Josh Bradley | January 30, 2017
My name was brought up during our 2 p.m. Thursday meeting. My name never gets brought up during our 2 p.m. Thursday meeting.
Picture the boring, generic office meeting depicted in so many movies, shows and TV commercials. That’s basically our 2 p.m. Thursday meeting. Understandably, I’m spacing out, but hearing my name snaps me back. My boss, Jenny, announces that it’s my five-year service anniversary next week. She hands me a frameable certificate (which I won’t frame) and a label pin with the company logo on it (which I won’t wear). There’s a smattering of applause from the 12 other people spacing out in the room.
I sit back down with my certificate and our 2 p.m. Thursday meeting continues. Instead of listening to discussions about planes and engineering, my mind instead goes to the screenplay for which I’m currently trying to break story. I have a good idea of what the first and second acts will look like, but I don’t know how to finish it, what the ending should be. I’ve read that you should find what your character fears the most and then do that to them; I’m trying to decide what that would be for my characters.
The certificate I hold in my hands is what I fear the most: the symbol of — and reminder of — how many years I’ve wasted at this job.
A lot of people hate their job, around 70 percent of Americans, according to some studies. I don’t hate my job so much as I hate myself for the decisions I’ve made that have put me here. What separates me from the literally tens of millions of people who similarly have trouble getting out of bed in the morning is that this is exactly what I signed up for.
I’m not underemployed. I’m not underpaid. I’m not working outside of my chosen field. I’m not being denied a promotion I deserve. I didn’t settle for my job because I struggled to find work after graduation (like so many of my classmates did). I’m not working a temporary job waiting for the real job offer to come in.