[Sept 2013] Fantasies about Quitting my Job

It is Sunday afternoon. I am at home at my mother’s house. I feel terrible. A lot weighs on my mind: the difficult week in front of me, with all the work I have to do, with all the stupid tasks. Being at home, I am flooded with old memories. I miss my daddy, and it hurts so bad. I feel a painful emptiness inside, that’s choking me. My body and all my muscles are one big cramp that is impossible to loosen up. My stomach is tight and feels empty, although I know it is full, so much full that it hurts. I want to escape, but there is nowhere to go. I don’t see a way out, so I try to stay here as much as I can.

It is past midnight already. I am at my apartment in the city, lying in my bed. I am unable to sleep. My stifling thoughts and feelings don’t let me, mostly thoughts about my job. That’s all that I can think about now. It makes me freeze. I am trembling all over my body. The negative thoughts are running wild in my head. The disgust of my job makes my stomach turn. I am fantasizing about going into the office in the morning and quit. To my surprise, it doesn’t terrify me, quite the contrary: it makes me feel relieved. I don’t even care about my significant bonus that I would lose with quitting. I feel happy and proud. I feel strong. This job to me is like a bad relationship in a phase that it is already irreversible. I know it will end soon, the only question is when. I don’t want to finish it yet, but once I make the decision, I can’t stay in it for long. I usually lose my patience and quit much before I plan to. I feel the irresistible urge to do it tomorrow.

I remember a day from long ago, that explains a lot about my current feelings. I was a teenager. I was at home in the house, and my father asked me to help him around the house. I was always anxious when he asked me something because very often I had to do tedious, pointless tasks with no apparent benefit or goal. And whenever I enquired about the why or recommended to do it slightly differently, he became angry and offended, instead of arguing with me. Besides, I never really liked working around the house, especially doing something in vain.

A few weeks earlier we brought lots of old, discarded windows from a friend of his after he had replaced the windows all over his house. We brought them home and stacked them up in the middle of the backyard. My father wanted to build a greenhouse out of them later on. To my surprise, this day’s task was to put them back on the trailer, and take them to my grandmother’s house for the winter, because my father wanted to build that greenhouse only next spring. I didn’t want to believe it. This was hours of tedious, hard work, with several rounds because the trailer was not big enough for all the windows. Besides, we would have to do it next spring again, to bring them back. Oh, and I didn’t even want or rather dare to raise the question of why we hadn’t taken them to my grandmother’s house directly from his friend.

I became angry and at the same time anxious immediately. I just couldn’t stand the pointless waste of my precious time and energy for no reason. I knew I had two choices: shut up, do it, and get myself a few horrible hours, while blowing up inside a few times; or start to ask some questions and put up an argument about the reasons, and possible alternative solutions. I knew for sure that the latter would lead to a big fight with my father becoming mad and resentful, then he would send me back to the house, refuse my help, and do it alone. And after that, I would live with the guilt for days or weeks, that I was such a lousy and ungrateful son of my father. I was on the losing end of both my options.

Anyway, I couldn’t restrain myself and decided to ask him a question. I asked him if we could find a place around our house (on our huge site with several different buildings) where we can put them for the winter. He resented the bare question, and started his usual behavior, asking me to let him alone and rather don’t help him. I didn’t say anything. While he was preparing the trailer, I went to the backyard to check the sheds. I found a hen-house that wasn’t used in long years, and it was totally empty. By the time my father brought the trailer to the windows, I already finished putting the third of them into the hen-house. He was standing there apparently disappointed and angry at the same time, then asked me silently: “Did you find some place?” I was merciful, so I only said: “Yes, in the hen-house.” I completed the otherwise several-hour-long work in 20 minutes all alone.

So what’s the bottom line for me? I feel the same at my job for more than a year. I am doing meaningless work for months on, that doesn’t make me happy, and doesn’t make the world a better place in my point. And I am not in a position to ask questions about the actual purpose of the work I’m doing. When I ask about it, everybody is just telling me “Yes, okay, you are right, but please just shut the fuck up and do it, stop bitching.” My father used to knock me out with this in a few minutes, and now I am doing it for months. This frustration has been cumulating inside me for a long time, and it is eating me alive. I fuckin’ hate my job! I feel my work, my days, and myself utterly useless! And I hate this feeling!

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