I had decided to give my truck a rest. I wasn't going to work, and had a few hours to get downtown, where parking is a nightmare anyway. Of course every time I decide to do this, (usually out of guilt, or financial drain from the big heavy, gas guzzling, eighties era cars, and beefy beater trucks I tend to buy) I am reminded why I hate mass transit. Now as anyone familiar with me knows, I go out of my way to appear as unapproachable as humanly possible! I have been known to cause children to cry and attempt escape by subduing their mothers, old ladies to hoist their electric scooters over thier heads and run across the street, and big burly truck drivers to visibly shrink when I snarl at them. All these effects get a +30% bonus on transit vehicles and an additional +20% before noon!
For some reason, one proto-human in every hundred (usually a female office worker in her mid forties, or a male pensioner in his late sixties) is immune to this amazing and incredibly convienient super power! These people suffer under the delusion that I have a massive neon sign affixed to the top of my head that reads "Talk to this guy! He wants to hear your fucking life story in vivid detail beginning with the earliest diaper change in living memory! Don't forget to talk at length about your cat, dog, hamster, billygoat, ex-husband or incontinent mother-in-law!" Inevitably at some point in the unwanted discussion this hallucinating mouth-breather asks me "So what do you do?"
The correct answer to this question is "Sit around waiting for something to happen, writing meaningless reports nobody ever reads for just above minimum wage. The bright side of course being that I have no supervisors or foremen, and get to spend most of my twelve hour shift reading, listening to talk radio, surfing the net on some sites, holding political discussions or role-playing sessions with my few co-workers, and laughing myself sick at people like you.", what I want to say is "I stab people to death with my car keys, take their money, and sell their clothes to the salvation army, their flesh to MacDonald's, and their internal organs to Cambodian Mafia figures for use in holistic medicine. WHAT DO YOU FUCKING DO!?!?", but I wind up saying "Security..." automatically like a Pavlovian test subject at the ringing of a bell! So now I get to wait three or four seconds for Forest's internal dictionary to locate the definition of the word, before they manage to croak out "Oh..." before going on to talk about their job. Ladies and gentlemen if you work in any kind of office job, you and your job are probably outside my scope of interest, you already know this so why do you insist on talking about it? I don't care about how Bob from accounting was checking out your reflection on the elevator wall this morning, or how Marcie, who's position escapes you because you just stare at her butt all day, may or may not be humping the boss's kid in the broom closet, or how Mathew from technical support is your sworn enemy because he's up for the same promotion as you and your pathological insecurity leads you to think he'll get it even though he doesn't deserve it more than you do, etcetera, etcetera, et-fucking-cetera! None of these little factoids are tremendously important, because I don't work with you.
So why do we have to talk about our jobs? Why can we not get through a simple conversation, from the time of day to Adolf Hitler, without de-railing the subject of discussion onto some aspect of our working life? In short, our jobs have taken over our lives, and everyone's getting a little disconnected. This subject has been brought up before by various pundits, usually as a side note to the subject of troubled teens or the status of women, but it's rarely discussed on it's own, and it really should be. After all, it isn't just single mothers or ambitious professionals who are tuning out the rest of their lives, it's everyone! I mean think about it, when a man is found knifed to death and splayed out naked on the roof of his driverless Hiundai as it careens across the Port Mann Bridge the poor fucker is always refered to as a "Professional this" or "Trade union that" or "Corporate whatever". We can't be human beings anymore! Nobody is worth anything unless we can define them by their job, and then we rank them by their job, and refer to them by their job, and honour them for their job... You know what? I don't care about my fucking job! I'm not working right now, so I'd rather not think about it. You know why I have a job? So I can eat, so I can buy clothes, so I can fuel my truck, so I can go out and have a little fun on Saturday night... or pay my cable bill and watch movies on Saturday night... whatever the case may be. You may not realise it, but that's the only reason YOU have a job too, it doesn't in any way define you as a person. You are not your job! I want you to say it with me... and call Bob, Marcie, and Mathew over and make them say it.
If your at work now, when you get off, don't go straight home, miss the turn and drive out someplace you've never been, just to see what you might discover there. When you do get home call up three people, friends, relatives, whatever, and go do something together. Take off an hour early once every six months just to convince yourself it's not a big deal. And next time someone asks you what you do, tell them you're an artist, tell them you're a writer, tell them you're the undisputed king of Utopia which is the area within a ninty foot radius of your current position, and everyone within it's borders is a free citizen... or just do what I do and tell them you're the reincarnated soul of "Jorje" the older brother of Jesus who looked too much like Joseph to pass for a Vergin birth and was quietly sold to Arabic cannibals to pay off Joe's gambling debts, and that you know this because the disembodied heads of the secret chiefs of the world told you so, then ask if they work for the NSA... Most people stop bothering you after that which is good, it's a long ride downtown...