Wide Awake in Wonderland

We’re only dancing on this earth for a short while

You’ll never (want to) work in this town again September 23, 2008

I had one of those days where things just come into focus. That’s more than a little ironic, because I also have a killer migraine (is there any other kind?), such that literally nothing is in focus. When I get them, they are relentless. They last at least three days, which renders me half-blind and flinchy. I’m having to squint my eyes down to pin pricks to tolerate the light coming from this monitor as I write this. How I suffer for my art.

Anyway, I was looking at a calendar last night and realized it was almost October. This got me thinking about the ‘real world’ and my eventual return to it and actually making money and punching a clock and all that fun stuff. Meanwhile, even though I am largely out of touch, by simply logging into my Yahoo mail, I am bombarded with dismal news about the short-term financial outlook for the U.S. Being an expert in the banking industry (payments and credit cards, specifically) one can’t help but muse that all this probably lessens my options for a simple return to the type of career I once knew.

When I set out into the city this morning, some of these thoughts came back to me, and I remember wondering for a moment if I should get into contact with some of the people I know in the industry and start to put out some feelers. I also noticed the thought of that turned my stomach. If there is one thing I learned in hypnotherapy, it’s that if you realize that you feel bad or uncomfortable or just ‘wrong’, to stop and check it out. There’s important info (usually that you’re getting off your path) in the rotten feelings. What I realized in that moment was that banking consulting makes me want to puke.

Meanwhile, one of the main north/south drags in Florence pretty much shares its name with my old boss (for those of you that weren’t around in the summer or have bad memories, I’m referring to the sniveling weasel who would never talk to me again after I told him I was taking this trip). It didn’t bother me or anything, but perhaps that’s why I got a hankering to log into the e-mail I use for sending out resumes and pretty much nothing else? This is an account that, from the looks of it, i haven’t been in since I left on this trip. .

Anyway, in with some notices from LinkedIn and some receipts rom PayPal, there were two e-mails from the ex-boss’ secretary. Seriously, junk mail and something from them (and I never gave them that e-mail. They must have dug out my old resume or something to find it?). Color me stunned.

I suppose it goes to show that I never learn, because I didn’t feel the least bit of trepidation or fear or anything as I opened it. I should have, because here’s what i found:

On Wed, 9/3/08, The World’s Worst Secretary> wrote:

From: The World’s Worst Secretary>
Subject: Next time you are online, please answer below;
To: VW
Date: Wednesday, September 3, 2008, 1:24 PM

From: The World’s Worst Secretary
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 9:23 AM
To: VW
Subject: Business books purchased

The ex-boss asked me to check with you in regards to any books purchased by or for you for business during your employment w/us that they be returned to us

Also, all binders, books, documents that were given to you by the ex-boss should be returned to him.

Please advise.
Thank you
The World’s Worst Secretary

I don’t even know where to start with this. Ticking down the most obvious:

1. Who asks for shit back over a month after an employee is gone?

2. Who bothers them on a trip overseas – said trip over which a dispute caused them to quit in the first place?

3. Nothing he gave me was valuable or irreplaceable or even all that interesting. Half the time I would leave stuff in the hotel room because it was too heavy to lug home, and I knew I’d never look at it again anyway.

4. Is it me, or is this like asking for all the Christmas and birthday gifts you gave back after you break up with someone?

5. I will never answer this e-mail. Hell will freeze before I reply to this crap. I might burn the handful of books and papers and send them a video of me dancing around the tiny pyre, but I won’t send them a single scrap of paper.

However, the one upside is that this little incident has solidified a reality in my mind: I can’t go back to the kind of work I’ve done for the last eight years. It’s like a sign. .Like when you go into the Amityvillle Horror House and a voice says, “GET OUT.”

Plus, the mere thought of it makes me nauseous, and – and perhaps most importantly – I simply don’t want to. Life is too short to be miserable, and my talent is wasted on that boring bullshit anyway.

I met some people tonight who asked me what I would do when I got home. Although I used to murmur about how could probably go back to the type of work I had been doing, the answer I gave is the only answer I can give, “I don’t know.”

I guess I’m just going to keep writing this blog and writing my book and putting feelers out there and focusing on this trip while I’m here now, and trust that the rest will fall into place when it’s time. I may not have a good plan, but I’m okay with that. I am pretty sure that no one has ever looked back on a situation and said, “Wow. I’m really glad I worried about that!”