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February 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 4:25 pm

Oh. Fuck.

I just realized why I can never seem to invest energy in my job. I’ve been here over ten years, I believe that what we do is more-or-less good work, and yet I still haven’t been able to figure out how to connect to it in any meaningful way. I spend most of my time in the office fucking around on the Internet wishing I was somewhere else. Which sucks because I’m salaried, so it doesn’t matter how much time I spend in the office, it matters that I get the work done. If I spend five hours screwing around on Facebook, that’s just five hours I could’ve spent somewhere doing something else – and I still have five hours worth of work that needs to be accomplished eventually. Usually frantically in the middle of the night right up against a deadline.

I just had this conversation with Dakota about how frustrated I am:

[3:23:20 PM] frozenfoxtale: i’m totally failing to work today
[3:23:50 PM] Dakota: No bueno…anything I can do to help? Want a quick pep talk?
[3:28:35 PM] frozenfoxtale: it’s just so boring 😦
[3:29:29 PM] frozenfoxtale: and then i feel guilty cuz i feel lazy that i don’t want to do a bunch of incredibly boring shit
[3:29:43 PM] frozenfoxtale: i mean, not that fucking around on facebook is, like, exciting
[3:29:45 PM] frozenfoxtale: just
[3:29:49 PM] frozenfoxtale: sigh
[3:29:52 PM] Dakota: Awaw…boring work is…exactly that…boring.
[3:30:09 PM] Dakota: You are not lazy, just disinterested in this particular aspect of your job.
[3:30:15 PM] Dakota: Can’t really blame you.
[3:30:43 PM] Dakota: But if you don’t do the boring parts…it might be harder to do the parts that you do like.
[3:30:55 PM] frozenfoxtale: i don’t know if i like any of the parts 😦
[3:31:12 PM] Dakota: Oh, baby.

and then suddenly it clicked

[3:31:47 PM] frozenfoxtale: it’s just so…asocial

I am powered by hugs. But I’m motivated by relationships. Pretty much exclusively. Matthew pointed out the other day that this might not be entirely healthy. And he’s right. But if what we value gives us power, I feel totally powerless at this point in my life to do anything that isn’t directly impacting my relationship(s) with a person or people who I care about. Even the aspects of my activism that seem the most abstract and removed from my own communities/experiences are, if you scratch the surface, based on a desire for deeper intimacy with specific individuals in my life.

But I’ve got none of that here. My office is very anti-social and gets more-so by the year. The only thing that motivates me to do any work ever is a sort of vague concern for a positive personal relationship with my boss. But I just don’t care about my job. Yes, we study people. But studying people is not necessarily the same as working with people, much less working with people with whom I have relationships.

I feel like the best job I ever had, even though it was repetitive and physically grueling at times, was working at the Heavy Shop in McMurdo, because there it actually mattered immediately to someone else’s life whether or not I did what I was doing – and the person whose life it mattered to was someone in my community who I cared about.

Asa also made a good point a few days ago that my emotions and my intellect are inextricably intertwined. (As evidenced by how well this worked out. Not very.) I think my feelings and feel my thoughts. This makes me extremely facile at certain types of analysis – especially analysis that centers my own experience as a way to grok the experiences of others in similar or comparable political positions. But it makes me terrible at other sorts of analysis such as, say, figuring out how many summer camps there are in the country. Not because I’m not capable of doing that. But because I don’t care.

And that’s not something that’s going to change – about either my job or about me – any time soon. So. Y’know. Fuck.

I want to do ethnography. I don’t want to work with datasets that are so abstracted and disconnected from the human beings they’re representing that, by the time they reach me, they’re emotionally meaningless.

So, yeah. Grad school. I know.

But for the time being, fuck it. I’m going home to take a nap. I’ll try and force myself to care again tomorrow.

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1 Comment »

  1. Ethnography is totally up your alley, I agree. I also think that you might like Feminist Action Research, Feminist Participatory Research, or other ‘indigenous’ and ’emancipatory’ frameworks of knowledge production and sharing.

    Comment by orgasmicon — February 15, 2012 @ 4:38 pm | Reply


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