homage to their experience by dedicating some time to them in my thoughts. It feels important.

Sometimes this can make me a shitty lunch conversationalist. I want to talk about things that matter and everyone else wants to talk about the one person at work they can't stand or some character on a reality show I've never even seen (my LIFE is a reality show, who has time for anything but living?).

Luckily my friends are fellow nerds also dissatisfied with superficialities and so it's rare that this is an issue. But sometimes all this observation makes me feel removed from the human performances compelled by our biology.

People in a  group tightly wear a cloak of professionalism. And the nature documentary in my head narrates: superficiality is armor; animals that reveal their vulnerabilities are the first ones to be picked off. No one will admit they struggle. And so this isolates us in tight boxes of human flesh, released by keys of alcohol or passion.
Pretty sad when THIS is the escape.

In one way, this veneer of professionalism is an escape. No one could live steeped in darkness for an extended time and so it's good to move from the heart to the head to live and work and metabolize and function. But in another way it's a prison. We measure ourselves against each other. The most successful may just be better at cloaking their troubles but we can't tell that. And so the end result is that maybe we all feel isolated.

I fast forward to the series of interviews where some journalist asked people on their death bed what they really regretted. They said feeling alone. The deep connections in life are what matter.

See them connecting? It looks so deep.

So I think of this when people discuss superficialities and I wonder: why do people avoid so many opportunities to deeply connect?


ps. despite the nature documentary in my head and the seriousness of so many posts, I do often carry a light heart and laugh much. It's just that my heart is not shallow.

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