Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Excuse me. You-- I believe you have my stapler?
"And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married... But then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll, I'll, I'll set the building on fire..."
Those of you who are reading this and are up to date on your pop culture and the like know that the above quote can be attributed to the character Milton in Office Space. I liked Milton, as strange as the guy was. If I had to guess, I'd wager that he didn't start out that way. Years of a monotonous job as a cubicle dweller probably had a negative affect on the guy. Call it a hunch.
I, myself, am fortunate enough to have an office as opposed to a cubicle, yet I think lately I've been experiencing some of what the characters in Office Space went through. Things are becoming too monotonous. The following is a brief summary of how a typical work day usually goes. I suspect most of you have similar days: Get up at 6 AM. Put on a suit. Deal with people all day long you would have no desire to interact with if you were not being paid to do so. Stare at the clock. Call clients. Do paperwork. Quitting time arrives. Make the long commute home. Find something for dinner. Go to sleep. Rinse and repeat the following day.
Friends, these thoughts have been building inside me for quite some time, and they are reaching a climax. I've come to the realization that we are simply not meant to live this way. God did not put us on this earth to sit behind a desk in an office 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. We weren't meant to have upper management dictate to us how many days we can actually enjoy our lives; also known as how many vacation days we get per year. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be on my death bed and realize I wasted my life slaving for "the man." I want to enjoy my days. Do something I am passionate about. Make a real difference. Contribute something and look forward to waking up each day. My friends it took a while, but at 26 years old I have realized who and what I am; I'm a writer, soon to be author. I'm not doing it for the fame or fortune. If that happens, fine, I'll take it. But to be frank, I think I'd be just as happy free-lancing, writing a book or maybe even two a year, and making far less money than I do now. In fact, if someone said they'd employ me to do that for a lesser sum that I command now, I'd ask 'Where do I sign?'.
My message to you in today's entry is simple. When you find what you love, what you're good at - and there's no timeline for this, as I can attest to - do it. Even if it means you won't make six figures a year and drive a BMW. You can't take that stuff with you when you die anyway. Enjoy your life. Our time here is short. Every day spent behind a desk as a member of corporate America is one less day you can truly enjoy and embrace the world in which you live.
I'll leave you with something a very wise old man once told me. No one ever died wishing they'd spent one more day at the office.