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