Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Addicted to working

I have said, in a perhaps-not-entirely-joking manner, that I am a workaholic. The funny thing is that I don't particularly enjoy being at work, but I feel that I should be doing something productive with my time, all of the time. I get really unhappy when I can't work and get things done quickly and efficiently. I think that a lot of this comes from my activities in college - I worked at least 20 hours a week from the summer after freshman year onward, usually at more than one job at a time. I had one typing job that was very flexible, and so whenever I had some spare time I'd go in there for an hour or two. I used to have a side job writing medical textbook review questions which I did at home in my free time, starting from senior year until last January. So whenever I didn't feel like going to the typing job, I'd stay at home and write flashcards. In between writing flashcards, I was doing my homework and reading. The running joke at our school (which in many programs is extremely demanding) is that if you were sitting around with your friends or going out somewhere, it's not because you were DONE, because you were never done. You were just doing this instead right now, and later you'd get back to the grind. This whole routine instilled a great work ethic in the students, but with me I became almost emotionally attached to efficiency and can get very unhappy when things are done in a stupid or slow way.

Once I graduated and got my full time job, I continued with the flashcards job, which turned into five or six hours a night. I didn't really mind as it was easy and interesting and paid well, But the program stopped in January and suddenly I didn't have anything to do. So what did I do? I went looking for another job. For about a month, every afternoon, I took an hour and a half trip on two buses out to the suburbs to grade sixth-graders' standardized tests for $12 an hour. This really sucked a whole lot, because I would leave home in the morning at 8 to go to my real job, leave at 4 to get on the bus, get on another bus at 4:45, get off the second one at 5:30, walk a mile to the testing place and eat dinner, work for four hours, and get home by 10:30PM. So I hardly saw Boyfriend at all during that time, and basically went right to bed when I got home since I was so tired. I began to actively loathe going because I felt like I was missing out on my own life. The weather was getting warm and every day when it was sunny, while I stood waiting for the bus I thought about how much I wanted to skip that day and go home and take the guinea pigs outside and eat dinner with my boyfriend. I didn't miss a day, though, and even went back for an extra three days for something else. The job was a temporary project and it ended though, so that was over.

Then I got hired for a job I'd applied for back in January at one of those test-preparation-classes places to be an evenings and weekends desk clerk. After a few sessions of working there, though, I realized that I was feeling the same way about going there as I had when I bussed all the way out to the suburbs, even though the new place was walking distance from my house and I'd be home earlier. Additionally, I didn't like the place and felt that nobody actually cared whether I was being taught to do what I needed to - I never even was told how to fill out my time sheet. So I left there.

For a while I read a lot, started knitting again, watched more TV, did whatever I felt like in the evenings. This free time is partially what led me to start blogging - because I have no hobbies. Working is what I did as a hobby in college. Now I'm starting to feel more pinched in my finances - when I had the flashcards job, and the typing job in college, if I wanted more money I simply went out and made more. Now with this filling-stuff-out-online gig, I feel like I actually have something productive to do (and I'll get lots of money to boot!) but I'm falling back into my old habits of doing the side work whenever possible, making it hard to tear me away from it. I actually get kind of depressed when I don't have offers clearing quickly, or have to wait on something.. I want to get things done NOW NOW NOW. Having nothing to do at my real job doesn't help either. As I have said to others, I feel like the inefficiency is eating away at my soul. I really have stopped caring about a lot of things because my hopes of actually getting anything done have been dashed over and over, and no one else seems to give a crap. So doing the DealBarbie things gives me some semblance of having actually done something productive with my day, but I probably get too into it and am unable to step away from it.

7 comments:

udandi said...

oh man, the part about inefficiency eating your soul reminded me of my last job. I didn't want to attend my high school reunion let alone plan it, but it gave me something to do while I was waiting on others to get their acts together (or shit in one boot, which is a phrase I just learned from my current manager)!

My Pink Purse and Me said...

Hi. i'm new to this whole blogging about finance thing and i've found your website to be very informative and fun to read. i especially love what you wrote today. I use to be the same way too. I would work as much as I can because I'm young and know I won't be able to do it later on in life. I use to tell myself that it's a good thing i'm always busy, otherwise I would have use those idle hours to go shopping or drinking. This way, not only am I making money, I'm saving money.

on a side note, i'm having a tough time changing the look of my site. My background is similar to yours, except the pink (green on yours) margins on the left and right side is wider. Can you give me tips on how to make that margin narrowers, like yours? just give me the html line of code u use and where u put it. Thanks!

Kira said...

The stuff you are looking for is in the top part of your template - it looks more like regular code, not HTML, it's all spread out.

The things you want to change are the widths in pixels. Most people have at least a 1000-pixel-wide screen so you should be under that somewhat.

The first time this appears:
@media all

there is a thing that says width, you can change the number of pixels, I have mine set to 900. That is how wide the entire white space is.

The second time you see @media all:

Underneath is there is a #main section and a #sidebar section. Play with those widths - main is the width of your text and sidebar is the width of your right sidebar. Mine are set to 500 pixels for main, and 250 pixels for sidebar. So there is about 150 pixels in between the sidebar and the main text since the overall width is 900. If when you look at the blog page your web browser is wider than 900, anything outside of that will show as pink on your blog. Play with the widths a little and use the preview to see whether you like it - just make sure that the main width plus the sidebar width is at least 50 pixels smaller than the overall main width so that they don't bump into each other. Good luck!

My Pink Purse and Me said...

thanks! it worked!

Ms. MiniDucky said...
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Ms. MiniDucky said...

Yikes... kind of a sore subject for me ... I bristle when told that I'm a workaholic and that I choose to do this to myself ... but I'm generally outta the house by 6am and home after 8pm, everyday. (I do get overtime so that's really a major motivation but am definitely planning to ease off the OT to have some more time at home.)
Then I take work home over the weekends because I have no life. Ok, arguably I have no life because I schedule myself to do work over the weekend, but .. well, what else am I gonna do? Fret about finances, yes, that takes up a lot of time. But basically I don't want to get bored at home because I see a direct correlation between not working and spending money, versus working and not spending money. I find that the PF blogs are great for keeping me occupied and making plans for my finances but that's just feeding the neurosis, I think. On the other hand, I can substitute working on the blog and following up on the cool suggestions for making fun money for all that odious OT that isn't as fun as it used to be.

Ms. MiniDucky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.