Do you like what you do? If not, how do you cope?

When the weather is pleasant I look longingly at the bike messengers passing me by on their fixed gear carbon fiber freedom. Each frame emblazoned with an exotic French or Italian manufacturer's name. The five plastic casters on my office chair are no match for the stainless steel spokes of the urban riders. The lactic acid searing and blood pumping beneath their tattooed calves and thighs. Ctrl+Alt+Del. I lock my PC. My only exertion is the walrus-like flops I make towards the kitchen for a cup of orange pekoe and my lingering stroll back towards my pen. My stained ceramic mug clinks on my desk as I wake up my PC. I check the weather online and a smile crosses my face. Tomorrow it will rain.

LordSpaz wrote:

I've never looked for fulfillment in my job. It gets me money to pay the bills and buy me soemthing nice every once in a while. I sort of turn off while I'm there. Do I like that? No, not really, but it's the choice I'm making for now. I've achieved the most important dream I have already. I married the woman of my dreams and I had kids with her. The rest of my life is just icing at this point, I mean, really.

Nice post dude, this has been my outlook for many years now.

Certis wrote:

My dad always told me you should be happy regardless of what you're doing. He started a business cleaning offices (toilets), then he ran a tree cutting business, then he ran a real-estate company. So he should know, I suppose. God knows I cleaned enough offices when I was a kid.

The challenge for me has always been not getting too caught up in the fantasy that if only I had _______ (new job, raise, promotion, benefits, house, etc.) then I can finally be happy and satisfied every day. It's an illusion. It doesn't matter what you're doing, it's always you behind the wheel generating new desires and dealing with difficult people or situations.

So if you're really unhappy cleaning those toilets and you don't think you can change your mind about that, then finding something else to do make sense. But that's just one piece of the puzzle.

Personally, I went from seven years of self-employment to an office job (of sorts) that sees me wearing many hats, making decisions and working directly under the owner of the company. It's pretty much everything I'd wanted out of a 9 to 5 job, but I still have my days/weeks longing for something more and feeling generally dissatisfied. It has little to do with what I'm doing, and everything to do with how I'm feeling about it.

Easy for you smarmy Canadians to say. You folks have national health insurance!

Humor- dry, crisp, evil, cynical... the kind that would dry the forest up, then start the fire.
Oh, that and marry somebody who makes twice as much as you!

I absolutely love what I'm doing. I'm in medical school, on track to become a trauma surgeon treating our troops. I'm currently in officer school. I marched in my Whites on the 4th of July, and got cheered for three solid miles. Girls smile at me, people walk up to thank me for serving, and I go to sleep every night knowing that I'm exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to be doing.

But getting here took ten years of busting my butt when other folks were kicking back in the evenings and just doing enough to get by. I'm not lucky; I took risks and worked hard. Others chose a spouse and kids, with a safe house. I've chosen uncertain adventure.

Long term, who'll be happier? No idea. But today...I love my job.

doubleplusungood wrote:

When the weather is pleasant I look longingly at the bike messengers passing me by on their fixed gear carbon fiber freedom. Each frame emblazoned with an exotic French or Italian manufacturer's name. The five plastic casters on my office chair are no match for the stainless steel spokes of the urban riders. The lactic acid searing and blood pumping beneath their tattooed calves and thighs. Ctrl+Alt+Del. I lock my PC. My only exertion is the walrus-like flops I make towards the kitchen for a cup of orange pekoe and my lingering stroll back towards my pen. My stained ceramic mug clinks on my desk as I wake up my PC. I check the weather online and a smile crosses my face. Tomorrow it will rain.

The first thing that came to my mind reading that was, "He could save a keystroke by using windows+L to lock his workstation".

*sigh*

Every time I look into the depressing abyss of my current situation, I remind myself that:

-It could be worse; I could still be unemployed instead of making 1/3 less than my previous job.
-It could be worse; I could still have my previous job.
-this too shall pass.

I try to be grateful for the free time I have now that I didn't have before, and for the kindness, understanding, and generosity of others so I could have a roof over my head and the hope of some prospect of recovery.

I like my job, but I hate my customers.

Seth wrote:

My wife always laughs when I threaten to quit my office job and become either a truck driver or one of those guys that fixes stuff on telephone poles. But when you're 5 years into your career and you're already daydreaming about retirement. . .that's a bad sign.

