Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The autumn of our discontent

I think I am now hovering on the verge of a mild (or even not so mild) burnout. IT is charming: the work I do in a huge corporation is a minuscule part of a feverish effort to keep the return of investment at a maximum level. The quality of service is only distantly connected to the stock value, so I end up doing 2,5 persons work with predictable results. Strange to see these iron structures of the modern world from inside, to see how lives are moulded by impersonal forces. Including mine, ours. Of course the work, the structures are not opening any long views, they are closing them, eating up energy and intelligence - so I should not be so concerned and stressed: I should find a way to avoid getting bogged down in this trivia. I have drifted pretty accidentally to IT work, as I had to do some work anyway and the pay is good, so why not? And I was curious to see the iron structures from inside, to understand how our present history works, the impersonal forces functioning. Now I hope it was not only a rationalization, the pay is good and oh how you need money in this society. Did I or did I not have a plan B? Interesting times once again.


helsinkian said...

How do you cope with being overburdened by your work? Can you still think of stuff that isn't work-related when you aren't working? How's your sleep?

As a literature person, I've always been interested in the question whether people who work hard, maybe too much, actually read such fiction where the characters work all the time or even literary descriptions of burnout? If you ever do, even by accident, does reading such a book make you feel more discontented with your work or does it have a soothing effect as books somehow related to your life sometimes do?

stockholm slender said...

Good questions. I would say that literature, art in general, is the opposite of my work for me, so it is a release. Somewhat dismaying as well, of course, as it reminds me of the vistas I should be contemplating. I do sleep very exhausted and long sleeps - mentally my work is not very challenging, there is just too much of it. I really don't much plan my life ahead, have not up to know, and somehow just assumed that this is just a phase (where I play middle class life), but I am now somewhat alarmed at my tiredness: this is the time that new decisions should be made, but I might not be up to that at the moment. Well, we'll see.