“I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.”
It was my mantra through more than a dozen crummy careers.
Now, I should preface the following by pointing out that I am not a cheery fellow to begin with.
Oh sure, there was a time when I was, dare I say (“Dare, dare,” Cleavon Little whispers.) a happy-go-lucky individual, but then I turned 7, and have been in one sort of funk or another ever since.
The shrink blames my fatalistic father, while I prefer to think it’s because life is all a big accidental nothing playing out on a dying rock hurling through space, but that’s a paranoid delusion for another time.
Mix my maligned mental state with a smear of craptastic careers and I’m surprised I haven’t climbed a clock tower by now—(SEE ALSO Joke material to avoid: Mental illness, assassinations and hating one’s job et al.)
And for those of you thinking it’s this line of work, this news business, which has made me such a miserable SOB, who asked you?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t fantasize about pulling the heads off kittens or pushing the wheelchair-bound down steep hills (the IRS does not appreciate competition) but I have had my fair share of angst and increased stresses recently.
Last week began as usual: Five calls and a half-dozen e-mails reminding me that I am a poor writer, I’m not as clever as I thought I was and at any given time I am one or more of the following: Racist, bigot, anti-Semitic, conservative, liberal, gay, homophobic, a homosexualist—whatever the hell that is—capitalist swine, socialist pig, and I even got an e-mail from one Dr. Jasper Bruner who, peddling herbal supplements, wrote, “Your chick does not admire to do it with you for reason of your male device size. Don’t miss this good possibility to solve the problem.”
I had had enough.
Not only was Dr. Bruner accusing me of having a less than admirable device, it was going to be up to eight weeks before the pills arrived.
I stared at my 1912 Royal typewriter, pre-loaded with the piece of paper upon which I may someday write my resignation letter from this business in general.
It stared back, daring me to make the first move.
I began to brainstorm, by which I mean the six-and-a-half cells not affected by Krylon paint fumes or Anheuser-Busch (SEE ALSO: dumb teenager) began doing gray matter squat thrusts which caused intense pain and a mild nosebleed.
I had to whip up a scenario the wife would believe.
“You see honey, I had to quit because the office is full of communists.”
She’d never buy it. She knows I have a soft spot for Gorbachev.
“But dear, I’m being sexually harassed by my boss.”
Who was I kidding, the last time anyone but my wife gave me so much as an amorous glance was 1992 when Homer, the family St. Bernard, was in heat.
It was no use.
She would see right through my schemes.
And, let’s face it, I had grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle afforded me by the liberal media. I wasn’t about to go back to living like a peasant in fly-over country.
Then I got this e-mail with “DO YOU HATE YOUR JOB?” in the subject line. It read:
“Purchase a rectal thermometer made by Johnson & Johnson. When you get home, lock your doors, draw the curtains and disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed. Take out the literature from the box and read it carefully. ‘Every rectal thermometer made by Johnson & Johnson is personally tested and then sanitized.’”
The glee I felt in knowing that somewhere, some poor schmuck was getting the cold glass shaft 40 hours a week dissolved when, after curiosity overcame, I sneaked down the health and beauty aisle at the local supermarket.
It seems the device, Johnson & Johnson’s, not mine, is not personally tested, but the point was taken. There are jobs out there that are a true pain in the … well, you get the idea.
I’m sure I could be doing much worse things like cleaning kennels again, working the gut table at a slaughterhouse or working as a fluffer in the animal husbandry industry.
If you don’t know what a “fluffer” is, and you’re over 18, I suggest you Google it.
If you’re under 18, I suggest you Google it when your parents aren’t around.
Either way, all I can say is: “I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.”