“No show in the world is more intense than the job of constructing them. No experience can top the things I’ve seen, the experiences that I shared with others. No one in the world loves his job more than I do.
And after this summer, I am going to quit that job.”
Above all, we live in a meritocracy. Our merit to society determines our income- at least, that is the principle. Capitalism warped this structure considerably and is now ruling the world, busily disproving any belief in God or karma.
It is everywhere, from the People’s Republic of China to Bundesrepublik Deutschland, from South-Africa to Canadia. It is the system we were born in, and it’s the system we will die in. It’s all we know, and reinforcing its own status quo, has lead us to think there is no other way that is fair.
Anyone who disagrees and refuses to co-operate, is doomed to live in marginality. They will have little or no income, limited rights and the people’s judgment hanging over their head like Damocles’ sword. Complain, and face our wrath.
It’s what they deserve, right? For doing nothing? Can’t give them stuff for free, right? Death is a fitting punishment for laziness, or so it would seem.
There are no alternatives. You will co-operate, or you will be cast out.
“So when do you think we should go looking beyond this whole stage-related business and towards work that you wouldn’t consider right now? How about new year?”
-Job coach, 2015
Like a puppet entangled in my strings, I am forced to dance. Looking for work. I’ve been doing so, actively and passively, for over a year now, and nothing worth mentioning has rolled in. Lots of very satisfying projects, but those will only pay a week’s worth of rent, so to speak. What I need is a stable income. Not just for myself, but for the family I’m supposed to support, as well.
It has been brought to my attention that I’ve demanded a lot of patience from the people in Czech Republic already, and it’s wearing thin. It was a tough one to swallow but I have no answer to it: I can’t get ignore the fact that they are right. I might be taking steps towards a more stable income by investing in things like a car, but nothing concrete has come from all that.
Putting things simply: There are two phases in my life. The phase before the army, and the one after it. What came before, was laced with failure. School, work, personal life: Everything I did failed and I had begun to think that that was just who I was. All things pointed towards the idea that there was just no place for me in this world.
And then I enlisted, and got punched into shape. I ran faster than I ever did before, learned to throw grenades, stood in formation with everyone else on every foggy morning of the week.
Briskly, I learned that it was possible for me to accomplish things.
This is what I repeated to myself as I called the number on a crumpled piece of paper, with the word ‘RoadRunner’ underlined beneath it. This was 11 years ago.
“I am going to set a pace and you and me together, we’re going to close that gap. Yes, you can.
We’re going to catch up with the others by the time we reach the barracks so that the whole platoon arrives together.”
Adjt. Van De Velde, 2004
The job hunt is going poorly for 2 reasons:
1. I have been comfortable in my situation for over a decade. I am used to it and the urgency to change it fundamentally is numbed every time that I have a great day at work, which come often.
2. I am positively terrified to end up in the same place I was when I was a kid: Doing jobs I hated, repeatedly being told I was not good enough for the things I really wanted. Branded lazy, useless, and dumb.
There isn’t much work in stage business, especially now that our general cultural development is at a historical low. Good technicians get fired and apply for the same jobs that I, relatively new to the scene, try to score. And I am afraid to try anything else, that I will get stuck in that god forsaken rut again.
“I understand ALL of it was important for you and you need it for your life and work, but see: you put me on a back burner. Somewhere beyond your garage. You know you have to pay your rent and other necessities – but we are not on that level, we are always easy to postpone.”
My job coach (yah I have one of those now) and I have decided on a few things, now that we have strolled past any and all deadlines we set in the past:
– I am going to search broader. Logistics, maintenance,… As long it’s for a company or cause that I support, this may not be such a terrible thing. The first application I’m going to fill in is as a logistics manager for a place called DOK, an organization I strongly relate to.
– I am going to re-do my resume. I have been focusing on experience too much, instead of competence. It’s hard for potential employees to read between the lines what I am actually capable of, just by looking at the endless list of clients that I worked for.
– I’m opening a new email address so that job openings no longer get lost between endless spam, personal emails, and god knows what else.
These are subtle changes but it will boost my success rate. All things considered, it’s actually pretty high to begin with, if you include all the projects I apply for. Already, I feel like things are picking up compared to previous years. One job knits together with the next one, as the cultural sector is a small one and everyone knows each other. It’s wonderful to see how things evolve, but they’re just not evolving fast enough.
I am out of time. Things need to change, urgently. The real question is, how much am I willing to sacrifice to finally join the ranks of our meritocracy? Like it or not, this is my path. Time to walk the walk.
“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.”