July 26, 2006

Hollow Dreams of my Future

This is an atypical post for me. If I bore you to death with it, of which there is a fairly high probability, feel free to skip to the end and read the question I have for you…

Yesterday was a pretty sucky day at work. A Bones phrase would be ‘The suckiest of sucky in sucktown.’

Of course the highlights are the guys I work with in my office. I love the men I work with… as in my officemates.

At one point one of the more temperamental systems crashed, again, and just as I was about to scream in great frustration, a guy a couple cubes down from me who is our resident IT expert, sensing all was about to not be right in anyone’s world as I was done with mine, came over to try and massage the system into working for me.

Finally he said, ‘See. It’s working now’ to which I replied, ‘That’s because you have that magic touch…’

Well… evidently, there is a song about a magic touch? Perhaps written in the 50s? Because suddenly Mr. Magoo and the guy who sits next to him, both of them behind me, so it was if in stereo, started to sing, in unison, “You’ve got that magic touuuuch, do waaah, dooo wahhhhh”.

There was a lot of singing yesterday, probably in some great effort to offset all the cursing that was coming from my desk.

Bad day. And systems crashing were the best part of it.

I was in a foul mood for the rest of the day, even bringing it home with me, which is a rarity as I am good at compartmentalizing. My personal life does not bleed into work and work stays at work.

I started to think about what my dream paying job would be, something I know full well will never happen for myriad reasons, but it is nice to dream. For now, for a good long time, I have to stay where I am. The company I work for is good to me. My officemates are good to me. The pay is good. And it is a way for me to meet what we need financially at home.

But that is all it is. The aerospace industry lost its luster long ago. Where I had great passion for it before, it is but a job for me now. I am like the guy on the assembly line who puts the same rivet in the same hole, day after day, year after year. He does not like his job, but it does for him what it needs to do.

I receive an engineering change across my desk.

I fix it. Kaaaaching, thank you for the paycheck.

I get a repair across my desk.

I incorporate it where it needs to be. Kaaaching, thank you for the paycheck.

I get a call from the Wizards in Seattle, asking for clarification or assistance.

I clarify and/or assist. Kaaaaching, thank you for the paycheck.

I give 100% when I am there, and never less. Never. It is a free exchange… my brain and 100% effort, full on press, for their money. I have prostituted my brain and capabilities.

And I am making peace with that.

I have more capabilities than will ever be used at my job. Where I am now… they will never push me to my intellectual limits. They will never be able to foster my true talents. They will never reap the rewards of what I can really do. It is no fault of theirs… it is what it is... it is our situation.

And I am making peace with that.

I will never have passion for what I do. I will punch the clock, do as I’m told, smile sweetly, and press on. They meet needs of mine that are far more important than my selfish intellectual needs or my selfish wants of psychic income.

They meet my familial needs. They are good to me, they pay me a fair wage, and they meet my familial needs.

But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about what my dream job would be. I should be working as a logistician. That is where I am the most at home and where I perform at my best. I am good at it. I excel.

Long range planning. Procurement. Foreseeing potential pitfalls in the plans. Efficiency. I worked in Logistics Planning for six years… it is where I belong.

I have thought that perhaps I would like to ply those skills in ocean transport or railroad. Ocean transport has my curiosity piqued. That is where my head is as of late when I think of my dream paying job.

Logistics planning in the ocean industry.

So my question to you is, throw out educational requirements, forget what you have and do not have on your resume, ignore your past job experience… what is your dream paying job?

Posted by Boudicca at July 26, 2006 09:16 PM | TrackBack

Exactly what I'm doing.

Sales Manager.

A little selling, a little training, a little travel.

I'm so very lucky. I know that.

Posted by: Tammi at July 26, 2006 10:21 PM

Chief Medical Officer on a military starship.

That's going to take some training though... and a bit of time... and the invention of the hyper drive.

damn the logistics.

Otherwise I'd like to be a PA for the US military.

Posted by: RSM at July 26, 2006 10:32 PM

I actually had my dream job until my Clueless Dipshit Manager managed my motivation out of me. I was able to play with new software and I had my own little empire. Most of my users liked me and were able to put up with my quirks because I gave them what they wanted in a timely fashion. I actually went in on weekends (I was salary with no overtime) to do some of my system stuff. I loved what I did. I was really good at "thinking outside the box". Unfortunately, my CDSM like to put bigger boxes around me. I admit, I was a prima donna. I had previous managers who were able to manage around my quirks and I busted my ass for them. For the best manager I ever had, I essentially worked two full time jobs (Systems Programmer and Technical Instructor), and paid for it health wise in December of that year. He took care of me. The CDSM didn't and he lost an exremely productive worker. For my last six years, I loved my work and hated my job. I became Wally. Went from 60 hours a week to 30 hours a week.

Posted by: Denny at July 26, 2006 10:49 PM

I think Denny captured a key point for me - even when you love your job, the boss and people you work with make such a difference. I have been in the same role for 6 years, and it keeps growing, but while it is very challenging, I have always liked my job a lot. But right now, I am particularly better off, as we "realigned" (love those buzzwords) and my boss and management team are so much better than before. Makes my job a lot better.

Dream job... I was an athletic trainer in college, and loved working with my teams. Loved the connection and care taking, and nothing beats watching sports in person. I kind of wonder if I should have pursued more in that vein, but did not. But a common theme from then and now for me is to be needed.