I went from sitting at a desk 40 hours a week, to being a cable guy. In the short period I've been working here, I've noticed one thing... any time I have to go up that pole, I'm going to have a bad day. If the drop's bad, I'm going to have to replace it, and with it being freakin' hot outside, it means taking many short breaks just for water. If we have a problem on our line, I have to call it in, and then listen to the customer bitch about how I should be able to fix it, regardless of the fact that I have no tools, materials, or training to do such.

And boy do people take their cable seriously. I have at least one person fuss about having to take time off work every single day. Like it's my fault they're choosing to stay home from work, rather than schedule the appointment for a time they're off. And it's way worse if I'm already running late.

The absolute worst though, are the people who set up appointments for things they know we don't do. About once a week, or every other week, I'll have a "slow internet" trouble call that's a f*cked up PC. I'll get there, and usually there's plenty of evidence of heavy porn usage. I'll have to swim through multiple pop-ups to get to the modem diagnostics. I have to sit there while the customer acts all embarrassed, and professes they don't know how all that got on there. At first, I'd clean up the PC a bit, and recommend a number of programs that can be used to finish the job. Now I just tell people to call Geek Squad, and cancel the job out so when they call to get another technician out (because apparently I'm lying), I don't get hit with a repeat appointment. The productivity points just aren't worth it on those calls.

Sorry I can't really read through everything so far, but I'll throw in my few cents.

Short answer: I like what I do, and, barring any bad co-workers or bosses, I love what I do.

Long answer:
I was lucky enough to find out where I wanted my life to go early. Most people aren't that lucky, even among all my friends there is only 1 other person who likes what they do.
Here's a list of tips from what I've seen among my not-as-lucky friends:

1.) Find a career, not a job. Career = promotion = advancement = more money. If you only have a job to make money, make the best of it.

2.) In your free time, your priority should be doing what you want.
What would be your dream job? Building computers, designing software, working on cars, writing novels, scupting, etc. Do that. At the very best, it will keep your skills up and may get you that dream job down the line. At the very worst, you are still doing something you want to do.

3.) Find people, or even a website that also enjoy the same thing. The more friends the merrier is some people's opinion.
A specific example, one of my artist friends was rejuvenated when he found deviantart. He gets a lot of great feedback on his art and by definition, and since everyone else does some form of art, he at least feels among peers. Or if you are a gamer at heart, but you work a job to pay for your gaming habit, find a site with other gamers...with jobs.

misterglass wrote:

Or if you are a gamer at heart, but you work a job to pay for your gaming habit, find a site with other gamers...with jobs. :D

I keep hearing this advice but never know where to look. What are your suggestions? IGN? Gamespy?

I am allergic to most Mondays. My current job does provide for much frustration day in day out, so to cope with all that...I go home in the afternoon and kill s**t. It does help.

Rallick wrote:

I'm a telephone monkey - I work in a call center for a financial company. While not all customers are bad, lately it seems the vast majority are rude, whiny and obnoxious. Add to that the fact that the way the place is run is very frustrating, and I end up dreading every morning I have to go in. Of course, once I'm home I switch off and do my own thing, but work is really not fun at all. The problem, as with everyone else here it seems, is that the pay is not bad, and that there is nothing else. I'm trained in IT, but there is zero demand for that here.

An hour and a half to go before I can go home. Sigh...

I am in the same spot, as long long as I think our customers cant get any more dull they prove me wrong and I am tired of being proven wrong. I think I need to take a break from tech support. I like fixing computers but it gets slightly old after a bit you know.

My job is monotonous and there are long stretches of time where I have nothing but ridiculousness to do (like when people ask me to do stuff they could do themselves in less than a minute) or, even worse, absolutely nothing to do - but I'm getting paid and I'm an intern, so I appreciate the generosity of my employers for hiring a kid when they could be using that money for a full time position (even though they are getting to pay me less than half of minimum wage because I'm an intern). It's nice to have the experience, blah-di-blah-di-blah.

Hearing what Coldstream said fills me with hope because I am joining the military (officer track, RN) next year, hopefully. That's why I want to do it - I think in the long run I will get the satisfaction of never wondering about the importance of my existence as an officer. And it is a career, not a job. It's not something you can get out of easily as a "lifer".

Man, I'm so psyched for it now! Yay for this thread.

I hate my job. It pays well, is relatively secure, has good benefits, and generally allows me to live in the style to which I am accustomed. It is also one of those jobs that everyone feels a bit nervous about when someone tells you what they do, forces me to face the most disgusting aspects and examples of humanity, and my colleagues are either old, odd or both.

