Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Flipping The Switch...For The Better

One of Richmond's greatest joys. The James River. You can bet that once the weather is warm I'll be out on the rocks and rapids everyday before work.

Lets compare a normal Tuesday for Jack Goes Forth now (April 1st) and four months ago (December 1st). You tell me which is better....

December 1st: Lived in Arlington VA. I woke up every day at 6:30 AM and dragged myself to the bathroom mirror. As I looked at my reflection the gradual fear of another stressful workday begin to sink in. It was all I could do to not smash my head into the mirror as I would rather spend the rest of the week in a hospital than in my cramped, little office in downtown DC. I somehow collected myself and made it to the metro around 8 AM. The entire metro process really did not help my day get any better. Cramming into the orange line like a sardine is an awful experience and seeing the pitiful looks on 95 % of the people's faces only reinforced this fact. Occasionally it would be extremely packed and I would have to use my size and scowl to force my way on the train...this always sucked.

Work was a never-ending cold call in which I repeatedly got told NO and was repeatedly disappointed. This was broken up by the daily call from my superior in NYC who liked to tell me how I was the worst of her new hires and that I wasn't reaching my potential.

The only solice I had was the fact that I could get up and walk out for coffee and food anytime I wanted...which I did about 10 times a day. The breaks always sucked because I knew what I had to come back to.

The only thing that kept me going were Thursdays when I would go out with co-workers and burn the roof off and then every other Friday when I would get a massive check deposited into my account.

I constantly lived in fear of getting fired and I constantly dreaded going to the office. Even when some real success seemed immenent I was still in a state of despression from my daily routine and I'm fairly sure that no amount of money or commissions would have changed this.

Weekends consisted of binge-drinking my face off and trying to forget how much I hated my new life and the awful decision I had made in taking this corporate gig.

I felt lethargic and tired a good amount of the time.

April 1st: I'm living in Richmond VA (my hometown). I wake up anywhere from 9 AM to 1 PM depending on if I worked or went out the night before. I usually meet one of my close buddies or a fellow bartender for lunch or breakfast. We lounge about, laugh, hit on waitresses and talk about the things in life that interest us. This is either preceded or followed with coffee and then an intense trip to the gym. I've fallen in love once again with the gym and music and there are times when the music is so good that I simply can't leave the gym. When I do leave I feel like 10 million dollars.

I then hit Barnes and Noble or Cafe Gutenberg where I read some magazines and books while slowly idling away the time until work, unless I'm working a lunch shift and in that case this whole process just happens at night instead of during the day.

I get to work at 4 PM and begin setting up. I finish up this and usually grab a bite to eat before we get slammed with customers. Once business starts booming I'm so busy taking orders, mixing drinks, closing checks, flirting with girls, joking with the other bartenders... that I'll look up and all of a sudden the lights are on and the bouncers are clearing people out. Then we count our registers and begin clean up. Of course we also make our own drinks and relax a bit. Depending on which bar I'm at I either get out at 1 AM or 4-5 AM. Then I go home with my money, my health and a smile on my face. Work is over for the day... There will no bosses to report to the next morning, no reports due, no client meetings. There will only be life as it was meant to be lived.... With friends and family and with the things that make you happy...which I should note, are things that money will never be able to buy you.

I'm in a good place right now


roosh said...

April Fools!

Just kidding, but glad it's working out.

Raleighwood said...

Sounds like a nice shift towards doing something you enjoy.

I am fantasize about quitting my corporate job and finding something more enjoyable. Unfortunately I am intimidated by such things as: lack health insurance, a nice salary, and a defined career path.

I pride myself on welcoming risk (opportunity), but I am uneasy about taking that plunge.

Jack Goes Forth said...

up until yesterday I was without health insurance for three months. It really sucked when I got that horrible flu bug and could only take over the counter shit...

I also wonder about a career/life path, although my outlook and days have been a lot better recently so I really don't dwell on the future like I used to.

I think I'm at a place where I can just be.... No plans, no set goals... Just living and being happy.

I don't know your particulars Raleigh, but I know you're my age and I know if theres ever a time to take a plunge, its when your responsibility is nil and you're young.

Raleighwood said...

I agree about it being better to take risks while being young.

I am 23, graduated last May. The day after graduation I left for Europe for 5 weeks. I had the best time of my life, but unfortunately my bank account got murdered.

Upon returning I was forced to take the first job that was available (financial reasons). Now I am stuck floating along, living pay check to pay check. During the week I am a zombie, on the weekends I'm a rock star.

Jack Goes Forth said...

ugh... I know about living paycheck to paycheck... Thats the only way I've ever lived and yes it sucks but its not like this is uncommon for people our age. Are you looking for something better?

If you're gonna be poor then you might as well be happy. I'm beginning to realize a little more everyday that money is not really all its cracked up to be...

Heres a good quote I read the other day:

“To be young is all there is in the world. They talk so beautifully about work and having a family and a home (and I do, too, sometimes) --but it's all worry and head-aches and respectable poverty and forced gushing. Telling people how nice it is, when, in reality, you would give all of your last thirty years for one of your first thirty. Old people are tremendous frauds.”- Wallace Stevens

Anonymous said...

I'm officially jealous. Instead of bashing my face into the mirror I was just going to shoot myself in the foot-- Allman Brothers style. That should buy me a few weeks off.