Monday, November 30, 2009

Tend your garden.

Back to work today after 6 days off with pneumonia. I seem to be well on the mend, and hopefully I'm seeing the back of this illness. I started this job at the beginning of May and knew it would be at least a 6 month job interview (I'm a temp for a huge corporation, angling to be hired along with the other schlubs). The job is high-stress and high-turnover, and as of next Monday, I'll be into my 8th month of job interview status with no vacation, no sick leave and no benefits. Still, I'm grateful for the work, and I'm very happy to be here. This job got me out of Dallas and into the place I needed to be, so it did serve its purpose. I could do with a little less stress and uncertainty, though.

I mentioned last week that I've been reading Going Postal by Terry Pratchett. The funny thing was that by the end of the book, I found it was about something entirely other than it seemed at first blush. Like so many of my favorite stories, this one is a tale of redemption. Like Burgess' A Clockwork Orange (which is anti-redemption, imho), a Moist von Lipwig is given an 11th hour reprieve to mend his ways and work in service as Postmaster to Ankh-Morpork. Under very tight supervision, Lipwig runs on rails and gets a defunct post office cranked back to life. Over time, he has more and more freedom and sees opportunities for graft, but instead finds a sense of purpose and duty in his task, and opts to take the honest way and to do what is right and noble. In the end, Moist's tendency toward the licentious is sublimated to the sense of purpose he finds in a job well done.

If one's lot is to work for a living, at least one should feel they've made good use of that time. I know I'm doing good work and that I'm worthy of hire, but the stress level is excessive. I'll just keep doing what the old man advised at the end of Candide: I'll keep tending my garden. Seasons and jobs will come and go, but I know I've earned every penny they've paid me, and then some. That will have to be enough for now.

Even if you're not a fan of sci-fi/fantasy, I really think you're missing out if you don't check out Pratchett's writing. At least one person has told me they found some of his work on the preachy side, but I think he couches things in such lovely settings that it's a pleasure to read, and I find that on a great many points, I very much agree with him.

Have a great week. :)


Anonymous said...

Glad you're well and back to work.

Now just keep the stress levels down as much as possible, and continue to heal.

B Woodman

Anonymous said...

Register at Interim. They find real jobs for people; Kelly finds temps. Companies love Kelly temps because employing them absolves them of everything: no sick leave, no retirement, no health insurance, no vacation, no nothing. They are delighted to have someone who's good that they don't have to actually give a job. There should be a limit on the length of time a temp may be used before hiring. I should think the TEC or Labor Board ought to have something to say about this, but at the moment, there's nothing illegal about it.
FYI, next job, if you're looking for another job and going out on interviews, don't be honest. Call in sick when you have an interview and don't tell your super that you're looking for another job. It's a sure way of getting used, but not hired.
Elsewhere PhD

Old NFO said...

Good luck on the job front! And yes Pratchett is an excellent read... :-) said...

Hope you get back up to speed soon...I've had pneumonia twice this year...both related to mold allergy.

I'm on allergy shots now...I hope to nip future attacks in the butt!

Rabbit said...

Glad you're mending.

I'm giving serious thought to my options should I fall into the Grand Outsourcing scheme around here. I may stay home and build ARs or get a lathe and build suppressors, but my inner Randian is quietly tellimg me to find a comfy little place in the underground economy.


On a Wing and a Whim said...


Glad to hear you're up and feeling better. Take care, stay warm and get plenty of liquids so you stay that way - we're happier when you're happier!

Did I just channel my mother? I'm sorry.

LabRat said...

Pratchett's best novels are most often not about what they appear on the surface to be about.

Reaper Man is a classic example.

J.R.Shirley said...

Very glad to hear you're feeling better- I've been scarce for a while, so I hadn't realized you were sick.

Check your email.



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