Why I blog.

Nearly two months ago I quit  my job. This was a job I’d worked at for a year-and-a-half, which made it the longest job I’d ever held for a continuous amount of time. In one sense this was a really good job: it paid well; I worked with talented, kind people; I had a great amount of respect for the management; and it paid well. However, in another sense it was a bad job: I worked in a cubicle in the suburbs…

You see, to a certain category of man that last part strikes them as merely a simple, expected byproduct of life. It’s the occasional cracked egg in every few dozen that’s just thrown into the trash without a second thought. But to others that last part is not just a byproduct of life, but an important symptom of some deadly, epidemic disease ravaging our collective American psyche. It’s the occasional cracked egg that’s the catalyst for one of these individuals to lay awake all night thinking about that egg, jump in the car at six AM, still clad in slippers and sleep-wear, and drive down to the supermarket in order to walk through the doors the minute they’re unlocked and refuse to talk to anyone but the manager-not based upon any particular value of the egg, but based solely upon one principle that this man is responsible for selling a bad egg.

In many situations I believe I would fall in the category of the pragmatist who weighs the actual importance of the principal against the perceived outcome and decides the most the super market manager (who probably couldn’t care less about one broken egg) could give is a replacement egg, a hollow apology and a forced smile. And why would one waste the gas money for that?

But apparently in respect to the “suburban cubicle question” I fall in the category of man who is aware of the level of hatred he has for cracked eggs, and knows he should just leave the egg-cooking up to someone else entirely. But instead he goes to the market and buys a carton of eggs he hasn’t even pre-checked. Then he puts on some sort of angst-ridden music and thinks about the possibility of finding a cracked egg for a few minutes before he checks the carton. But the truly strange piece is that upon finding that scraggly, hair-thin line on that oval orb the man just goes to bed and dwells on it for a year-and-a-half.

Maybe some day we can get into why I think this sort of job can be such a debilitating part of one’s life, but for now I’ll just let you know that it bothers me. If you work one of these jobs, or wish to work one of these jobs I do not want you to feel any judgment. Some people work well in this kind of environment, and sometimes it is a necessity-regardless. And anyway, I can only speak to my own feelings and experiences. And I don’t want the focus to be on the wrong issues: is the suburban cubicle healthy or unhealthy? is it better to work in a suburban cubicle or an urban one? which level of white noise being pumped through tiny speakers overhead is the best-level three or level six? etc…

The important issues are: 1) I entered into a situation that I had rejected, upon principle, for several years 2) I stuck it out for a year-and-a-half to find… I was right

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m thankful for all I learned in that suburban cattle stall, which was a lot. Seriously, it was. And I also developed skills I’ll use throughout my life. But in the past month-and-a-half I’ve learned just  how depressed I’d become, and how my aquifers of creativity were all but dry. This is a tough situation for me to face, but I trust in my God and my soon-to-be wife to help me recover.

So I see this blog as my therapy. And I know there is so much “art” nowadays that acts merely as a forum for venting frustrations (i.e. Emo music and open mic poetry sessions). However, anyone who thinks very personal art equals bad art should read some of the “Confessional poets” (Robert lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton to name a few… in fact, read the poem “Memories of West Street and Lepke” by Lowell to see both an example of confessional poetry (it’s nearly 100% factual) and a seminal work in the journey toward my view of suburban cubicles (but you must get a copy that includes commentary, because the context of the author’s life greatly enhances the poem))

Anyway, I will attempt to keep my pragmatic tendency in view in order to keep this blog from being merely a bitch-session. This is because there are two sides to the Gospel. One side reminds me that we live in a fallen world full of fallen people-of which I’m the worst. And the other side reminds me of the hope that Christ will redeem it all-“every crooked thing straight, every rough road smooth” (to steal from my friend Mr. Hall… who probably just stole it from some book anyway).

This is why I blog.

The Calico Rebellion

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Why I blog.

  1. wes

    so i dont get it, if you would have your own office with real walls, and it was in downtown okc (non-suburban, non-cubicle) it would have been ok?

  2. do vegetarians eat eggs?

    just kidding.

    I like the blog man. Good stuff to ponder, and I feel like I’m in a similar place with you, trying to decide whether chasing the dollar or the calling is best, or if chasing the dollar means placing the call on hold, or closing that chapter all together. . . it’s pretty unnerving at times. but yeah, I’m afraid a cubicle farm would make me crazy.

  3. calicorebellion

    In response to Wes: I would probably still be miserable in a real office downtown.

    I would just be hip and miserable.

  4. Non-Existent Chord

    my offer of the bass playing position still stands. i will try calling you again. hit my xanga if you’re still interested.

  5. Surburban Groundhog

    Wow, there are so many things running through my mind as I read your above commentary about “working”. As someone who’s first job was not a cubical farm, to now working in the “surburban cubical” type setting for several years, I must say that I have a lot to be thankful for…and yes I am talking about my 10 by 10 box. In my younger years before the cubicle, working in the restaurant business taught me several things. One-how great it was to have a gay friend, Two-everyone was working to pay for coke to snort on your break in the bathroom, and Three – how much I didn’t want this to be my life. I have since returned to that restuarant for lunch and 15 yrs later I still see my burnout friends…with less hair and fat. Except for the coke heads, they’re skinny. As I moved on from the restaurant life to obtaining my degree, I went into the world full force in helping others-the healthcare system. I worked in many healthcare facilities, and none were in an office. Every job I had I worked my ass off for minimal pay and drained at the end of the day. My husband although did work in the 10 by 10, came home everyday looking like he discovered the cure for cancer, made more money than me, and all in all was happy at his job…I wanted that. Still, I refused to go that path and the search was on for the perfect job, or at least a job I could stay at longer than two years. Years passed, had kids, and still something was missing. I looked at my husband thriving in a 10 by 10, then I saw my brother thriving in a 10 by 10, then my father, then my sister, then my other friends, and I looked around and thought…well,maybe I need to look in to this whole box thing. I gave into the whole “suburban cubical” and something amazing happend. I was happy, I was respected among my peers, my family thrived, my marriage was great, and holy crap…for the first time I made good money. I love my job, I love my 10 by 10 cubical that has more space than my living room. At my job I help thousands of people all over the country with health issues..who would of thought that could be done at a desk in front of a computer. With my desk job I have also helped my family grow closer and stronger. How do you say that can be? Well, with my desk job, I am off every weekend and holidays and with good benefits I can take my family on vacation where we can be together and grow stronger…and we have. I think though the biggest change in my life from working in a 10 by 10 would be giving financially and giving of my time to help out others in need. Working at my 10 by 10, we give back to the community, something I should have done a long time ago.

    Yes, there is good and bad to every job, this 10 by 10 is not the perfect job…but for me being in the workforce for many years, I must say that it’s pretty close. Again, the cubical job is not for everyone and so be it, but for some it works. I do have a question for you, Calico, what are you doing now? How did you get where you are today? Are you working? you said something about soon to be wife? Are you married yet? Why are you the worst as a fallen person?-really? What was so depressing when you worked in your cubicle? That is to bad that things happend to you to jade you against working in an office type setting. Maybe not all 10 by 10’s are so bad. Maybe you just laneded in the wrong one. Maybe

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