Genesis 37:3-5,8,11,18-20 (KJV)
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more…
8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words…
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying…
18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
We often portray or view the other children of Israel as evil, wrong headed, etc… But really, I empathize with those old bastards.
Last week I mentioned I was going through the stages of grief… Well I may as well relapse. Over the weekend we had our Dog put down, a decision for which I will feel the sting of regret for months to come. It was a traumatic incident, and I didn’t even have the stomach to stay in the room for it. Let me just say that the dog did not go quietly, and also had lots of life left. I heard her cries of distress from the lobby as they tried to put the needle in. I had to leave. I got up and paced outside at the nearby park, fighting back the urge to vomit. We rationalized the decision because the dog is old, 17 human years, and recently had her third in a succession of strokes. The dog did recover from this stroke much faster than the previous ones and was up and stumbling about like usual after 2 days.
My regrets are more than just the decision the family made to have the dog put to sleep. We took the dog for one final walk in that park to calm the dog (she has not had any good experiences with the vet) and it hit me on that walk that we had not walked the dog nearly enough during her life. It also occurred to me that the dog was a lot less wobbly and imbalanced as we walked around the park. It was clearly not the dog’s time to go. But the decision wasn’t really mine, but my parents who were fronting the money for food and were tired of cleaning up the piss stains in the carpet. I will regret not being in a better position to adopt the dog and take better care of her in her final years.
As if that traumatic tragedy weren’t enough though, I recently had the opportunity to interview for a job. A Real JOB. Not this bullshit contract second class citizen labor that the corporate world is turning to in order to shirk benefit responsibility. I thought I had a good shot at it. My younger brother was in the same position that I was applying for, and he got it with no more credentials than a smile and an acquaintance with someone who works there. I, with years more college and work experience under my belt should be able to fill the same position. But alas, Yesterday, (Monday 22 June 2015) I was notified that the company went with someone else.
I have nothing against whoever got the job. But let me please just point out the Bullshit injustice here. I have gotten straight A’s all through highschool and college. I have never had an employer who has ever shown displeasure with my performance. I am markedly quick at picking up new skills, learning a job, and am trustworthy enough to operate without supervision. I have worked Shipping and Receiving, Facilities maintenance, Quality Assurance, two retail jobs, and logistics/material handling. All of my jobs, (except one of the retail jobs) lasted longer than a year. I have had no more than 6 sick days over the course of my entire working life. The most I have ever been paid is $14.50 an hour as contract labor with no real benefits to speak of.
My little brother, barely passed several of his classes in high school, has worked 3 jobs, all for a year or less, just barely started college, walked in and got a job for $15 an hour with full benefits, 401k and all. I don’t think he even pays rent to my parents (under whose roof we both currently reside)
My brain cries FOUL. Foul on the whole Universe. It goes way beyond this though, because I can’t declare that I am anything but lucky. For God’s sake, I have this magical device in my pocket that allows me to send a message out that could possibly be picked up by millions of people (if crafted well enough) Just today I put two small devices in my ears and listened to music that was provided for free, by artists who believe they can live on donations, or music that came along with the game I bought on sale. I have a computer that can play the game I bought. I have the choice to forgo future benefits to play games for immediate pleasure right now, right this fucking instant. There are people still on this planet who die of starvation while I can get lots of cheap food. There are people who die of diseases that I was vaccinated against years ago. The disparity between me and those poor bastards is as big as the disparity between me and the top 1% rich masters of the economy.
These facts alone make me seriously call into question any sort of divine karmic ledger. The universe just isn’t consistent in the whole efforts/rewards correlation category. Some people work hard, work to the bone, and die destitute, alone and miserable. On the other hand, there are others who also work hard, get rich, end up envied by many and are still miserable. Others, get lucky, manage the profits of their good fortune well. Still others, get lucky, and burn out like a flash in the pan. There are also some that live simple dirt poor lives, farming just enough to live, and spend the rest of their time telling funny stories to their friends about the crazy dream they had the night before after they ate the funny tasting berries, and they may be happy for all I know. Happiness isn’t correlated, with riches per se. It is correlated with having enough for what you need (Yes, I know about those studies, and the 70k wage etc…). And Hard work isn’t by itself correlated with financial success.
I guess what I am getting at is this…
I HATE MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKERS!!!!!!!1!1!!111!!!1111!!!!!!111!!!
I hate what they represent. A bunch of ninnies telling you that you can be like them, rich influential, and happy (supposedly). But There is no guarantee. Granted, you have to play in order to win the lottery, You have to work hard in order to take advantage of fortunate happenstance.
As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, the luck factor still exists, and I am pissed that we as a culture keep trying to ignore that elephant in the room. We keep trying to deny that shit happens to people, shit that is out of any individual’s control. We want to maintain this illusion that we have absolute control in our lives. Or, like the proverbial rich person, we can never be satisfied with what we have because of the residual fear of the unknown. We drive this path we think will lead us to impenetrable, ultimate safety, and in doing so, wreck everything for everyone else.
There goes my train of thought, itself wrecked and derailed by the other stuff in my life. But I will say this in closing. As “lucky” as I am… I am still miserable as shit most of the time. I have very little clue how I am going to finish financing my education. I am not looking forward to jumping back into the HR cesspool known as the United States Job Market in order to look for another golden opportunity (the likes of which landed in my little brother’s lap). My parents are getting pressure from their other children to kick me out to the curb ( other kids, living away from home: “You’re coddling him…” me: “I’M PAYING RENT! I’m Doing What I Have to in order to Survive. If I could have afforded a different living situation sooner, I’d be gone.”) and I’m not looking forward longingly at the inflated rental rates in this area. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Shit Happens.
P.S. You know what galls me the most, I have to post this under pseudonym. If I posted this stuff widely under my real name, people would perpetually equate me with a grumpy sour puss and ostracize me from any working environment, permanently damning my life to poverty and despair. My apologies to anyone who’s real name matches that of my pseudonym, I’ll edit my about page to make clear that I am using a pseudonym. No one should be disparaged for the contents of this blog. More about motivational speakers in the next post. Stay tuned.