This whole weaseling thing is becoming a way of life here at BAC.
Okay, so at my last two jobs, I really thought that the problem was that I was squandering my talents on stuff that I wasn’t really that good at. If I could write, I told myself, I would be so much more motivated in the morning. So I rewrote my resume, tilted it heavily towards writing and started sending it all over the place. A colleague put me in contact with a recruiter, I sat through an interview where my soon-to-be manager told me that he didn’t think I was really qualified for the position, and got the job anyway. Probably based on my ability to bluff.
Of the many things that he said to me in the interview: a concern that I was more interested in the creative aspects of writing and that those interests would not be served well in this position. I told him that any writing was creative and I thought I’d be just fine. I believed it too. But I also had in mind sorting out the writing of mechanical engineers talking about failing HVAC equipment, not binary code. So point to the manager for being right. I don’t give a shit about binary code, nor do I want to learn enough about it to understand what the documents that I am editing are actually trying to say. Take it up a level. I don’t care about routers, LANs or work stations. I just want MS Word to work in its standard screwy way and my internet explorer to be available reliably so that I can look for Leonard Cohen quotes.
Anyway, so it now becomes clear that, while I love writing, too much of this could kill the love. And here we are back at the original question: what should I be doing with myself? I thought I should be writing professionally, even if that meant being a technical writer. I was wrong. No one is going to pay me to drive around the country taking photographs, so that career choice is clearly out. I’m not going back to school so I can go broke as a costume designer while I hope that Peter Jackson will pick me to design the clothes for his next movie. Making a reasonable living as a novelist seems unlikely. My latest rejection from failbetter.com (which seems to print poetry with glaring mistakes—it’s for its—see here: http://www.failbetter.com/2005-3/RosserDiscounting.htm) has convinced me that getting published enough to make it as a professor of poetry somewhere small and depressing is unlikely as well (not that I’m overly pessimistic these days).
So, having ruled out doing what I love for a living, why does it matter so much what I do? I can’t even begin to fathom, actually. Except that feeling dull and useless and utterly uninterested in what I’m supposed to be doing 8 hours out of 24 just isn’t working for me. And I have no idea what the magic bullet is that is going to remedy the problem. Something active, slightly analytical, broad in scope and varied, I’d imagine. That’s like describing your pet of choice as being hairy, brown and intimidating. That covers a range of animals from grizzly bear to Doberman. Good luck with that.
Anyway, I’m weaseling my way around BAC again. I ran a search for jobs that would keep my credentials active and e-mailed the manager about a position that seems like it would satisfy the above criteria. Of course, that position happens to be in the UK, which presents a whole new set of issues (like what to do with the house) but never mind that. I’m waiting to talk to the guy on the phone, if he could ever get his shit together and tell me what time I ought to call. Not that I’m impatient or anything.
And that’s it. A striking lack of progress from one year to the next.