The Machinist, episode 4: Well, I tried…

Wait for it.

But failed.

You might have notticed I haven’t written anything worth in a long while. Four months of 10 to 11 hour shifts (20 minutes to eat dinner) plus 5hour shifts on saturdays have taken their toll on me.

My creativity is gone, also my happiness. I don’t rest well, and I take home the stresses of the day. Summarizing:

Two months ago, my mind failed.

I was so tired, I started riding home (by bycicle) in automatic. It took me a while to realize I was crossing traffic lights without thinking. Luckily, it was late and no cars where around, but boy, that was dangerous.
So, I told my boss I was only going to do 10 hour shifts max + saturdays.

3 weeks ago, my body failed.

I got a severe case of whiplash, or heavy torticolis. Whatever it was, it hit hard, and I took almost a week off, and after that, I’ve been doing regular 8 hour shifts for about two weeks now.

Guess what happened during this 3 week period.

Yes, I began to do things again, started writing somewhat (in my head, mostly headlines and bits of story, but that’s how I often begin). Got to play with the laser and do cool things. I haven’t picked up my bicicle yet, as I didn’t want to strain my neck until full recovery, but I want to ride her badly.

So you know, when I was offered this position, I was told it would be hard, they would expect more from me, yadda yadda…the usual. I expected the extended shift from time to time, one saturday or maybe sunday of work to ship some boards. I don’t mind that, I mentally expected twice the amount of work I did in my previous job.

However, I clashed with an absolute lack of defined job shift, not even defined festivities. Couple that with lazy behaviour on bringing the specialized technicians to teach us the usage of the new machines…and well. This is not something that is going to turn into a normal job anytime soon, even if my boss thinks it will.
Don’t get me wrong, my boss is the best one you could ask for, and that’s the worst part. When I leave, I do so with the feeling that I should stay and do more overtime. I’m a sensible person, and seeing strain in other people’s lifes is just something I can’t help to care for.
But still, this is absolutely not my company, I don’t even have shares of it, I don’t owe them anything to work 60 hours of overtime a month. I get them paid, but I don’t need to earn 2000 euros a month, I need time to do my things.

So, the thought of starting next week with the “normal” shift my ethics require me to do as to keep with the pace of my boss…I…I just can’t get more months of this.

I have the feeling, the strong hard feeling, that I reached the end of the road. No amount of money can pay off for more time of creative mental shutdown. I was good at my old job because I was me, now, I’m just a technician carcass, but the person inside is, or has been until now, in a deep lethargy state. Now that I got up, I’m just not going back.

Just so you get the point, las weekend I had the feeling of having all the time in the world to do my things. I did plenty, I did nothing, I saw friends. I had a normal weekend…for the first time in an eternity.

So, it should not come as surprise when today I told my boss:

Me – “We should have a meeting”
Boss – “Of course, what for?”
Me – “I don’t think I’m the right person for this job”
Boss – /Face of complete desolation/ Takes me apart from the other coworker “Is it because you don’t like it?”
Me -“Oh, no, I love it, but you need someone who will do more overtime than me”

At that point, I’m not sure if my boss understood that I meant that I didn’t want to do any more overtime. Recently I told him I would be soon going back to “normal” (i.e. death by overtime) So he might just have understood I would not do more than 10*5+5 hours per week (total, normal + overtime).
When he got back from dinner, he told me that what I said before was not of importance, and I should not worry.

At the moment of this writing, I must clarify this with him, and I have the firm belief he hasn’t understood that I’m done with all that [crap].

I have worked plenty, I’ve been there in the worst times doing everything possible. I have the sincere feeling that I don’t owe anything to anyone for the opportunity they gave me (and that’s a pretty powerful gun if anyone dares to try to make me feel guilty)

So. It’s fun to write again, even if it’s a rant. XD

Will keep you posted!

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