Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lying to Eat, Eating to Lie  

Certain things about my line of work are great. Other aspects aren't. I'm sure that you could say the same thing about most jobs, but as a biased person with a limited field of vision stuck deep inside my day job, it seems to me like my particular gig depends on lying and falsehood more than most.

In my line of work, getting paid depends entirely on how many freelance jobs you can line up for yourself. There are always situations where someone's needed in a hurry and those last-minute things are easy enough to grab, but they're not consistent. To get regular, steady work... the kind of work that provides a comfortable living, you have to play the game.

It's all about who you know, who they know, how much people like you, who owes who a favor, and about a hundred other factors that have nothing at all to do with the sort of work you're capable of producing. Consequently, as a person who spends a lot of time calling bullshit on things (or at least, I'd like to think so) I spend an equal amount of time biting my tongue and censoring my own comments. It's not just to be PC... There's a very real likelihood that one wrong statement or one aside taken the wrong way can lead to a freelancer like myself being completely locked out of a job because someone's miffed.

There's no union to go to, nobody to petition, no higher power to beg for mercy. Play the game, and go along with everything while wearing a smile. If not, you're taking your next paycheck in your own hands.

It's just that simple.

To make things worse, there are a lot of... shall we say, eccentric personalities to deal with on a daily basis. Usually it's not a problem to get through the day, but sometimes... just sometimes it gets to be too much.

Today was one of those days.

I was tired. I was annoyed. I couldn't play the game, couldn't hold it in. I had all I could stands, and I couldn't stands no more.

I made some partially straightforward comments.

Did I burn a bridge? Maybe.

Am I tired of constantly self-censoring and worrying for hours afterwards if I burned a bridge? Definitely.

Days like today probably explain why I have about three or four friends in the whole world. Playing the game is hard enough between the hours of 9 and 5... I'd sooner jump off a bridge than have to do it in my off-hours, too.

What next?

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1 comments: to “ Lying to Eat, Eating to Lie


    I know how you feel, man. I risked torching the bridge once too and the feeling afterwards drove me sick for days, wondering if my frustration-led outburst cost me my job. Fortunately it didn't, but the feeling is lousy.

    Good luck. I want details the next time we talk.