I don’t want to hear any more about “fast-paced, high-energy environments.” These job descriptions make the experience sound like being locked in a bucks booth and forced to grab frantically at all the fleeting, flying, maddeningly fluttering cash. Maybe I don’t want your damn cash (I do, at least some of it, but not at the very clear and obvious expense of my dignity).
I found a job the other day the description of which included some version of the following: “this will be the hardest you’ve ever worked.” And they seemed to mean it as both a warning and an assurance. I know my career goals are a little abnormal—as in I don’t have any; that’s right, ladies, none—but who in their right mind would be hooked by the idea—no, the guarantee—of working harder than they’ve ever worked before? What happened to seeking the optimal balance of salary and leave-me-the-fuck-alone?
There’s a thing, and it’s called work-life balance. And there’s another thing, so I’ve heard, called work-life integration. It’s like version 2.0 of work-life balance and the idea, as I understand it, is there’s no more balance. It’s just work. And work, we must be clear, is life. And that’s supposed to be ok. It’s like “ball is life” and just as stupid.
Can we please stop fooling ourselves into a work- (or ball-)fueled oblivion of fast-paced, high-energy environments and calling it life? Just askin. The ways we describe things become the ways things are and this shit is ridiculous and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about ridiculous shit it’s that it creeps into everything and co-opts thoughts and ideas and language and the next thing you know someone’s writing books about how business is like climbing Mount Everest or war and those books are read by people who’ve been bred on literalism and then everything becomes both absolute and merely a manner of speech at the same time like this sentence here and nothing means anything and everything means nothing and that’s life.