My job is wearing me down, bit by bit.


a year ago

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Here’s a metaphor for what my job is like: Someone hires you to come paint their walls. You ask them which rooms they want painted, and what color. He says he wants the living room painted green. You say, well there are many of types of green, choose which one you want from these green colors. He chooses forest green. Great! You get started. The living room is huge. You spend an entire week painting this room. When it’s done, you have him come take a look. He asks, “Why did you paint the living room? I needed the bedroom painted.” Wait, what? You show him the email you had where he specifically asked for the living room. He says “Ok well, I will pay you for your time, but you need to repaint over this back to what it was before, and then go paint the bedroom green.” Ok fine, it’s your money. So you spend another week painting the living room back to the beige that it was before. Now you go to the bedroom. You take a picture of it and send it to him saying, “This is the room you want painted green, right?” And he confirms. This room is equally huge. You spend a week painting the bedroom. When it’s done, you have him come look at it. He asks, “Why did you paint it this shade of green? It should be more pastel.” You show him the email where he confirmed the exact color green he wanted. He says, “Ok well, I will pay you for your time, but now we need you to paint this room pastel green, but actually, make one of the walls blue.” Ok fine, it’s your money. You ask, “Which wall should be painted blue?” But you turn around and find that he’s already left. You take a photo of each wall and label them A, B, C, and D and send them in an email asking, “which wall should be blue? I can’t start painting until I know which wall should be blue.” No response. A week later, you resend the email. To this, he finally responds: “B” So, here you are, painting the same walls again, just knowing, KNOWING that he’s going to come in and ask why wall B is blue. You can’t really complain though, because you’re getting paid for all of this wasted time. But you take pride in your services, and it hurts to have good, hard work be wasted by a client who can afford to not really give a shit about the work you’re doing or the service you are trying to provide.


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