there are no charts or 8 to 5 in people's hearts and souls. there are only butterflies and a good night's rest.


i quit a job once after working only 5 days. i didn't give them 2 weeks notice. i didn't even call. i simply didn't show up for the 6th day. i received a nasty email from them. i can understand why. but that's the way i had to do it. i think i knew the job wasn't for me when i had to take an hour long test for my first interview. that wise test told my employer that i was a hard worker and not overly dramatic. it somehow knew that i was the perfect candidate for the job. the second interview was face to face. and i honestly thought i'd love the job. and so did they. hired.

but then, on day 4, there was a meeting. with everyone. these happened weekly, and they couldn't be missed. all of us employees were handed a thin packet of papers stapled together. each page had four charts on it, everyone's different. i noticed some people had smiley-face stamps on their charts. others had none. my stomach sank. oh no. they were grading us on how many appointments we had booked, and how much product we had sold in the past week. yup. i was being graded on my willingness to push people to buy something they didn't need. worst nightmare.

some of the employees were having fun with the little competition of counting smiley-faces earned. i told myself, it was all about attitude. i would learn to love the smiley-faces and jump in on the co-worker "comraderie." day 5. couldn't do it. couldn't call co-worker "hun" or "sweetie" like everyone else did in the office. went home that night. cried. went to bed. slept in. spent day 6 at the tea shop. felt good.

now i am a college graduate. took me 9 years. but i did it, and i'm oh so glad i did. last night i looked at craigslist for job listings. made me ill. when did we decide that it was normal to spend 40+ hours a week in drab cubicles in front of computer screens? when did it become normal to repeat the same thing over and over to everyone you talk to on the phone? when did it become normal to graduate from college only to work as a nanny or answering phones all day and filing papers that have nothing to do with anything you love? when did we decide it was normal to work 9-10 hours a day and end each day with watching 2 hours of TV? when did we decide that it was fantasy to actually have a job that you loved? when did we decide that it was fantasy to get paid for making beautiful images or writing what your soul reveals? when did we start valuing cubicles over backyards? when did we decide that plastic "stuff" was more important than vegetables or flowers?

i need a job. but i know my happiness does not reside in a cubicle. but i might have to go there. {please, please, please no!}

image by julia fullerton-batten


Linds said...

The worst part is that you have to at least make a little money in order to have a backyard, or at least a courtyard in an apt complex, so while you have choices, you don't have a choice when it comes to everything costing money. The trick is learning to live the life you want with the means it earns you. As a teacher and coach's wife, I now have a FULL understanding of this principle.

Netti said...

I agree with this post 100% and share your feelings, but the sad and terrible part is, it's me all the way. I hate working in an office and commuting and not getting home til 6:30, but I don't know what I want to do with my life or what I am passionate enough about to spend lots of dollars and hours learning about. It's pathetic, but here I am, wishing everyday that I could be brave and just walk out the door and start a new adventure, but then I remember I have bills to pay and I feel stuck. I hope so much for you that you can find an amazing job that you are passionate about and don't end up in an office, I wish you luck and I will send as many positive vibes as I can muster into the universe for you!! And congrats on being done with a school, that's gotta feel good!

Caroline said...

The trick, of course, is to figure out what you both love doing and are good at, and how to make a living at it. It took me almost a decade after college to figure out how to do that; a decade of working in cubicles doing work I could not care less about, but I finally did.

I think you'd benefit by reading the book "The Rise of the Creative Class" by Richard Florida.

Scott said...

“When you have come to the edge of all the light you have
And step into the darkness of the unknown
Believe that one of the two will happen to you
Either you'll find something solid to stand on
Or you'll be taught how to fly!”
-Richard Bach

Brandi said...

I know precisely how you feel. I actually did something similar before. I admire that you had the foresight to know that you wouldn't be happy there and recognized that you needed to leave. Don't give up. I've been reading your blog and I know you're a very talented and creative person. But remember that good things don't come to those who wait - they come to those who do. So put yourself out there, walk around and talk to people, think about what your dream job would be and go for it. The things you stumble into along the way may not be perfect but you'll recognize their worth for what they can teach you.

I can't wait to hear what happens.

Dianne said...

Don't go to the cubicles.

amberJ said...


I've done it all...the cubes (cubicles), phones, bakeries. You name it I've worked it. BUT, I would DIE for a job I actually enjoyed.
Do you think that's possible? Because doesn't the word 'job' make it automatically no fun?
Fortunately I can still keep looking for that perfect jo...creative outlet. :)
Good luck to you my friend. Good luck!

julia said...

i don't know. these are all questions i've been asking lately as well. one student, when telling his professor he still had a few years of his bachelor's degree left and medical school, in addition to a couple kids and a wife to support, his professor replied "Wow, you've got a long time until you start living, huh?" the student said, "The hell I do, I'm living now."

Dee said...

Oh I agree with every single thing you said, can totally relate. Well-said. And noooo! don't do it! I love this: "when did we decide that it was fantasy to actually have a job that you loved?" I want to shout YEAH! WHEN? When. I see the looks on people's faces when I tell them what I'd really love to do and they tell me it's not "realistic". So tired of hearing that.

LOVE THIS POST. You're amazing. You should be a writer. Well, you already are. :)