Those are two jobs I could not do. Just thinking about it makes me a little tight in the chest. If clients aren’t already keen to buy, I have no business convincing them otherwise, especially if it involves a high-sugar drink that contributes to obesity and destructive palm oil harvesting. As for the classroom of rowdy youths, forget it. I wasn’t that fond of kids when I was a kid — all the screaming and name-calling and juvenile betrayals — and I can’t imagine being disrespectful to someone who is earnestly trying to teach me. Being on the other side of that is a non-starter.
Ahead of joining the working world, I was naïve to the extent that people would pretend to know what was going on when they didn’t, and I was appalled at the lack of cooperation. It was like there was some loftier goal that meant everyone-for-themselves was the way to go. I was especially sensitive to it because I hadn’t really wanted to get a job in the first place, so I couldn’t distract myself by playing the game.
Hell may be other people, but entering adulthood did make the vagaries of human interaction easier for me to deal with. I learned to walk in other people’s shoes and feel compassion instead of disdain; sometimes what we see as less-than-decorous behaviour is actually pretty impressive comportment when you know the backstory. It sounds a little trite, but books made me less judgemental.
Though I’m a hard worker who understands finance and commodities and banking and copy-editing and typography and French and professionalism, I’ve never had any energy to actualise those things in a professional context. There’s energy to complete the task when I’m on the job and formally asked to do so, but when it came to daydreaming about what I wanted out of my working day, whether realistic or not, I’ve never come up with much.
But we all have to work, right? So I didn’t question my indifference, I just ploughed on through.
At the end of this 21-day Be Yourself Writing Challenge, our final prompt is to write about a secret we kept from ourselves, so here it is: to me, the working world isn’t a nice place to be, just as the classrooms of my childhood weren’t so great either, and I’m not that interested in shoehorning myself into it. I can’t really care whether my editing business grows or not because I can’t really care about business.
There. That’s it. Here I am writing to a business audience, many of whom very understandably want to supercharge their careers, about my apathy towards business.
Maybe I’ll change my mind some day and maybe I won’t. I don’t dwell on it. In the meantime, life is rich, and I’m going to dabble in spheres where creating high-calibre work matters more than the furthering of one twenty-first century Western human’s very transitory career. Get in touch and we’ll dabble together.