Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Last Night on Earth

I may continue to keep naming my posts after U2 songs until someone objects. I guess I'll know if anyone's been reading.

I'm on my last regular shift at Harvard right now, and I know I've been beating this one into the ground, but I was inspired to put the final touches on it (I'll probably get a call to sub next week sometime and be poor and a wuss so I'll go, so it will all seem moot then, but this is my last scheduled shift.) Tonight, I decided to get one last meal at Crazy Dough's, where I have journeyed for pizza many a night over the last three years or so. Mostly because they have a deal of 2 slices and a drink with unlimited re-fills for $4.00, but also because the pizza is very good. So, I thought, "This'll be my last opportunity for awhile, so I might as well go for it one more time. Besides, I have no food in my home."

I may have been a tad over-excited over 2 slices of pizza, but my expectations were not met. There was a bit of a crowd at Crazy Dough's tonight, so the guy who seemed to be doing all the work there ended up leaving my slices in the oven a lot longer than the usual two-minute heat-up time, while others who came in after me got their orders first. Of course, when I got mine, they were burnt and crusty. And yet, I wasn't that disappointed.

For one, thinking about it, Crazy Dough's pizza probably has never really been that good. It was the experience that I could shove it down and make it to work relatively on time that I enjoyed. or the fact that I could stop there on my way home if I had a few drinks after work and needed to eat something. I guess the ease always enhanced my enjoyment, because it went along with the madcap life I think I sometimes lead (Ha! I'm single! No one is telling what I can and can't eat!) But really, it's just sauce, cheese and bread, and it's sometimes burned to a crisp. So, I'm glad tonight's serving was kind of lousy, because it made me realize that now I won't have overly enhanced memories of their pizza, or this job, or the last few years of my life. Everything will be as it should.

I may be stretching the metaphor a bit, but it is a lot like my job here. On paper, it is ridiculously easy (which is why some of my colleagues are happy for me, because they wish they could bring themselves to quit a job that is so lame and yet to simple. Or so I've been told.) I show up, work for about fifteen minutes, basically turning keys the whole time, play around on the internets, and then go home, and get paid $13.75 an hour to do it. I must be crazy to quit a job that has no responsibility and no labor put into it at all. But there's the rub.

I think if this job had some labor and responsibility, I could at least look back on a night's work with some satisfaction. Truly, it's the easiness of the job that makes me despise it so, because I literally feel like a high schooler working because his parents made him get a job. I have no personal stake in it at all, because no matter what goes wrong, I just say, "Fuck it! Someone else will take care of it tomorrow." Paradise, right? No way. Where's the challenge? Why spin my wheels for very little money and no satisfaction?

The fact that we get paid to do almost nothing falsely enhances our perception that this is a good job worth our time just like my dining experience enhanced the taste of Crazy Dough's pizza (get it?) I came back here after several years because I had good memories of my first run at Harvard, but, looking back, it was all falsely enhanced enjoyment because I was happy to have any job. Now, I'm older and have a real job, and I'm realizing that just the fact that I'm earning money isn't enough to make me waste my precious time here (Maybe if it was a lot more money...). And that lesson I've learned is more important than any paycheck I could get here.

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