Sometimes I get this strange feeling that it's terribly hard for people to understand why I'm earning a living in the way which I have chosen. That includes family, though they do support it, sometimes it's pretty evident that I'm the odd one out.
Well to me, it's pretty simple. 13 years in what I always refer to as "corporate business" did my head in.
Now this isn't to say that I didn't have jobs that I didn't enjoy, the majority of them I did even if you do run into the occasional wanker (happens in any workplace, unavoidable); however I have to explain something. Being in roles that are more 'operational' than anything else, you know the day to day operations of a business whether it be accounting or student enrollments or publishing sales or keeping your sales reps on their toes, buying merchandise, buying stationery, organising a couriering system, booking travel, keeping track of bills (I digress... you name it, I've probably done it)... well this basically leaves you open to being trodden on.
For those that are further up in the hierarchy will barely consult you when it comes to cost cutting or changes in procedures, national frameworks and things that effect YOUR every day and not theirs. I had great passion for what I was doing - always. To get things done efficiently; to not be wasteful; to find the cheapest way to do something, the best deal; to be the 'general bringer of joy' in any tough situation.
But when you get shit on from above, like a giant crow crapping on your favourite jacket then squawking and flying off and letting you deal with the clean up, well the reality is I got jack of it.
I got sick of consistently having to clean up other peoples messes; sick of walking into jobs where they had assumed the person would never leave and so there were never any procedures or notes on anything you were responsible for; watching people get made redundant for no reason other than upper management screw ups or desperate scrambles to cost cut (oh yeah, that is screw ups); providing data you thought would assist, but in the end they didn't give a crap anyways. It was never my immediate Management I had trouble with.... it was always some imaginary douchebag up there on his or her little fluffy cloud pulling the strings.
Too. Freakn. Frustrating.
At times you know it's a great challenge, but when you are constantly banging your head against a wall - well, something eventually has to give. Usually your days become longer, the frown in your forehead more pronounced, and the liquor sometimes flows a little more ;)
There has been the odd occasion that I really have run into some nasty sorts in offices too. Like absolute insane asylum candidates. Alcoholics who decide it's a good idea to move in together after getting drunk and shagging one Friday after work, and then bringing every single argument into the office from then on in. Ex-secret service (not kidding) agents whose faces go bright red and start to peel when they get stressed. And customers who think it's okay to call and start their conversation with you by screaming down the phone (and I think I went through about 5 receptionists that year). Oh wait, that was all in the same job. Yes indeed, that was so much FUN!
Add sarcasm, stir.
There's just something about that routine too. Having the same hours every day makes me terribly complacent. I guess the 9-5 just doesn't really gel too well with me unless the content is something that I really really care about. It took me a number of years to work that out.
So I changed things. Started with one paid arts gig here and there, then two... then kerblammo quit all corporate realm and move to Canada. And what do I end up with?! Two jobs in things I like... a Hostel (meeting travelers from all over, never a bad thing - sometimes frustrating, overall enjoyable) and an old Theatre (be still my beating heart...).
I must admit on my first journey there, because of the cashed up situation I was in, I had the luxury of simply volunteering for a number of months - meeting a bunch of like minded people and exploring the new scene and new environment. However it did lead to three paid festival gigs in the following year and I thought "I Have Done It" - I'd even been headhunted once - on community / arts / music festivals in a foreign country. Like holy CRAP! Why did it never occur to me earlier in my life that it was possible to make a living off of this?!
Well who knows. Maybe it wasn't quite time. Maybe I needed to learn the lesson. Maybe I had that revelation of earning loads of cash often still equates to having eff all to show for it (except my intermittent jaunts overseas of course).
The abilities I have in an administrative sense absolutely help me every day, and keep me going on the in-between times (you know, winter...!) - temping's not so bad because there's generally an end in sight... and you know, I've got pretty mad admin skills if I do say so myself. Sort shit out I do...
but now I'm gosh darned determined to just bounce from Fest to Fest, no matter what the topic, check it all out.
All scenes, all mediums, in all parts of this beautiful world.
Now to finally work out the balance - my real purpose in life in 2012 I guess.
Find it, work it, keep it.
Balance, Repetition, Composition...
Sod it. I like the downtime between contracts; earning less money but getting more satisfaction (and actually, somehow, having more money at the end of it). Life's funny. Hardy Har. And that.