None of this is really the problem, though. The massive bureaucracy that I am a part of is incapable of leaving us to do the job in peace, since the political appointees heading it up have to be seen to be doing something. The middle management recognise that, if they want their bonuses and promotions, they have to be political as well. In the five years since I started, the budget has halved, but the managers keep massaging the figures to make it look as if we are still doing well. As a result, the budget gets slashed again; if we can manage this well on half, we can still do well enough on quarter, surely.

We do not have enough people to do the job - and it is an essential job - and no money to hire more. Ours is a function that any sane government would be throwing money at; the tautology speaks for itself, I suppose.

The net result is that we are messed around, sent on long commutes on no notice, given no time to do the essential office work we have to do and treated generally badly. A massive support network exists to put those of at the coalface there, but that network has become more important than we have, despite having no reason to exist without us. Contracted hours are a joke; they tell is "You can claim back time as flexi", but leave is fully booked until October at this point.

I nearly had a breakdown last Friday when I saw what I was doing this week. A 120 mile commute every day, 60 miles before I even start work. When I say breakdown, that's what I mean, as well; I'm not exagerrating. If not for a friend talking me down from the ceiling, I don't know what I would have done.

The problem is, I could really like the job, and there have been times that I have, but as it is, I'm dragging myself in every day, and hoping it goes away as soon as possible. I can't even surf the 'net, thanks to our stupid policies, even if I had time; thank god for the iPhone!

What do I do? I come home when I can, enjoy the hour I get with my little girl before she goes to bed, and I play videogames. I have a family and mortgage, so there's not much else that I can do.

Reading all this makes me stick my tongue out at all of you. I don't have a job to hate.
That's okay. Soon I'll be starting school again and working my way towards becoming an LPN. It's what I've always wanted to do.

Currently, I do not have a job. Not by choice, of course. Everyone who hates their job should take a step back for a moment and realize that some bean-counter in some other part of the world can deem your efforts unnecessary. Sorry, that is just a dose of my reality.

What I have come to realize is that we often define success very narrowly. I have to do *THIS* job. I have to live in *THIS* neighborhood. My kids have to go to *THIS* school. I have to drive *THIS* car. It's all bollocks unless it's your own company, and even then... The bottom line is that success is so much more than just work. Yes, you have to be happy - but you also have to realize many other things define who and what you are other than what you do.

I left jobs I hated in order to work in Restaurants... now I wanna go back. I'm doomed.

I kind of fell into software development, and I still love it. I work with smart, interesting people, the pay is pretty good and I can browse GWJ when I need a break.

I haven't felt the work-related morning sickness since I worked tech support during college. Those call-center jobs are soul-crushing.

This thread has got me looking at: (a) new jobs, and (b) the possibility of going back to school to get some new skills that might make (a) more likely. Fortunately, my current employer will pick up the tuition tab for school, so I'm considering evening classes for a Masters. Not sure what in - I'm thinking either brushing up my software skills, or human-machine interfaces. Both could be applied to my current job in aerospace, but would more importantly broaden my 'narrow-but-deep' skillset.

I better like my job. Papa's gotta bring home the bacon (or turkey).

doubleplusungood wrote:

When the weather is pleasant I look longingly at the bike messengers passing me by on their fixed gear carbon fiber freedom. Each frame emblazoned with an exotic French or Italian manufacturer's name. The five plastic casters on my office chair are no match for the stainless steel spokes of the urban riders. The lactic acid searing and blood pumping beneath their tattooed calves and thighs. Ctrl+Alt+Del. I lock my PC. My only exertion is the walrus-like flops I make towards the kitchen for a cup of orange pekoe and my lingering stroll back towards my pen. My stained ceramic mug clinks on my desk as I wake up my PC. I check the weather online and a smile crosses my face. Tomorrow it will rain.

You know, Win+L will lock you PC without having to go through the Ctrl+Atl+Del menu.

wordsmythe wrote:

You know, Win+L will lock you PC without having to go through the Ctrl+Atl+Del menu.

Serengeti wrote:
doubleplusungood wrote:

When the weather is pleasant I look longingly at the bike messengers passing me by on their fixed gear carbon fiber freedom. Each frame emblazoned with an exotic French or Italian manufacturer's name. The five plastic casters on my office chair are no match for the stainless steel spokes of the urban riders. The lactic acid searing and blood pumping beneath their tattooed calves and thighs. Ctrl+Alt+Del. I lock my PC. My only exertion is the walrus-like flops I make towards the kitchen for a cup of orange pekoe and my lingering stroll back towards my pen. My stained ceramic mug clinks on my desk as I wake up my PC. I check the weather online and a smile crosses my face. Tomorrow it will rain.

