Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Miss It

In the past few months, while keeping 2 nights of pizza delivery, I've picked up a fancy full-time day job with a fancy title for a prestigious firm. Pay is about what you'd expect for an entry level Bachelor's degree job. The benefits are great, the time off is generous, and I like most of the people I work with. But it's not the same.

Delivery is always exciting to me, days are never the same, and I control my income based on my performance level. Contrarily, my day job is comparable to Bill Murray's experiences in "Groundhog Day", in that every day is the same. The job was exciting at first, but now that I have the hang of it, it's pretty monotonous. Unlike delivery, there is an undertone among my coworkers of "don't work too hard, or they'll give you more work" or "don't work too hard or you'll make us look bad". That attitude clashes with my beliefs.

The hardest thing to get used to for me, though, is that I am always being watched. In delivery, I am in my own car, able to pick my music, talk on the phone all night, eat wings, and stop for a beverage if I want, while things are slow of course. When I'm in the shop, I can do much of the same, plus I can play games on my phone. In the "real world", they monitor internet usage on your computer, have you notate every task you perform (even the most mundane), and it feels like there's always somebody scrutinizing you over your shoulder. This is a challenge that I will have to get used to if I am going to make this work.

In delivery, I had two fantastic jobs, I worked about 50 hours, and I typically brought home $900-1000/wk after gas. I don't make nearly that at my new digs, but the potential is there to double or even triple it. Patience is not always my strongest asset. Especially when I work 12 hours in 2 nights and make $350 at the pizza shop, after having a particularly rough Friday at work.

This post is probably well-timed because it's Sunday night, and I am dreading my Monday morning. In my delivery days, I typically worked very hard Tuesday-Saturday, and rested up on Sunday and Monday. But I always looked forward to going back to work, because I loved my jobs. I miss that.

I often tell myself that the 40-year-old version of me would kick the 28-year-old version of me's butt if he was still delivering pizzas at 40. But would I? Sure, I have nights off now, and that will be important to me over the next several years as my son grows up. Plus the paid vacation will be more enjoyable, knowing I am not missing out on pay to take a trip. But in delivery, I never felt like I needed a vacation. Plus I could always get a shift off when I needed one.

Several people this weekend have told me some version of "you don't seem like my normal self". Well you're all right - I have come to the realization that I don't enjoy my work. On Friday, Jon Kissner posted this on Facebook:

‎"You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play." - Warren Beatty

That used to be the case for me. Now it only is the case every Friday night, Saturday night, and every other Tuesday night. I am choosing delivery over bowling in a league this year. That's how much it means to me. Do we need the money? The cash comes in handy, but we could certainly do without it. It's fun, I love everything about it (besides the effect it has on my car and the hours), and I miss it.