Day to day, I approach work with a phlegmatic outlook: I didn’t end up in a dream job, but I don’t hate it. I didn’t make it big or end up with a stack of credits and a nice hab, but I’m not burning out, either. I try not to let the job get to me. Let it roll off the back and let the world move on. In twenty years, thirty years, no one will care or recall what I did in my day job. Why should I be the only one who has the stress of it burned into me?
By midday today, that sense of calm was gone. Tight frustration wound through me, making me waspish in my annoyance. With each new message that arrived on the terminal my teeth ground, and the pressure built. I seethed and boiled as message after message arrived, each new task assigned inevitably marked as urgent. Each sender uncaring of the other’s demands, each providing too little information to complete their task fully.
Work mounted up, and those remote senders that I queried continued to exert pressure, squabbling with me as they reused to admit they could provide more information and not cut corners, if they wished. Failure to complete the task was mine, they felt, not theirs. Their incomplete demands of me were my fault, not theirs.
So it has always been, in the office world. So it will always be. Only the industry changes, and perhaps the frequency of days like today. Back at the hab, I try to let the pressure drop again, knowing full well that tomorrow it will be worse – now I have all the tasks I was supposed to do today, as well as the fall out from today’s overrides, to handle.
My shoulders are tense, but nothing like the never-ending ache of my old career. The frustration is palpable in my body, but not the burn of anxiety-induced reflux. Technology was supposed to make our lives easier. Instead, it adds its own complex layers to any discussion, and the natural model of the business world makes those in power assume more can be done with less support. At last days like this are less common, in this job.
On days like today, I want to rage. I want to blow. I want to drink.
But I won’t.