One of my favorite movie lines is from the movie Office Space:
The thing is, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care. It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my butt off and the company ships a few extra units, I don’t see another dime, so where’s the motivation? And here’s something else: I have eight different bosses. Eight bosses. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.
In 2009, I obtained an MBA, a degree I worked my butt off for shortly after obtaining a Bachelor’s in marketing.
For years, I had seen a noted decline in my salary and standards of living because of the popularity of programming.
I had peaked at $150 an hour in 1999, where I made about $300,000 that year and had a million in the bank – complete with a four bedroom house, a Corvette and a new Lexus SUV, a gorgeous wife I loved, so for all intents and purposes – life was going good.
After that though, I can’t really say it was poor life decisions which led to my decreased income.
It was simple dissatisfaction with a career which led to the same set of circumstances over and over again.
Invariably I would go to work for a company which cared more about its bottom line than the people who worked for it, and I would largely come in to organizations to resolve problems or help ailing projects see success.
Sure, in part this had to do with taking a government job. But there was more to it than that.
So in 2004, I was making $35 an hour again, or $70,000 a year – Corp to Corp – working for Intel again in a role I was simply bored in. I self-sabotaged to get out of that gig.
By the time 2011 had come around, I was now making half the rate I was a decade before, at $75 an hour, but the US government was making $1000 to $1500 an hour billing me out.
So I was making a killing for the government, who had owed me a great deal of money yet hadn’t paid me.
So as my anxiety levels rose with my blood pressure, I looked at the world around me – I was working for Wells Fargo at the time and had been brought in there under emergency circumstances to fix a massive problem with the foreign exchange department in North Carolina, and that’s when I realized it.
I didn’t have one boss. I quite literally had eight different bosses.
Each with the title of Vice President.
Not a one really cared about what I did. As long as I made things work better than they were.
I looked around me and realized.
There were 300 H1B Indian Programmers, 500 programmers altogether, and 60,000 people who would interact with the system I was in charge of fixing which had $2 billion pass through it every week. A system, which incidentally, was losing nearly $5 million a week for unknown reasons.
I felt like I was on the set of a remake of Office Space named Office Space Infinity…
I didn’t have problems with my addiction to amphetamines.
I needed external support to get an MBA and work 80 to 100 hours a week between two jobs, something no one else in my class – to my awareness – was doing.
I needed something to keep me awake as I tried to solve the problems that were quite literally causing the failure of a massive American bank named Wells Fargo while at the same time re-engineering their core systems to mitigate future risk to the system….
I took on a shit ton of responsibility when no one else would and to some degree sacrificed a great deal of my life to ensure others achieved success.
So cocaine and bath salts weren’t novelties.
They were survival mechanisms for the massive work load I had assumed and lifestyle I dreamt of having for myself. I believed I deserved greater reward and financial freedom. I believed I too, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, deserved to be a billionaire and deserved my own private jet and custom built house.
That was MY American dream.
But as I looked around.
It doesn’t matter how hard I try to achieve my idea of the American Dream.
Office Space truly was my life.
There was a point in there that it felt like I had taken jobs at companies and I was literally repairing my body and mind as I took different positions and roles.
I know that sounds weird. But prior to working at Wells Fargo, I was having blood pressure issues, but once I got done ‘resolving’ the problems there…
My blood pressure issues went away.
I’ve since come to conclude that the quantum realm is the world I live in.
And the world around me is an external manifestation of my physical body.
And Wells Fargo – was a location I worked in to resolve the internal issues that “medicine” and drugs could not.
Life’s confusing. And not nearly as straightforward as I once thought it to be.
I’ve had to find a way to be ok being a little angry with it all at times, but also be ok with being a little fascinated with it at the same time.
As for ‘work’.
I play video games. This has the money multiplier effect of trickling down to the atoms which alter reality itself and cascade down to create movement around me through an ever increasing butterfly effect. So when I do absolutely nothing but go to sleep in a tent during the night and come to Starbuck’s to play during the day, my world keeps on spinning regardless of the minimal effort I put in because… well.. that’s just how I roll.
It makes sense to me. Just not leveraging the same irrational rationality that I had been ‘programmed’ with throughout my life.
Sometimes. We just gotta learn how to program ourselves to reshape our reality.
On a daily basis. I kill around 500 creatures in virtual worlds a day. I’ll write more about this later.
But there’s energy and information and different perspectives in reality to be learned in those kills.
And sometimes. Talking nonsensically is just downright fun!