The Sucking of the Soul

BlogHer Original Post

I noticed it first a few weeks ago. Sitting at my desk, door closed, I looked down at the clock on my computer, noted the time as 3 PM and then sighed while staring at the paper factory that had blown up on top of my desk. Determined to finish within the allotted two hours, I frantically emailed and shook my fist towards the heavens – and by ‘heavens’ I mean gaudy florescent lights that make me look washed out and pale with a skin disease – so I shook my fist toward the sky and questioned why there aren’t more hours in the work day. Not that I have some urge to be at work for more than eight hours, but because the amount of what needs to be completed does not fit into the number of hours given so I spend a lot of time rushing through the day and then it is over.

This is all a far cry from oh, five months ago, when 3 PM would roll around and I would curse and swear and possibly kick something under my desk for I was most positive that there was some rift in the space-time continuum that caused time to actually go slower between three and six. Not only that, but I could actually feel my soul being sucked from me on the daily and was convinced that I would die all hollow and vacant looking because my soul was completely gone. The only highlight of this being that despite the boredom and praying that someone would provide me with an IV of ketel one at 3 PM, I believed in what I did and so it was never that bad.

Recently, Mrs. Micah and Denise Tanton both asked the following questions of the differences between selling your soul for your job or having your soul sucked for your job, thus giving up your happiness for money:

Normally, such choices aren’t that clear. The above examples are good ones (I think) of soul-selling. Suppose, though, that I had a job at an elevator company for years, working as their receptionist. I hated it, it paid good money and benefits.

For a few years, that’s soul-sucking. If I work there for 40 years, does it become soul-selling? Or does that just have to do with working for evil people? Is it evil to squash your own dreams and choose a miserable life when you don’t have to but it seems safe? I think it’s at least a very bad thing to do to yourself.

My answer is long, but I do believe that there is a difference between having your job suck your soul and selling your soul for your job. I have only participated in the former and the latter is something that will only go on to double my misery. It’s like saying “Hey! My life sucks and my job is shit but while I’m at it, why don’t I start advertising cigarettes to eight year olds and encouraging people to pray at the alter of George W. Bush.” Both of these things couldn’t be further from my beliefs so encouraging the practice – though fine for others if that is what they believe, but just not for me.

I’ve always held true to the thought that even if though there is rampant soul suckage, what I was doing was important and it was being done for some greater good. Even when I was making seven dollars an hour and was bored to death, I was still ok with things because there was a bigger picture to look at. Where I work and have always worked makes a difference in the enjoyment derived from what I do. I would and could never work at a place where I didn’t truly believe in what I was doing, no matter the amount of money for it would only serve to make my unhappiness two-fold. It probably sounds all Pollyanna and virtuous, which I am far from, but it’s one of those little things that can be the difference between arriving home and sticking pins in a voodoo doll of your boss and arriving home saying “Well today was shit” having a drink and being able to sleep at night. And I am all for the latter


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