At this point in my life of more than 30 years but not quite 40, I realized I’ve worked for about 20 of those years for a paycheck from a company or another person. As it turns out, some have been more reputable than others, some have been more profitable than others, some have been very good to me and some have made me extremely unhappy. Based on my extensive amounts of wasted time on social media, in bookstores, and bars around the nation, ahem, I mean years of research on the subject of personal satisfaction through a job, I’ve come to the conclusion that not many, if any, will always be completely satisfied or thrilled with their job.

However, there are so many wonderful success stories that show people who live for, and enjoy their work. Of course this leads me to ask, “Why don’t I feel that way after a couple of years in any job?” I thought long and hard about this question – while sober, with alcohol, individually, with my best friend, and even while in groups, and I think I’ve come to a conclusion. Granted, it’s not the only conclusion I reached, but it’s the one I understand most and I have examples from everyday life to back it up.

Nietzsche said several things related to truth which resonate with me. They include, “Some people don’t want to hear the truth because it destroys their illusions” and something to the effect of “There’s your truth, my truth”…and the truth that doesn’t exist, something like that. Either way, my truth as it stands now, is that after careful, and much thought and analysis, while I enjoy the core aspects of my job and dare say I am good at it, I tend to work in organizations where those at the higher level (most often executive management) view employees as just numbers or simple chess pieces that can be moved around at will by those who desire to make an impression or name for themselves by forging ahead without regard, at times to a team’s concerns, feelings, opinions, etc.

It is important to note that some members of the executive teams over the years have been excellent and in no way am I lumping all of the managers I know into one careless category. My goal in this post is to highlight some of the issues that led me to this self-analysis and dissatisfaction I have felt in the past. This includes many of the days when, in the midst of productivity and forging ahead to pave the way for a product or service as requested and deemed essential by an organization, my teammates and colleagues and I have been asked to provide a product or service to clients without thorough testing and adequate time to build and design properly, or by totally disregarding the words of experienced advice from several who have done it before – successfully and not as successfully,

My basic assumption, because often times I am not allowed to ask questions of certain decision makers, is that people who deem themselves leaders in the industries in which I’ve worked, do not really want to know what development, analysis or testing teams think, or actually do, especially when it may negatively impact the bottom line or impact a deadline promised. A wonderful example of this can be found in the recent maps debacle that the Apple company faced. Everyone knows you can’t drive through the Hoover Dam or get away by driving through closed streets without a fine, or worse yet, dying, because you’ve driven your car with your loved ones off a bridge that a faulty map claimed was open and complete.

Other interesting observations include the following bad habit facts that I learned how to avoid in Kindergarten and have tried to stick to, but sometimes fail in doing, when I’m frustrated.
They include:

  • People who take the advice of highly paid consultants over their highly qualified/smart employees. And yes, I’ve been on both sides of this fence – a consultant and an employee so no, I’m not a bitter employee making a case for being heard. This is an observation. The irony is that some will favor the consultants at times but in the end, ignore their advice and then get who gets to clean up the errors and bugs and communication issues. Yes, the team who warned against the bad decisions.
  • Management and teammates who like to call themselves leaders but have not read any books on the topic, studied it, or simply observed the mannerisms, attitudes and behaviors of highly effective leaders. Some aren’t even nice or polite to coworkers and people in general. I think that’s all I need to say here.
  • People who love to hear themselves talk or value their own opinions more than anyone else’s. These individuals cut others off in mid-sentence, ask questions that were already asked and answered by someone else at the very same table in the very same room a few minutes earlier and sometimes speak louder to get their points across. These are the same folks also forget to stop, listen to and address questions because they’re so busy trying to move forward, any question, no matter how valid, are incorrectly seen as speed bumps.

Now, in spite of all of this analysis of what drives me bonkers, I have only myself to blame for the conundrum/quagmire/clusterf***/annoying ass situation in which I find myself mired. Why? Maybe, as my bestie suggested during one of our heavier talks, I just went with the flow of what was available for a paycheck and continued to build on that house of paper and paychecks without truly following my dreams or desires.

Well, great observation, but now what? I won’t give up a job I enjoy most days, or let’s face it – the paycheck, but I will work on finding ways to find my happiness, which is easier said than done…but…I have faith in being able to find it before I die. And if I die before I find it, I will fulfill the “Try or die trying” quest! 


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