working dumb

Your buffoon of a main client has grated more than ever in recent months, despite a pleasant supplementary contract which deflected the attention for a while.

For over three years you’ve largely had him and his northern software company to thank for your solvency.  Over three years.  Part of you feels and knows that you should be grateful, it’s part of a trade-off which allows you to live like this, with such relative freedom, no shackles of having to get up at a certain time every day, travel to an office and tolerate colleagues, the ability to take three-hour lunchbreaks encompassing gyms, saunas, jacuzzis and coffee shops.  These are hardly dire straits.

You still have to tolerate him though, which is no easy feat.

The man is capable of staggeringly majestic idiocy, a blundering immature insensitivity both in-person and more excruciatingly online, a casual bigotry, the professional focus of a young vole.  You imagine the business partners, who he genuinely believes hold him in such high esteem, cringe as he enters a room and wither as he sits at a boardroom table, confidently rambling inanities.

Yet you act, several times a day on telephone calls, conference calls, through emails and when you visit him.  You see the pallid drained faces of his colleagues who endure him every single day.  There’s a reasonable churn in semi senior staff.  You idly daydream about snapping, about having an argument, coming clean that you have very little respect for him, or about his business suddenly dropping you – which of course they could do at any time.  This would force you to act, to try again, to hit the jobs market with urgency.  Would that be a bad thing?

It’s not all awful.  The ghosting of social media for a young athlete who will shortly compete at a big upcoming sporting event has been interesting.  But that will end soon.  And even that has been hiding, helping a handsome young man with a strong following to appear more interesting than he probably is.

Not unlike how you help the buffoon.  His unfiltered drone is widely and confidently broadcast for people to know that he is a somehow reasonably successful idiot, but occasionally he shows uncharacteristic glimpses of insight and style.  Glimpses which are down to you.

Over three years, and now you are wilting.  You have occasional supplementary clients and contracts but supplementary is all they are; nothing you could live on.

These past few months you have experienced a person you like and value, liking and valuing you. You feel a bubbling up of dormant, well-rested ego.  You feel you want to be recognised, to try to be recognised.  You feel vaguely happier and more positive, as much as you’d like not to because it doesn’t feel very cool, British or comfortable.  This all does things to the fascinating world of the ego, to esteem; it makes you feel differently about yourself.  Ego is needed to get up in the morning and it’s critical to practically all types of success.  First you have to believe, which is a sacrifice of sorts itself.

Do you believe?  Will you believe?  What does that mean anyway?  What more can you do to be happier in your work?  Following any “dream” in this oversaturated little island seems increasingly futile, as much down to luck and who you know as any real ability or personality.   It’s much easier to dumbly sit tight, indefinitely accepting this absurd man and the spirit-crushing work he offers you.

You suspect that’s precisely what you’ll do.


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