Tuesday, March 08, 2016

A Little Broken

I broke today, I think.

I cannot define the specific moment for you but I can define the time.  It was relatively early in the workday, when I was consulting industry literature to see companies in my space are doing.  There was an article about a leader in industry and his opinion on where the industry was going (in his case, the wrong way).

I read the article and thought "Wow, there is something pretty neat.  Cutting edge stuff, people doing good."  And then got sucked right back in to the mediocrity of my work existence:  broken work flows, documents that need fixing, things that I am supposed to do and have not gotten to because of other things.

And then it hit me:  there are great things going on in my industry.  Really great things.  Life saving things, life enhancing things.  They are just not happening here. And they are just not happening through what I am doing.

It was at that moment I broke.

All of a sudden all of my tasks were laid out before as they really are: administrative exercises in paperwork, minor walk on roles in a play where the action and main characters have long ago passed me by.  I do the work that needs to be done but even in that it is work that is ultimately just plugging holes and filling gaps.  The great work goes on elsewhere.

Not here.  Never here.

What to do?  I am not sure, except I have now discovered a huge hole where my "I care" button used to hang.  I will do the work that needs doing because it needs to be completed and systems need to be maintained, but I no longer have any illusion that this means anything other than nothing.  More effort will not results in greater impact or recognition.  My efforts to go higher will only result in more of the same rather than something different.

All I know is that I broke something today.  And I fear it can never be repaired.

5 comments:

John Wooldridge said...

Ahh TB you have reached a point in work that I reached sometime shortly after the dog released me enough to gain some self respect. I came to realise that the work I do, fixing stuff, would never satisfy my needs within the company that I presently work for but moving to the unfamiliar of a different company or a new field of work is never easy as the unknown may just turn out to be as bad or even worse even more soul destroying.
How do I cope? with concentrating are trying to heal my damaged mind and repair my bruised soul by concentrating on life outside of work, by taking pleasure in the simplest of things and letting the 'big picture' take care of its self. Yes I intend to change my job, hopefully this year, but for now I'm just taking one day at a time and even find myself smiling now and then, although to others I just say it's wind.
Take care my friend and try to live for the moment.
John

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks John. It comforts me greatly to know that someone has already started down this road. This has been (I suspect) a long time coming and I do not know specifically that I been here before but I can recognize the feeling when it comes. The unknown, as you say, is risky and one has built up a certain comfort level in terms of schedule, rules, vacation, etc.

You mirror my coworker Fear Beag, who has said for years "When I leave the job, I completely leave it behind. I do not think about it at all." This, for me, is coming to be first step. The second is to figure out what is truly important and go that direction.

Thanks for the encouraging words! - TB

PioneerPreppy said...

I usually find even the glamorous lead characters don't see themselves that way and are just as bogged down as you think you are with mundane-ness.

Beware sudden changes as a solution however.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

You speak wisdom Preppy. I have done a sudden change as a solution once; it did not go nearly so well as I had hoped. I am approaching it from the point of view that if it is time, the opportunity will present itself.

PeteForester1 said...

I have one of those mundane jobs. It pays the bills, but is about as fulfilling as an empty wine bottle. Time after time, I've prayed to God, that He'd lead me to more fulfilling work. Time after time, the answer has been "I'm sustaining you. Wait. You'll be fulfilled, both in life and death." I'll back up PioneerPreppy; The VP at my company once did the job I do now. He once told me "Sometimes I wish I was back doing what you're doing." With most job changes, you trade one stress for another. As for me, I do what your coworker does; work to live; not live to work. When you leave work, LEAVE WORK. Find the gifts God gave you, and work in that direction. In the meantime, God is sustaining you... Wait on God... and rest in Him...