Before HARDBARNED! became a book in 2016, it was a blog I began in 2008. It still is, from time to time, and you have found its home. Scroll through it all here, or browse selected posts at Medium. In case you were wondering…none of this blog content appears in the book, which is its own separate thing and mostly about working for a living. The blog is usually about pop culture-type stuff. Cheers.

Fighting For My Right to Write

Last week at my new job--which isn't really a new job, as I've been there a year now--I had to wear a suit and tie for three consecutive days, which already puts my sum total of days spent in a monkey suit at a potential all-time high for 2011. I've already worn it a couple times this year, so that makes five. I don't like how this is trending.

I own just one plain, black, three-button suit jacket and pants, and it is accustomed to making only periodic appearances at weddings and funerals. I prefer it that way really; I feel like an imposter in a suit. It's like a fancy fabric-based trap, impractical, restricting, a seemingly pretentious status symbol that says "take me seriously. I have shoulder pads."

How the hell James Bond always manages to kick so much ass, execute sweet stunt driving moves and defeat all manner of adversity in such an outfit is mysterious if not preposterous. I find it difficult to merely back out from a parking space with the constrictive uniform of international business choking and straight-jacketing me.

But once and a while is really no big deal. Every day is casual Friday at this cubicle job of mine, and I don't even work Fridays anymore. I sit in a cube but wear jeans. Yes friends, I have been gainfully employed as a technical writer for just over one year. You read that right. Read it again. My job title features the word "writer." Booyah! (yes, I just wrote Booyah!) How could this have happened?

Crossing over again, back into the white collar milieu, having survived one week at an insurance company, three months of unemployment, seven months in retail sporting goods, four more months of unemployment, three years of hauling barns on a truck (being HARDBARNED in rural BFE) and five months in corporate business sales (just to flash back in reverse through my last six years of trudging through the post-higher-education wasteland), if I have to wear a monkey suit once in a while, than so fucking be it. It only took about five thousand job applications over five years. I could be exaggerating, but holy crap it was hard to get the proverbial foot in the door.

Part of being an American means earning the right to complain, doesn't it? Where else in the world can a majority of citizens have everything they need for basic survival, not to mention an insane amount of extraneous bullshit they don't need, and still have the time to complain about their less than inspiring "careers?"

I have finally conquered the epic "do something at least slightly related to your education and skill set" challenge. The next looming task involves finding work that not only engages my education and skills but also focuses on something that I am truly inspired by and exited about. Ha! How ridiculous and naive of me, right? Work is work, right?

I must reject this maxim and remain optimistic that one day I will derive income from creative, invigorating work that engages my true interests and enthusiasms.

But for now, I continue to welcome enthusiastically the long awaited arrival of gainful employment featuring the word "writer" in the job title over my previously accustomed slog through a horribly depressing morass of unsatisfactory labor...though I remain hopeful that one day the words "creative" and "passion" and "artistic" will have at least something tangential to do with my full-time job.

Until then I remain grateful for the right to write and edit TPS reports.