bunt sign

Thursday, May 16, 2002

I don't know what I'm complaining about. It doesn't take much energy to live the way I do. I've spent years leeching all the drama out of my life, and now I'm at the point where I can almost coast to the finish line. (Or the start/finish line, depending on how you feel about those things.)

Earlier I was leafing through some old paper journals, and I found some lamentable entries I wrote exactly ten years ago. It's all about work, because my social life hasn't had any real drama since high school. In 1992, I wasn't working at home yet, so there was an undercurrent of office politics to cope with.

At the time I was doing basically the same job I am now, but with one other person in the office. Arthur. Childhood friend of the Boss, brought in to push through the Boss's agenda and chosen because the Boss thought he could work the guy like a marionette. That relationship started to go sour just about the time Arthur arrived in 1989, and by the time three years had slogged by they hated each other. The end was near.

The end didn't come before Arthur tried to draw me into an alliance against the Boss. Yeah, I know, but there was no Survivor then so I was treading on new turf. His idea was that we should get the Boss to sign some kind of indemnification stating that he alone was responsible for anything underhanded that might come to light about the business. He showed me a box full of papers that he said proved that the Boss was a crook.

The "evidence" wasn't all that convincing to me, but more to the point, I didn't want to deal with it. I didn't want to be part of a confrontation. I didn't even want to witness one. And I truly didn't want to be out of a job and looking for work again. As far as I'm concerned, job hunting was the worst kind of drama I've ever been part of.

One thing I've learned is how to be out of the room when bad karma is in the air. I managed to be absent from the scenes that led to Arthur's departure less than a year later. He took his secret box of evidence and moved on. Soon after that, I was working at home and feeling a bit like I did in seventh grade, when I would duck into the library to escape the noisy, crowded halls. It's just such a relief to know that every word, every gesture, every sigh isn't going to turn into a scene.

For awhile Arthur would call me once or twice a year, to catch up. He said he wanted to make sure the Boss was treating me all right, but I think he was looking for an excuse to play his hole card. More than once he offered to use his evidence on my behalf, but I always managed to convince him that this wasn't the time. I don't know what's happened to him, but I hope he's happier now than he was when he was stirring things up in my little world.


The birdbath being put to use.

To be a real success, I think you have to be a risk taker. I'd rather live a peaceful life, removed from the artificial drama that comes out of other people's greed and insecurity. It's easier to deal with my own weaknesses when I'm not working at cross purposes with someone who thrives on tension. The little daily crises that come and go are much less painful than the stress of playing the office game. To have escaped that constant turmoil is success enough for me.

previousbunt signemailnext

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Hard Lesson
"Whatever it was that bit me, I never saw it."

Two years ago: Where Credit Is Due
"By speaking in tongues, I keep the devil at bay."

There's a vacancy on the notify list. Subscribe to be warned when this site is updated.