So, in its entirety, my experience of being a 9–5er hasn’t lasted more than a year. Yep, and I have been out of school for six, so do the Math.
It’s not that I have spent the remaining five faffing. Agreed, there was some faffing, but it’s the kind of faff that puts money in your pocket. Half of that faff was spent on movie sets, the rest of it spent hunched over a laptop in an array of questionably dark rooms, typing furiously like, as my brother would say, an angel compiling the judgment day list.
I have a special respect for 9–5ers. They are a breed of cape-less superheroes, the kind that negotiate long, painful hours of traffic and get a paycheque for their troubles. They spend the whole day either actively trying to get some work done to get some people pleased, or thinking about what approach to take to get some people pleased.
And this, right there, is perhaps my biggest grouse with the 9–5 system.
Growing up, you were probably asked about your dream, what you wanted to become in future and all that jazz. For me, all I really wanted badly was to see the day that I stopped going to school, because, what was all that stress for? We didn’t have all that in the womb for God’s sake! The good days! All we did was move around in our pee, sleep all day and eat what our momma ate. Life was soo good in the womb yo!
You’re either woken up by an alarm, or in my case, my mother’s tap, early in the morning at the time when the sleep is sweetest, and the ship of people-pleasing sets sail:
You must get to school early so the Principal or Headmaster won’t be displeased. You must wear the appropriate uniform so your teacher is not displeased. You must listen in class, do the classwork, read and pass the test and exams so they, your parents and the rest of the world is not displeased. Everywhere you turned, you were always pleasing someone or not displeasing someone.
The only difference between this and a 9–5 is while the former gets you an A as reward, the latter gets you cash, a reward that would trump an A any day (I would know, I have had a lot of As in my life. It does nothing for your wallet.)
After you start to heave a relieved sigh that all that school-related people-pleasing is over, you are plunged into yet another reality that would last some forty years, a reality of people-pleasing in exchange for food on your table, two weeks a year of vacation laden with work calls and thoughts, payment of bills and the pursuit of happiness.
Now, I have a problem with that.
I consider myself a very nice person, maybe too nice sometimes even, but I am also too hard on myself enough for three people to allow someone constantly nag me for not pleasing them, hound me to please them, or monitor me to see that I have pleased them. That’s a little too much for my mental health, so I opted for the kind of work that allows me please and criticize myself in equal measure, or do so with the occasional client or customer, whose face I won’t have to see every day if I play my cards right. This way, I get to walk if I don’t like them or endure for the period I have to put up with them if the pay is great.
Oh, and I also get to save on transportation costs and waste of life in traffic. And should we speak about time control now or leave that for later?
That’s a win in my books.
PS: In my next article, I am completely shattering this table I just erected because, what!? 9–5ers get paid monthly? How cool is that? *hot tears* Um…where do I sign up? Haven’t been paid in two and a half months.
I want my mommy!