A lot of times when I'm feeling particularly frustrated with the day job, I get ideas in my head that sound an awful lot like the conspiracy theories one of my crazy uncles would spout after he had a few too many bottles of Molson. I imagine that people have it out for me, that I'm being given the jobs that nobody else will do because it's not prestigious enough to warrant their time. In my head I see a pattern of poor communication as an active attempt to make me look like a fool to the senior management team. Bizarre ideas that benefit nobody. When I notice the sequence taking shape, I try to stop and ask myself what the problem really is. There's no denying that I tend to put in long hours to solve tedious and complex problems that few people care to understand. There's also no shortage of preventable issues that I'm asked to resolve ahead of higher priority concerns simply because someone knows how to force something to the top of the To Do list. These are normal nuisances that should barely register on the radar, yet they can sometimes trigger such a great deal of frustration that nothing about my work seems enjoyable. Fact of the matter is that a billion people around the world put in long hours to solve tedious and complex problems that few people care to understand, many of which are likely preventable if a little foresight is employed.
Compared to a lot of people, I have it pretty darn good. There's a roof over my head. Food in the fridge. Ample supplies of electricity, clean water, and safe air. The technology I have access to is more than enough to accommodate just about any problem, be it related to the day job or the family. The people around me are generally in good health. Not a day goes by where I don't learn something that is both engaging and directly related to an interest. Colleagues seem to value what I have to offer, and the family makes efforts to accommodate my working hours. Heck, I even get to work from home!
So what the heck is there to be frustrated or angry about? I had to work incredibly hard for over two decades at multiple jobs on two continents to get to where I am today. Why is it so hard to just be thankful for the good fortune that I've been lucky enough to enjoy for three years? Is this part of the human condition to always want more? Or is this simply an obvious lack of gratitude?
Try as I might, it's very hard to remain positive all the time. That said, I'd much rather spend my working days feeling neutral and disconnected than negative and paranoid. I am thankful for the life I currently lead, which is far and away better than any other time in my short history. Why is it so difficult to just maintain the proper perspective and remember that work is work and nobody is out to intentionally make a fool of me?