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Community => General Chat => Topic started by: Xepher on May 05, 2010, 08:11:04 am

Title: Does all work suck?
Post by: Xepher on May 05, 2010, 08:11:04 am
So I quit my job last September, as many of you may know. I've been jobless since, living on my savings. It's not critical yet, but it is shrinking. I moved to Houston in December, thinking the change of place would inspire me a bit more, perhaps help me find some direction for my life. However, every time I even try to look at employment stuff, I just get depressed. It seems like all jobs suck. I refuse to believe this is true though. I'm determined to find a job that I can actually somewhat enjoy, AND have the rest of my life work out nicely too.

So, my question to all of you is this... are there jobs that DON'T suck? What about your own job, what do you do, how do you feel about it? Is it a challenge? Worthwhile? Do you feel like it's going somewhere? Does it make the Earth a better place? Or are you, like me, feeling stuck in jobs that are pointless dead-ends that just shower you with money for doing no real work?

Don't limit your answers to any sort of "rational" answer either. I'm just trying to find some sort of job that doesn't make me want to commit genocide. (Yes, genocide... "I'm a pimp, and pimps don't commit suicide.") I don't care if it's local, or in Lithuania, anything has to be more interesting than what I've been doing in IT.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Databits on May 06, 2010, 04:29:01 pm
I think pretty much all jobs suck.  Primarily because no matter what job you're in now days, your just the monkey of some giant corporation.  There are so few smaller successful businesses now days.  It really is kind of sad.

As for me... I thought, "hey I'd probably love a job if I like doing it as a hobby."  It was -ok- for a few years, but now it's getting to the point where I'm getting sick of doing it.  But then again that's because I'm a programmer, and a good one at that, so being stuck "maintaining" a project feels to me like a total waste of my time and talent.  I probably wouldn't hate my work so much if I were put on NEW projects from time to time, where I can actually BUILD something rather than constantly maintain the same damn thing...
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Xepher on May 06, 2010, 05:17:51 pm
Same reason I quit my last job... once I mastered the few unique things about the job, it felt like a real waste to spend all my time/talent just doing the same basic things over and over. I never got the chance to build anything new. Worse, was that I wasn't just stuck maintaining systems I'd built or setup, but rather had to fix the billion stupid setups various clients had.

I think you're right about "jobs" all being monkey work these days. I really think owning something independent is the only way to make it work. If I can scrape the money together, I'm seriously looking at opening a sandwich shop. Either a Jimmy John's (http://jimmyjohns.com/) or a Firehouse Subs (http://firehousesubs.com/) franchise. Both look like pretty decent investments. Simple to run (no real cooking) with high profit margins. JJ's actually lists approximate income and revenues on the site, as well detailed cost outlays. Basically, I need to scrape together about $100k cash + $250k loan, but stand to make $250k/year net profit. Out of curiosity, anyone here ever worked at any places like that? What was it like. Also, what about just eating there... which one do you prefer?
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Gwyn on May 06, 2010, 09:30:52 pm
One of my favorite jobs was working in a restaurant if that means anything. I've never worked at just a sandwich shop though :p.

My current job I love so far, but I think it's only been a month since I started there.

It's not abnormal to want to switch jobs (or even careers) every so often, it's probably a little hard to do right now in this market though. I see nothing wrong with someone changing jobs every few years, and not just for more money either.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Axle Greymoon on May 30, 2010, 04:10:52 am
Through my almost 17 years of life i have found that if you love a task even if it is tedious that it doesnt become a task or another thing just to do  it becomes a part of who you are and that isnt a thing to be taken lightly so if you are trying to know what job would be fun look at the things you enjoy and would enjoy doing for years to come all around a job is a choice of what you want to do and will you give your all to get it. so find something that intrests you and go for it
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Databits on May 30, 2010, 11:07:36 pm
I don't know, I tend to think quite the opposite here.  In my years of experience, doing what you love as a job ends up making you hate what you used to love.  At least that's how it seems to work for most people I know that pursue doing what they love as a career...  I used to absolutely love programming, until I started doing it as my primary job.  Then again I suppose it's slightly different in this case, because with programming it tends to come down to building versus maintaining.  Building new systems and writing new stuff is always interesting, where as just sitting and maintaining the same damn thing long term just becomes a total snore fest.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: dragyn on June 01, 2010, 01:28:58 pm
For a while I was planning to try to get a job programming, but I found that the more I did that, the less I liked the idea.

