Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Feature: Why is Mr. Fred in Thailand?

Part One: Job Pathology

I have had over fifty jobs in my life. I mean that literally. I have almost never reached the two year mark. That should be all anyone needs to know about my feelings towards employment. I don’t like it. I don’t thrive there. Self-employment was no panacea; that only meant that I had fifty bosses.

It’s not the work, I can work. I often enjoy the work. The job, however, becomes increasingly frightening and confusing. Fear of poor performance or failure; social anxiety leading to a mutual distrust of motives; fear of eventual abandonment (being fired); resentment of employer authority and money-dependence; and the resulting emotional exhaustion, and finally; separation. This is over forty years now.

I have no reason to think that it would be any different if I returned to America and tried this route again, notwithstanding my clearer understanding of the psychological mechanics involved.

So here I am. My employers in Thailand all have very low expectations. The subject matter of my jobs is second nature to me. My co-workers and I cannot really communicate; I don’t understand them and they can’t begin to know the first thing about me. There’s no fear of abandonment; I won’t understand the reasons if I get fired so it’s hard to take it personally, plus I can have another job at the same pay within one week. And they’re high-status jobs at good pay to boot. It’s win-win.


Anonymous said...

Ha, ha. You think you're unique?
They say 70% of American workers hate their job... and I think the other 30% are in denial. We're all in the same boat, Mr. Fred. And it's sinking fast.

Anonymous said...

Cliche though it may be, it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

Anonymous said...

Panacea was a word that i had to look up. Never seen it before. Never heard it. For that alone, if only ever that, your blogs are priceless. Thank You Sir.

*J of M_V