The worst day is the one when you come to realise the mediocrity of your life. How you have settled. The things that were important to you and you let dwindle to nothing…or worse…you retain the illusion that you are working your way around to them. The procrastination is what kills it eventually. That thing you love.
You see I am an outsourced worker. Outsourcing employees must surely be the most invidious practise emerging in Irish corporate life. I don’t have the problems that underpaid Polish workers in Irish Ferries will have if that company gets its way. I am not paid below minimum wage
, I have a managerial title, but still something in the structure itself is wrong – I can no longer identify with the job that I do and the company for which I ostensibly work.
I have been trying to figure out why this position in which I now find myself seems to bite at my very heart. Is it a pride thing? I did leave a very comfortable, seemingly respected job in the FMCG sector, where I had things known as “benefits”. Now, it appears that I don’t even have sick pay! The mileage allowance is 10 cent lower than industry average. There is no such thing as a pension…hell we barely have desks.
OK, that last one was a bit of an exaggeration.
Still, it’s as if the soul has been sucked out of me. I don’t recall if there was an exact moment in which I finally realised that this was the case. I mean there must have been a point at which it could have gone either way for me, but I made the fateful decision to nestle in the desiccated bosom of corporate Ireland just a moment longer, and then all was lost.
Nothing is any good to me anymore; I don’t like to go out; I have abandoned all my interest in literature and history ; and, to top it all off, I can’t even bring myself to do any work. I am on a silent protest: It has become the driving force in my life to get away with doing as little actual work as possible. This is just not me. Where has my personality gone?
And how did I find myself in this mess? Simply put, I was lied to during the interview process. I trusted a little weasel who I should have known on first meeting was closely related to Gollum. But it goes deeper than that: I have been lying to myself all these years. I have been working to fulfil others’ expectations of me. I have been willing to hang my identity
on others’ expectations of me, and when that outward perception of success was stripped away I was confronted with the bitter, naked reality that I have been a willing and even eager participant in the gradual erosion of my sense of self.
The only kernel of me left in this shell is the belief that I was meant for better things. It is this persistent conviction in itself that has perhaps led to my discontentment.
I have always wanted, in a kind of a loose, undisciplined, and directionless way, to be a writer. Now, if you ask me to narrow that down, I could not. My biggest fear now is that any talent or skill I accrued during my years in university, when I read and wrote voraciously, has been stripped away by the last 8 years, spent pouring over Excel spreadsheets and Access databases, long since defunct.
What has any of this got to do with outsourcing? Absolutely nothing, other than the fact that finding myself in a degraded, yellow-pack job made me realise for the first time that I need to change, and that I need to carve a direction for myself. Up until now, I only had direction by default, because I had to go somewhere