So now I'm just trying to find a job at all, and programming while I'm not doing that.  I don't know if all jobs suck, but not having one and needing one does.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Databits on June 01, 2010, 08:26:01 pm
I think it wouldn't suck so bad if I weren't maintaining things long-term.  What I should have done from the start is began development on things, and just had it in a contract that once launched I was only obligated toward actual bug fixes.  Funny thing is, some people out there don't get the difference between a bug fix and new feature.  I'm sorry but, "this should also be able to do this, it's a bug!!" is totally wrong.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: MHPayne on June 05, 2010, 08:25:50 pm
I kind of fell into:

Working at the city library 20 years ago, and I still enjoy nearly everything about it.  It's just 29 1/2 hours a week, so I've got time to do my stories and comics; it's mostly out at the front desk, so it forces me to actually talk to people, something I doubt I'd do otherwise; the other bits of the job are detail-oriented, so my anal-retentive little mind stays happily occupied; and the two branches where I work are close enough to my house so I can walk or ride my bike most days.  All in all, I feel pretty lucky.

Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Xepher on June 06, 2010, 01:13:25 am
Wow... about the only thing I've done consistently for the past 20 years is breathe! Don't get me wrong, it's great that you found something that can keep you content, but personally I go nuts even in a "good" job in less than 12 months. The longest I've even lived in a single town was 5 years, and even that involved 5 moves. Still though, glad it keeps you happy. I hope I can find something like that sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Databits on June 06, 2010, 08:46:24 pm
Maybe you are part Gypse. :P
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: ValhallaSky on July 04, 2010, 09:56:25 am
It's not exactly reliable, but have you considered contract work? It's what I've resorted to doing while going through college, and it's been making ends meet.

Basically, do some social networking with people who are computer illiterate and offer to do various tech services for them as needed. Whether that's setting up a wireless network or a Facebook page for their company, it's quick money that makes both parties happy because they have what they need and you got to break out of your routine, with the bonus of getting paid!

Unless I land a job at someplace like Google where I can always be creative, I think I'm going to work someplace "comfortable" like a coffee house or bookstore, and do contract work on the side so my brain doesn't atrophy.

Just my two cents. :)
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: otrstf on July 09, 2010, 12:30:16 am
Xepher, I've always admired your ability to pick up and do something completely different for a while, and land on your feet.
Meanwhile, I'm hitting burnout fast, I'm afraid.  I'm too set in my ways to actually leave this job after 20 years (I like the paycheck), but I'm getting bored. A lateral transfer maybe.

After all, our cutting-edge simulation software WARSIM 2000 (sic) will finally be out of development next spring!  Since we started work on it in '97, I would hope so....
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Xepher on July 09, 2010, 04:07:02 am
Wow... but at least you beat Duke Nukem Forever to release.

The lateral transfer thing... I looked into that before I quit my last job, and they were quite eager to try and keep me, so it was an option, but what I realized was that it wasn't the specific tasks in the job, so much as that those tasks were the same day after day, and unless I kept moving to new positions every six months, I'd still run up against the wall, and there's only so many positions in a company anyway. More importantly, I realized that, for me, the limitations of an enforced schedule for a bigger deal than for most people. I don't mind putting in a lot of hours/work, but I don't like having to do it on the same schedule for very long. Some days, I'd be content to work twelve hours, but others I wouldn't feel like coming in at all. I also want to travel a lot, but most places don't offer any way to work overtime and build extra ETO, or even just take a pay cut for some more weeks of vacation. I'd gladly take half the pay if I can have 26 weeks off each year. As such, and barring some golden opportunity falling from the sky, I've got to do my own thing, and be my own boss. I'm working on that now, but it's tricky to start a business when you have no money.

But yeah... while I know it would never work for me, I am at time envious of the great patience I see in other people, being able to hold a job long term, and actually get promotions and raises and accolades on their resumes. If it took you 20 years to hit burnout, that's still a world record in my book.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Gwyn on July 10, 2010, 01:01:05 am
The only overtime I work is in leiu of time off.

