Straight up: I quit my job.
As soon as I moved to Toowoomba I thought I was ready for a job. I had a lot more energy and I was feeling so vibrant and alive. The biggest difference was that every shop here was hiring. I got overly-excited and was like SIGN ME UP TO THEM ALL. I was at a cafe having breakfast and randomly scored myself a trial. I’ve had interviews upon interviews lined up. I am exploding out of my ears with job opportunities. It feels like being famous except it’s just capitalism tempting me back with every step I take HAHA!
I’ve been delivering pizza for about a month. I got the job through a good friend and since I haven’t worked all year I was like WOW someone wants me, someone is looking past the six month gap in my work history on my resume, WOW now I have another job to add to my resume. You see… I’ve been educated to think that the only thing that matters in life are jobs. It’s been drilled in to me at a gap in your resume is DEATH. You’ll never get a job. But deep down I was scared too. Of explaining that gap. “Yeh I fell incredibly ill with chronic fatigue and I’ve spent the past year doing the bare minimum to survive in between sleeping and hating myself.” I dread the day I have to explain I’m chronically ill, and may never ever recover, to an employer. It’s so personal. I also try not to let chronic illness define me (but fuck it does a good job at taking that away from me and being the centre of my universe).
I felt so cool working! Whenever Malcolm said he was tired from work I could say a big fat ME TOO. Whenever someone asked what I did (aka every fucking day) I could tell them I worked!!!! It felt so smug to me. Fuck yeh, I’ve beat the system! I don’t have to explain that I don’t work because I’m so ill. I’ve gone and done the thing! I’ve BLENDED INTO SOCIETY. I’m no longer a dole-bludger. I contribute to society! I’m normal!
As much as I hate to admit this, working made me feel like I was doing something good. This is a capitalist view whereby you’re only valuable in terms of what you can contribute to an employer. Your sole value is how much money you can earn for a company in return for the minimum wage they have to pay you. This view is reiterated to me everyday that I did not work when people would look super uncomfortable when I told them I didn’t work… and SHOCK HORROR I was happy. How dare someone not work and feel satisfied! That’s not how the world works!
I initially started off working like 3 x 2 hour shifts. This was doable right? I then ran in to a pole on a shift which caused 1k plus damage. I never did even make 1k for the whole time I was working. Then the hours progressively got more and more until the point that I was working 5 nights a week. It was a slippery slope that I did not sign up for nor know how to get out of without disappointing everyone. I also felt like I should have been grateful for more hours because I had to work to pay off the damage I’d caused running in to a pole.
Everyday since I started working I’ve had some grand anxiety. The problem with working at night is that you spend your whole day trrryyyinggggg to be alive for your shift that night. It’s all I thought about. “I can’t go and do x because it’ll make me tired for tonight.” The thoughts of trying to stay alive took control of my life and I just had anxiety all day hoping and praying that I’d feel alright for my shift.
Another problem was the fact that I worked with the most normal and energetic young humans! They would run from their car to the store with their orders to reduce their delivery time and thereby look amazing on their stats. I asked them if they have the problem of having to make sure they aren’t tired for their shifts and they looked at me like I’m a 60 year old with a bed time of 6pm. All of which is correct except the 60 year old part. It was never more evident that I had no energy and would never be as enthusiastic as these people. It made me feel shit. All I wanted was to feel normal but it was like HAHAHAHAH you’ll never be normal dickhead, you spend your whole day working yourself up for a fucking two hour shift and then almost vomit from anxiety driving to work.
Oh! There were also ratings to make life even better! So when someone orders a pizza they can rate you. The system also rates your driver efficiency based on your GPS tracking device. Do you know how much this kills someone’s soul who has anxiety???? I saw my driver efficiency was 3.5 and almost cried. I didn’t know what it meant or how to fix it but I wanted to go and sob in a corner. I’m a perfectionist and having real time stats like this was just soul damaging. Who the fucks right is it to rate you based on a 2 sentence interaction at their door step??? GET FUCKED. Knowing I’d put ALL of my fucking energy into putting on a happy tone of voice and smiling to receive a rating for some loser was so demeaning.
Honestly, I haven’t been truly happy and fulfilled since I started working. The house is always a mess. I don’t cook dinner anymore because I’m always at work during dinner time delivering dinner to other people. Malcolm and I never get to see each other because I pick him up from work, go to work myself and then get back and we both sleep. It’s a lonely and unsatisfying experience. I’ve also missed taking Bindi to the dog park. That is always the purest happiness of my day seeing her being so happy and playing with all the other dogs and I’ve been had to fuck that off to go work.
Today I was laying here “resting” in preparation for work and it just hit me. FUCK THIS. Having excess money has never made me happy. The one thing chronic fatigue has taught me is that health and happiness are the most important things. I think if you’re happy and healthy, the most vibrant version of yourself, the universe will bring good fortune your way.
All is not lost! I get to pick Malcolm up from work, take Bindi to the dog park today, cook dinner with Malcolm (a rare occasion), focus on my pet sitting business I just set up in the midst of the craziness, have time for my hobbies and recover from this whirlwind experience.
I’m also very privileged in that I also happen to supervise exams for a crazy amount of money. And I got offered a Christmas casual job yesterday so I know I have that on the horizon. It doesn’t start for a month or more and I couldn’t be happier.
Rest and recovery are my main goals at this time.
Please, remember that your inherent value is not based on how well you serve a corporation. You’re value is in how you treat people who have nothing to offer you. Your value is in the small ways you show gratitude, enjoy the moment and exist the way you want to.
As long as you’re making yourself happy, do others opinions matter? Fuck no. I can’t wait to make people uncomfortable by telling them I’m unemployed and loving it.