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Sunday, September 23, 2018

From the Draft Bin, #1 - 09.21.2018 - Career Despair

November 29, 2020

As I write this, I have 112 unpublished postings that are in various stages of composition.  Some are actual, completed postings that I literally just changed my mind about publishing for reasons that sometimes escape me.  Others are barely fragments of thoughts that really don't make sense anymore.  

Speaking of things that don't make any sense, I really need to clean the draft bin out one of these days.  Well, make that starting now.  I'm not sure if "From the Draft Bin" will be any more than this, but for now it will at least be #1 in a row.  

Anyway, and getting to the content at hand, this posting was written during a return trip to Florida, on Friday, September 21st., 2018  In order to avoid...

A) Potential institutionalization
B) Career suicide

...I wisely decided not to publish it.  As is the case for most of the stuff on this blog I've edited the original content down and added an additional word or two sometime after it was written.  From there, it sat in the draft bin, probably destined for whatever happens to orphaned bytes of data.

Fast forward to now, and I'm in a better place professionally (or so I hope...), so it makes sense I think to share this with anyone interested in just what "career despair" sounds like, at least from the tips of my fingers onto a computer screen.  I'd say "enjoy", but that's probably not in the offing for any of us.  This is, however, honest, and when all is said and done, honesty is one of the few things in life that truly matters.

* * * * * *

September 21, 2018

"Some of them standing some are waiting in line
As if there was something that they thought they might find
Taking some strength from the feelings that always were shared
And in the background, the eyes that just stared
What was it brought you out here in the dark?
Was it your only way of making your mark
Did you get rid of all the voices in your head?
Do you now miss them and the things that they said?"

That song lyric sometimes just pops into my head.  The song, by the way, is called Murder, and it is by David Gilmour (the guitarist from Pink Floyd).  You can link to a video of the song HERE.  On the surface, it's not exactly an uplifting song.  You probably gathered that much by the song title.  But so I digress.

I'm starting this posting by gate F80 at Tampa (Florida) International Airport, waiting to hop on a plane that will take me to another plane that will take me home.  I need to go home, by the way.  It's been a trying week.  I was going to say "...a trying week of sorts", but that's a bit of a cop-out, a softening of tone that just doesn't make sense here, well at least for now.  These things have a way of evolving on their own, so who knows where this post lands (get

I spent this past week in Tampa on company business, and this wasn't a trip I was looking forward to in the least.  I am here because, well, I have to be.  A kind of hazing, if you will, required for my current position.  Is that nebulous enough?  Anyway, whatever negative feelings that were/are in my head have nothing to do with the quality of people I was with or the work we were performing.  No, this week was more just an amplification of what's wrong in my professional life at the moment.    

Yes, a good part of my professional life has been in the learning and development arena, and yet I just had to attend a week-long "Trainer 101" class.  First world problem, I know.  While I can learn anything from anyone, there is just something, well, disheartening about the whole thing.  I'll again state that the people I was with were simply wonderful.  Top shelf professionals.  They are great human beings who would make any employer anywhere in the world proud, and that’s an absolute fact.  The program facilitators were also marvelous, and they went out of their way to understand how I felt and respected what I brought to the experience.  I just can't walk away from this feeling good though.  Instead, I walk away feeling somewhat demoralized, and mentally tired.

In all fairness, I wasn't singled out to attend this class.  In fact, I volunteered to attend this particular iteration.  I did this now because I knew that I would eventually have to attend it at some point anyway.  Better to pull the band-aid off quickly than to let the tear linger.

Another point that needs to be made is this:  I actually did learn some things.  I have to note though that I can be almost anywhere and with anyone and still learn things.  That’s neither unique nor inspiring.  

Just how did I get into this pickle?  And why is it that I keep coming back to this fact time and time again?  Well at least “time and time again” in my head, as I haven’t counted how many times it actually appears in recent blog postings, if at all.  What makes that latter point difficult to quantify is the fact that I write stuff all the time that isn’t posted on the blog, but rather sits and ferments on either or in miscellaneous MS Word documents sitting on my HP laptop.

Getting back to the pickle at hand, I do know how I got here, so maybe the better question is how do I get out of it?  That’s a question I can’t seem to satisfactorily answer for myself in my own head, let alone in the form of quasi-rational sentences that might in fact make it into a quasi-coherent blog posting.  If only I could make a living by being a professional “muser”, musing for fun and profit.  Alas, all of those jobs seem to be taken, hence my going to Trainer 101 class in Tampa for a week.

Looking back, which is always dangerous, it’s pretty clear I’ve made some “less than optimal” career choices.  I’ll leave the concept of “bad career choices” to politicians, advertising agency employees, and crack dealers.  No, I’m squarely in the corner of “less than optimal” in the sense that I’ve managed to earn an honest living sometimes actually doing things I enjoy.  That concept of “sometimes” just doesn’t happen to be now, and I’m both angry and tired with the whole situation.  I’m also impatient; make that “very impatient”.

Brutally honest but foreshadowed point:  What I need to do is to make a better career choice.  I’m just having trouble doing it at the moment.  I need to be in a place where I don’t feel equal parts guilty for not contributing enough while simultaneously devoid of all professional pride.  I can’t be simply someone who fades into the woodwork of just showing up to collect a paycheck, because that’s just not me.  I want to be somewhere doing something where I’m making a difference, not trying to simply get through each day.    

What do I have to do now?  Well, finish this posting for starters.  Then decide whether or not it will ever see the light of day.  From there decide whether I do the stealth posting…meaning that it just goes directly to, without any social media entanglements.  That’s guaranteed to reduce the hit count by a good 50% or more, giving me some added air-cover in the event that this turns out to be a really, really bad idea.

I also need to work now on getting some rest.

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