I got about 3 days saved up, gonna used them for some long weekends sometime.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: otrstf on July 10, 2010, 12:55:42 pm
Ours is a very flat management structure, so lateral is possible.  We have workers, first line supers and the chief; all those jobs have the same skills set, and other  than personality issues, anyone can move into any of the positions.  I hate managing people, so I've avoided moving into a full-time supervisor position, preferring to be a temp project lead (both pay the same!).  I mainly want to get out from under an annoying supervisor. 
We have a large pool of part-time, quasi retired workers who come in to fill shifts, so I could eventually move over to that if I avoid burning my bridges first.  Some of those guys make more than I do with overtime; and as their average age is 67, there are constant openings. 

We (only slightly) joke that if we could hire zombies for those positions, we would.

Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Databits on July 12, 2010, 05:54:37 pm
I work at home, which sounds nice and is awesome for like the first month... then it just ends up being a nightmare blend of work and home life.  No longer being able to "not be at work" or "be at home" sort of blows, especially after roughly 4 years of doing it.  My boss wonders why we ask for an office, and this is the reason.  Both me and my friend who works for the same guy have come to a realization that we're far more productive when we're in an office environment than when we're at home.  Why?  No movies, games, dog to throw a ball for, or significantly more things that are more interesting than working to do around.  Come on, we're the company lead programmers.

Even the new guys hired we seem to end up either rewriting their shit or telling them how to fix it (my friend things both the new guys are "stupid").  My bosses explanation to me is I should be mentoring them, as they're where I was 2 years ago doing this shit... nevermind the fact they're paid the same as I am NOW.  So why should I train people who aren't just unfamiliar with our system, but quite literally don't understand programming as well as they think they do, while being paid the same amount as them?

To that I have simply two words: Fuck That! (sorry Xeph)

When it comes right down to it, I already know I can find other contracts getting paid AT LEAST $35/hr around here, which is a lot more than I make working for him.  But he's like any typical boss, can't see differences in skill and worth for people, and unless the new guys REALLY screw up he can't tell which ones suck.  Despite we can report to him and he more or less just ignores it.  Then he does nothing more lately than bitch about how long people like me take working on a task such as fixing certain bugs in our order system.  How do I explain that it wouldn't take me so long if I didn't have to keep rewriting the new guys shitty code???
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Xepher on July 13, 2010, 08:17:34 am
I can't help but think of the song Code Monkey. :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W_wd9Qf0IE

And yeah, working at home doesn't work too well for me either, for the same reasons you said... no separation between "work" and "not work" and you never get that feeling of freedom at the end of the day when it's time to go home.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Lei on September 02, 2010, 08:03:22 pm
Super interested in this. I've been in school in a co-operative program for the last 2.5 years, about to enter into an 8 month work term. I'm just beginning to realize that as much technical skill as I do have, I can't live without social interaction. I've done two work terms before this, one as a Software Test Specialist and as an Internal Developer and I have to say that while the job at the second place was much more interesting, the lack of social people sucked platypus eggs. At least as a Software Test Specialist, my team was crazy and I just loved coming to work to do stupid stuff.

I still miss waitressing, just because every day brought in new customers and stories and situations. I waitressed for 2 years in high school and loved it.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Xepher on September 05, 2010, 01:40:18 am
Well, I've decided to move across country and get a new job somewhere. I still don't know where or what, but I need to do it within 30 days. I'm outside of Seattle right now, looking for where I might like to live. It's looking to be Washington state somewhere, and then I'll find a job shortly after (even if it's serving food) since I have to. I'll let you know how it turns out this go 'round. :-)
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: dkgalaxy on January 09, 2011, 12:18:17 am
Xepher, you should show a picture of what you look like in real life
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Gwyn on January 09, 2011, 02:25:49 am
Don't do it xeph, if he's anything like me he's just going to print the picture and affix it to a papermachie rendition of your likeness!

And that's just creepy.
Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: Xepher on January 09, 2011, 12:15:53 pm
Challenge Accepted!

Title: Re: Does all work suck?
Post by: dkgalaxy on January 10, 2011, 12:15:07 am
Don't do it xeph, if he's anything like me he's just going to print the picture and affix it to a papermachie rendition of your likeness!

And that's just creepy.

Creepy and curiosity are two completely different things.