Penultimate Day 2015

Another year is about to pass into history or, more likely, oblivion and on this penultimate day of the year, I take a retrospective look back over the events and non-events of the past year. Overall, it seemed to be a year on non-accomplishment — employment, projects, yoga, genealogy, et cetera. Maybe I can change that next year.

One theme that was nearly constant through most of the year was my contempt for my job or, as I called it, the Pit of Despair, which seemed to suck out my will to live on a daily basis. I didn’t mind the work itself and at times I actually enjoyed it. I worked with a great Field Support team at the hospital. My source of aggravation primarily stemmed from disdain for the company that employed me and its policies, particularly the emphasis on “productivity” and the necessity to document how I was being productive.

I was essentially providing a service by being available to respond to whatever came up so it really didn’t matter how “productive” I was since I had to be there anyway. Actually, the requirement to log everything and keep track of my time, resulted in much less productivity. There was no incentive to multi-task or work more efficiently. I found it more beneficial to work on one task at a time and do a thorough job. Sometimes this meant dragging out a process to take longer than I normally would have. Throughout the year, I developed scripts to simplify tasks and do them more efficiently and it was a challenge to slow down the pace of my work.

I also felt a great deal of contempt for the management of our local “team.” Our manager clearly lacked managerial and supervisory skills. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t bring in someone qualified for the position with the necessary experience to manage the project. Kermit constantly went on about how we were a team although I never felt that I was part of that team. About the only times I had contact with him was when there was a problem or he had something to pass down from Corporate. I greatly missed the independence and autonomy I enjoyed at the beginning of the project.

I still find it hard to believe that everyone in the company, from Kermit on up, was surprised that the contract wasn’t renewed. I saw the writing on the wall a year and a half before. By this summer I knew with utmost certainty that the client was not going to renew. Yet, despite this foreknowledge, I didn’t do anything to extract myself from a worsening situation. I had kind of hoped that I’d be able to hire on with the company that took over but the company held me to my non-compete agreement and the client seemed to be determined that none of us would be part of the new contract.

For me, that turned out to be a blessing. Although, I would have preferred to wait five more years to retire and draw my Social Security, events seemed to have provided the right timing to draw it at age 62 even though it would mean I wouldn’t be able to draw the full benefit. Over the past few years, I’ve grown quite weary of the computer support trade and really had little desire to go through the turmoil of finding work, fitting in to a new working environment, and patiently tolerating a job for five years. Right now, my greatest challenge in the transition is to avoid finding a job. By the 20th week of unemployment, I’m supposed to develop a “career plan” of some sort. By mid-March, my career plan will be to be fully retired by the first of May.

On to other matters. My views on religion have changed little in the past 12 months. I still find Western religion, particularly Christianity, to be incomprehensible, illogical, and confounding. However, I’m developing a greater appreciation for Jesus as a teacher, a guru, and a realized being. I like Jesus, not as a savior but as a teacher, a guru, a realized being, and a source of inspiration.

I don’t believe he died on the cross for my sins and was resurrected. I actually suspect that he survived the crucifixion using yoga practices and siddhis, appeared before his disciples for a while and then made his way out of the Roman Empire, probably to India. Of course, that idea is pure speculation and can offer up only the most circumstantial and speculative evidence for it. That’s assuming the Jesus actually lived in First Century Judea, an assumption I’m willing to accept even though there’s no historical evidence. But then again, thousands of people lived in that time and place for whom there is no historical evidence.

At this point, I’m not going to offer up any New Year’s resolutions, intentions or goals. All I can do is strive to do better and to do what needs to be done. I’ll take it one day at time, try to be present in the moment, and surrender to whatever grace befalls me.

If I’ve pissed anyone off, I’m not sorry. Get over it.


Author: Rick

I'm a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.