I’ve been thinking lately about why I have such a hard time with early mornings and just why work – especially when it’s pretty decent work – can be so upsetting to me. It came to a head recently when I received a long awaited e-mail from my pen-pal, detailing her new job in her new home in Hawaii. Other than the fact she is in Hawaii, you could easily argue that she has it way worse than I do, in terms of early morning hours and commuting time. Heck, you don’t even have to argue, it’s plain fact. But she is not and has never been a complainer. Whereas my e-mail would have been a non-stop bitching session, hers was purely informative with the slight sarcastic editorial, “Welcome to paradise.”
So what’s wrong with me? Mostly it’s just my nature. It’s my nature to be weary, and surly, and to complain like it was going out of style. I’ve been that way as long as I can remember. (Here’s the link to that article again, hopefully it will stay working this time…) So now I’m wondering if, since the personality is pretty much set in stone, if perhaps I shouldn’t have changed my surroundings at some point in time. Follow me…. Last night, when I couldn’t sleep, I caught a rerun of an episode of Scrubs, from back in the day when it was good. The episode featured a new, super smart and unflappable intern (played by Sean Hayes of Will and Grace fame) who upstages Zach Braff as leader of the pack. Sarah Chalke’s Elliot tries to take a page from the new doctor’s book and become similarly unflappable. “I’m not going to be overwhelmed anymore” she declares, to uproarious laughter from other staff members. At the end of the episode, it turns out super doc can’t handle the fact that being the best does not mean he can cure everybody. He quits when he can no longer take the sadness surrounding his seven-year-old terminally ill patient. Turns out Elliot’s little breakdowns are what gets her through the rough spots. Since my coping mechanism is to break down, (and I have been compared to Elliot and Diane Keaton in the well scene of Baby Boom) perhaps I should have chosen a profession that might occasionally warrant such a breakdown. When I worked at the news station and things went horribly awry (be they my fault or someone else’s), my boss would always say “We’re not saving lives here, people.” And it’s true. We weren’t, and I’m not. However, the flip side to that is everybody has their own struggles, and you can’t really compare one person’s struggles to another. Kicking a coffee habit may not be as difficult as kicking a cocaine habit, but we really only have our own lives to answer for. Every struggle and every victory is deeply personal and can not and should not be quantified or qualified by someone else. Also, I would have made a really crappy doctor.
In other news, I pointed out two grammatical and one terminological (?) error on a product today that I know full well we can’t do anything about. I was writing the press release when I noticed the errors, and decided to point them out. I don’t know if this was the right thing to do. I’d like to have this fit into my plan to be indispensable, but I think it is much more logical that it will piss someone off. I don’t know who wrote the boxes or who is responsible, but it has to be someone there. Maybe it’s better to make enemies early, get it out of the way. Quit before I’m ahead.