The first thing that came to my mind reading that was, "He could save a keystroke by using windows+L to lock his workstation".

*sigh*

VDOWhoNeedsDD wrote:

...I am joining the military (officer track, RN) next year, hopefully.

Keep in touch with me if you want to know about the MilMed thing, as well as some useful advice for ODS.

Podcasts. A good pair of headphones and an Ipod full of good music and podcasts can make even a menial third-shift job seem bearable.

I do not hate my job. I get no satisfaction, no sense of accomplishment from my job, and I hate that. The sad part is, this is pretty much what I lined myself up for. I have no one to blame for my situation but myself, and that sucks.

I have been getting into some outside hobbies more and more recently that kind of alleviate the dissatisfaction of my working day. I'm getting more and more into outdoorsy stuff like rock climbing, hiking, I'm planning on going whitewater rafting pretty soon. Being outside and physically active makes me feel better every time. I've also taken to building stuff with my hands, woodworking, etc. It makes me feel good, accomplished. But then I go back to work and suck it up for another day.

Tell you what, moving to the mountains and doing the hermit thing is looking better and better every day.

wordsmythe wrote:

You know, Win+L will lock you PC without having to go through the Ctrl+Atl+Del menu.

Thanks. Serengeti pointed this out as well. I always associate a certain over-dramatized frustration with the three-fingered salute and it just seemed to fit a bit better (literary liberties).

TheArtOfScience- It's very commendable that you helping to take care of your extended family and handle things while your wife is finishing her doctorate. Have you told your wife what you would like to do in the future? If you are thinking of a Master's degree do you have some ideas of where you would like to go? Also, have you taken any vacation time or a day off recently? It might be just what you need to recharge the batteries.

I don't like what I'm doing, but I console myself by telling me I'll be able to quit once I'm finished Uni.

Rob_Anybody wrote:

I do not hate my job. I get no satisfaction, no sense of accomplishment from my job, and I hate that. The sad part is, this is pretty much what I lined myself up for. I have no one to blame for my situation but myself, and that sucks.

This is my situation too. My job is made bearable by good co-workers. I'm currently stuck with one I simply don't get along with for the majority of my day. Once the other co-worker (who I do get along) with goes home, the shift gets very quiet.

Apologies, in retrospect my post felt far to impolite.

I buff cars. I take a car that, usually, looks pretty bad and I make it look almost good. But...every once in a while, I take a car that looks o.k. and make it look frickin gorgeous. I take immense pride in those rare occasions and look forward to having a couple of them every week.

I don't hate what I do. I, actually, kinda like it. I do, on the other hand, dislike most of my co-workers and management. If they weren't getting in the way, I would put on some good tunes, take my sweet time and love every minute of turning crap into shiny-crap.

My job is ruined by quotas, and lazy co-workers, and going in at 6 am, and staying till 5 pm, and having to rush through what I'm doing just to help someone vacuum so we can get another car done, and this and that and this.

That being said, I live in Michigan. I am lucky to have a paycheck. My father no longer does. My uncle no longer does. I work for an auto auction that is lucky enough to have a Ford account. Our sister auction has the GM account. They're laying people off. I have health insurance from head to toe. My grandfather worked for Chrysler for 40 years (never missed a day of work). They just cut his optical and dental. I'm lucky to have a paycheck, so I look at that when evaluating my happiness in my work.

And every job has its own small perks. At least I get to spend time with cars like this, sometimes.

IMAGE(http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/skeletonframes/photo1.jpg)

I got it good now. I was promoted recently from Customer Service Rep (which I started to hate) to Technical Supervisor (which I love).

The only problem is that I'm a backup (for an indefinite period of time) which means I could go back to CSR next week or keep this job for as long as I work for the company or move up. Now that I love what I'm doing, I really don't see myself going back down but it's something I knew all along when I accepted the position.

It's very, very important to love what you do. I used to hate working on Saturdays (now I don't mind and anyways I only work 1 in 4 instead of 1 / 2) and the week-end never got here soon enough. Now I actually enjoy work. Days fly by and I even get to work much earlier so that I have time to prep my stuff and be ready and calm when the day officially starts.

So yeah, loving what you do makes a world of difference. I don't need a ton of caffeine to wake up, my enthusiasm does it for me.