Thursday, September 27, 2007

Discordia Drops By: An Anecdote

This is just a MOMENT OF REALIZATION I had at my last job. It happened just about six months ago now. I had just been laid off for the first time in my life, in terror and weeping, at a time when my home state was DEAD LAST in the entire nation for job openings. 100 people a day were leaving for places like Arizona and Colorado, abandoning their homes for the banks to foreclose upon, because in other states they could get jobs in coffee shops and live in their cars.
My keester was saved at the last moment when the bosses miraculously routed me into another position that I could keep for ALL ETERNITY if I wanted. The benefits were just as good even though the pay was a little lower. It was even in the town where I was born. Incredible!
Sure, there was a catch: it was a nightmare position I had vowed all my professional life NEVER TO TAKE.
Sure, there was ANOTHER catch: the commute home included a stretch of congested highway they had just closed down to one lane, meaning that I had a choice of sitting still for two hours in an idling car on a freeway that should have gotten me home in 15 minutes, with gas going for three dollars a gallon, OR I could bash my tiny car into a TWISTED HEAP OF METAL on an hour-long, slithering, jolting funhouse ride on the rutted back roads of the county. In icy February conditions. Yeah, baby. Life was starting to suck again.
But I was surprised to find that I really liked the people. I'd been warned all my life that they were the cruellest minions of bureaucratic evil on earth, laying waste human lives and chuckling at the suffering of the innocent, in the quest to get all their state forms filled out correctly. They weren't like that at all. I was impressed with their professionalism and skill, their good judgement, their good humor in the face of adversity. The office space they gave me was a little grubby, but the color scheme was nice. I had a view of the trees growing up the center of the atrium. Everyone fell all over themselves helping me. I have never learned so much in such a short time at any job.
And the bosses were good, too. Incredibly good. Wow. How often do you stumble into a job where you like all the supervisors? These were kindly, positive people who explained things so you understood them the first time; they seemed to understand that I was in a light state of shellshock after having been laid off; and they told me over and over to take it slow, that I was doing fine. WOW, how did these people get into positions of responsibility? This kind of talent would have been ruthlessly fired before getting past probation at ANY OTHER JOB I'd ever worked.
I was starting to see that I could do this job, if I had to, and I could be good at it too.
The MOMENT OF REALIZATION came after something had been niggling at me for weeks. My own supervisor was off saving the world from evil or something, and the other department supervisor had taken me under his wing, helping me along at every step. There was just something about him. He kept reminding me of something I could...almost...think of....but not quite. I knew I'd never met him before. Had my boss at the other job mentioned him? They appeared to know each other. What was it about him that seemed so familiar?
After about four weeks of this, I was saved from the miserable commute and the specter of working a job I dreaded. My dream job opened up nearby, and they interviewed me for it. I even got hired. It involved a $7,000+ pay raise and was only 10 minutes from my place. It actually matched my training and abilities.
It was only afterwards, when I was starting to get seriously freaked out by the stress of being thrown into a new job, (un)trained by the usual type of useless supervisor, that I opened The Principia Discordia to seek spiritual comfort and I finally got the message.
The oddly familiar supervisor at the previous job was named Greg Hill. Greg Hill, a guy with the same name as one of the original living prophets of Eris in our times, co-author of the Principia. My other supervisor had to GET OUT OF THE WAY so I could spend several hours a day getting help from this particular man and no other.
I like to think this means that all this happened as part of the entirely random, planless, grenade-throwing machinations of Our Lady Of Chaos. When I think about it, I see that if I had not been canned when I was and frantically looking for a job to replace the one Discordia had tossed in my lap, I NEVER WOULD HAVE NOTICED THE OPENING FOR MY DREAM JOB, THE ONE I'VE WISHED FOR DAILY FOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS.
Indeed do many things come to pass.


Blogger Ur-spo said...

the Fates have a weird sense of humor, don't they?

7:38 PM  

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