Posted by: jck at July 27, 2006 05:09 AM

Photographer for like National Geographic or something where I can travel all the time.

Posted by: Carmen at July 27, 2006 07:49 AM

Damn you for making me think deep like this!

I'm with Carmen about the travel.

Or maybe a detective. I like to try and figure things out...to be the problem solver.

Several years ago, it was a music teacher. And it still would be if things hadn't changed so much.

Posted by: Sissy at July 27, 2006 08:09 AM

A professor of English literature at a tiny school, a first grade teacher. . . .or the tooth fairy! But as magic fairy dust is out of reach, and a professor doesn't pay too much, I'm stuck with lawyer till I hit the lottery.

Posted by: oddybobo at July 27, 2006 09:25 AM

Denny, I will be quoting you for weeks, CDSM, I love it!

As for me, I have always had the Real Estate itch, and after 16 plus years in Chemical Sales, Sales Management, and Training, I am now licensed and beginning a new life chapter in Real Estate.

I do think however, that when one counts on a profession for establishing their means, and putting bread on the table, it is hard to keep the passion for it. I mean even people with some of the most "dream jobs" get burned out, look at the entertainment world, $20 Million to do a movie and your burned out? I think the Rich Dad Poor Dad book highlights this as well.

My 2 cents


Posted by: P'Cola Titan at July 27, 2006 09:32 AM

Dream job....I'm doing it. I'm an At-Home Mom.
Well, mostly I am. I have two part-time jobs, one of which I dislike. And soon, if all works out well, one of those PT jobs will become full-time with me as the Association Executive.

I like being able to work when I want, stay home when I want (or need to); be creative, decorate, design, organize.

And the others are correct- it's good to know you feel needed in your workspace. I know I am needed at home. Some people think once your kids get old enough, then a parent doesn't have to stay home. Funny thing is, THAT'S when they need you the most.

I tell my kids- Do what you LIKE to do, not what you are GOOD at- because they are two different things.
It would be tough 'going to jail' everyday...just for a paycheck.

Posted by: Rave at July 27, 2006 09:33 AM

I'm sort of in my dream job. I love teaching. The pay sucks. But I love what I do. When my own kids are grown and gone, I'll love teaching even more when I can devote more time to it. Just today, I sent out letters to my soon-to-be students welcoming them to my classroom. I have so much fun, even though it is hard work, too.

Posted by: Mrs_Who at July 27, 2006 10:15 AM

A Rock Star

Posted by: Shawn at July 27, 2006 10:16 AM

Hmmm... working on high level computer security maybe in the NSA or something like that. I would love being in a place where I can be as paranoid as I want and people consider it to be a good thing. *grin*

Posted by: Teresa at July 27, 2006 11:04 AM

I like to write, cook and travel. So how about becoming a successful barbecue cookbook author like Steven Raichlen?

He gets to travel all over selling his books and researching them. He makes enough money to travel for fun when he wants and isn't locked into corporate vacation times. And he gets paid to play on the barbecue and write about the best recipes and techniques.

Posted by: George at July 27, 2006 01:14 PM

Shawn spelled "Porn" wrong.

(Sorry...don't know you...hope I didn't offend.)

Posted by: Toluca Nole at July 27, 2006 07:21 PM

TN, I think you are projecting your wants over to Shawn... Just sayin'!

Posted by: Bou at July 27, 2006 07:26 PM

I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up...

Although, if I could wander all around the place, helping folks out in exchange for room and board, and the occasional case of beer, with no bills and no worries... that might rock.

Posted by: T1G at July 27, 2006 08:12 PM

Right now I'm basically living what Denny went through with the CDSM. I'd like to travel, though. Maybe write. Love fiddling with programming. I definitely need to work for myself but I'm not at all sure that I'm motivated enough to make that succeed. Zonker = laaaaaazy.

Posted by: zonker at July 27, 2006 08:53 PM

I should have been an archeologist. I LOVE history and I absolutely LOVE archeological discoveries.

Posted by: suze at July 27, 2006 10:07 PM

Just the thing for me to read on a Friday morning -- I'm currently a benefits manager. I was a benefits communication specialist. Before that, I taught high school English.

But I'd love to be a full-time copyeditor. I'm neurotic. I read shampoo bottles and cringe at the ad language on them. I want to get out my red pen when I'm using a recipe to make dinner. I can't help it. No matter what I do in my day job, I'm an editor. I'd love to get paid for it.

Posted by: Eva at July 28, 2006 09:19 AM

Like some on this list, I had a dream job for a while.

For lack of a better term, I basically work in Computerized Financial Processing. And I used to love it. I'm good at it.

Then the Powers That Be decided to automate about 90 percent of what I do, and basically gave me an entirely different job which doesn't have much to do with the job I signed on for. I suppose I should be grateful for the work, as it feeds my family, and the company has otherwise been prettty good to me. But I would've liked to have a little more input into their decisions.

As for my "other" dream job...

Drummer. Definitely. {:O) I see rhythm in just about everything around me. To get paid to create it...oh yes.

Posted by: Stander at July 28, 2006 09:33 AM

Hi Eva:
I work on a daily newspaper's newsdesk. You want to be an editor? Send in your resume, if you're into working odd hours for so-so pay....Good news is, you get paid to read the newspaper.

Posted by: George at July 28, 2006 10:39 AM

Party planner/caterer. I *love* to host events/people. Just love it...

Posted by: Richmond at July 28, 2006 06:17 PM