Notes From The Front Lines of the Ennui Wars

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 9:22 pm

I am, frankly, pretty much tapped out.

Work has been a real bag of angry badgers for the last month or so. Not that the job itself has been all that grueling; it’s about the same gruel it’s always been, perhaps with a few extra chewy bits thrown in for texture. It’s the mental and emotional gymnastics that have been so draining. The highs have been higher, the lows considerably lower and the centers are not as nougaty as I’d like them to be.

We are undergoing a tremendous shakeup at the ol’ Fungus Factory. Nothing that we can’t get through, but truly momentous doin’s are transpirin’. We’re poised to expand into whole new markets with a brand-new product line, at a time when our production capacity is at—well, at capacity. We are therefore looking to move our call- and distribution centers to a new facility so that our production team can fully take over our current, wholly inadequate digs and dedicate them to cranking out product.

Since I am the de facto IT guy for our company—well, I’m half of the IT guy; the guy who’s the other half of the IT guy is a much better IT guy than me….guess you could call him my “better half”—we are responsible for selecting, pricing out, buying, installing and maintaining every computer, printer and network device that will be entering the new facility. We will also be responsible for setting up and maintaining a permanent tunnel between the old and new facilities, both of which will require our constant attention. Oh, and we’ll also be upgrading our mail-order-management software to a product that will meet our expanding needs, so we need to find, price, buy, install, debug and maintain that. All this while doing my actual job of creating and updating our catalog, instruction booklets, product labels and Web site. Oh, and as Margaret mentioned previously, driving down to the farm three days a week to answer phones for the last month, because we’ve been so short-handed during the process of hiring and training new employees.

Oh God. Now that I’ve seen it all typed out like that, it’s even worse than I had imagined. Fuh-huck me.

Look, nobody knows better than I how lucky I am, how lucky we are. My spouse and I both have jobs, at least one of which pays what it should. My company is overwhelmed with business: how many small business owners would give two major and one minor organ to be in that position? On top of this, both of us actually believe in the mission of the companies that employ us. I could easily have ended up working for an organization that has no cogent vision beyond enhancing shareholder value, or, barring that, whose owner and senior management are all fucktards. So yes, I am lucky. And I don’t plan on trying to strike out for greener pastures any time in the foreseeable future. It’s not even as though I’m putting in massively larger numbers of hours lately. But the sheer weight of everything hanging over me, the wild metronomic swings in place and plan, vector and venture, are wearing me out. I’m exhausted. And we haven’t even gotten into the real meat of all this change yet. There’s exciting bits to be sure: we’re doing stuff we’ve only dreamed about doing in the past, moving in directions we absolutely must in order to flourish as a business, and that’s really cool….and high time.

But mostly what it is is stressful. And the last, the very last, the-rather-eat-a-big-bug-even-raw-without-a-bun-than-do-it last thing I feel like doing with my spare time is sitting down and coming up with witty shit to say here.

Here’s how serious this is: I don’t even play video games in my off hours any more. Even the act of blowing away zombies is too involved for my charred brain to wrap its sooty self around. Anything that involves sitting largely upright in front of a keyboard seems like too much effort. Between work, preparing dinner and basic hygiene, there’s no momentum left to carry me through anything more strenuous or less self-indulgent than reading or watching TV. And believe me, if I dream up anything less strenuous and more self-indulgent, I’ll by-God give it a shot. The closest I could come up with so far would be to lie on the couch watching TV and playing with myself while eating chocolate chip cookie dough straight from the tube. But frankly, that sounds like a fair amount of effort as well. Not to mention a double-nightmare of cleanup.

This would be the classic time for me to (re)develop a drug habit, if it weren’t for the fact that Margaret would simultaneously kick and divorce my sorry ass.

Things will even out eventually. Our company is poised for greatness, and when it comes I’ll be there to hoover up as much of the afterglow as my ego and wallet will hold. Like everyone at our company, I’ve earned it. I’m really looking forward to trying out the role of one of those overhyped overpaid overachievers who has little time to dedicate to domestic chores but plenty of money for gourmet take-away. Being a highly-valued-but-underpaid-and-stressed-out slacker is, much like me, getting old. In the meantime, don’t be super-stunned by the gaps in my stream of communiques. I’m either asleep, watching DVRed episodes of Intervention or tacked to the couch by a rime of cookie dough.

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