This is mostly edited for simple things but not the last half. Forgive me, point shit out if I missed typos and whatnot.
I’ve almost always done everything I was told: I have forever been the world’s most contentedly domesticated bitch. During any situation in which there was a clear authority figure dictating rules, I have been all too willing to bow before their demands, metaphorically suckling at the teat of anyone with any sense of personal command or just general gravitas.
From an initial standpoint, it sort of makes sense though, right? My boss is my boss, he tells me to do this, he is the representative of the dude who writes my check, so his word is law. I do what policemen tell me to, I did what my coaches and referees told me to, I generally do what my parents tell me to. That’s just the way the world works to me, there are people in charge in most situations, and I defer to them.
That being said, I subconsciously try to offset feeling like a powerless little boy by finding passive aggressive ways to make myself feel like I have some sort of personal power. For instance I exclusively use random policemen for directions in an attempt to put the servant back into public servant, and no small amount of soccer referees have felt the weight of my sarcastic scorn. The end result is minimal beyond feeling like I’m taking a stand for a moment, but really it ends up just being kind of sad, like some manic hypocrite railing against ‘The man’ and then eating at McDonalds. Case in point, I will flip my mom off behind her back when she tells me to take out the trash, but I still take out the fucking trash.
That’s why it has always been crazy to me when I run into people who don’t follow the rules. It just makes no fucking sense to me… they’re the rules, motherfucker, just follow them and don’t rock the boat. Because of this, I have always considered rule breakers totally foreign, these dickish oddities are as strange to me as any alien or traveling freak show would be. Not doing what you’re told? That, my friend, is just not how things work on this planet! It blew my mind in kindergarten when the assorted douchebags in my homerooms took it in turns to plunge the world into a state of chaos.
When I was younger, the existence of these miscreants meant that most of the public schools I attended strictly enforced effort-based grading. Showing up was half the battle, not being a cunt was the other half, and if I pulled that off I got an A. not that hard, right folks!? Nope, and correspondingly I crushed grades k-8.
My academic performance aside though, (it was, sadly, all downhill from there) this rule-deviancy mostly confuses me in the context of the work place. As I said earlier, if you’re getting paid to do something, you do it. You show up on time, you wear what they tell you to wear, and you do what they tell you to do. Not fundamentally hard, and if you pull that off you get money! Awesome money! If you don’t, they don’t like you, you don’t get paid, you get fired, and then no one else wants to hire you because you suck at working.
But there’s a light here! You don’t have to suck! All you have to do, at most jobs, is what you’re told. Brilliant! Sign me up, that sounds exactly like the kind of shit I can do. Yet now those same maladjusted kids who broke protocol and dicked around during school are older and looking for jobs themselves, and bringing their underdeveloped appreciation for the rules into the workplace. One of my acquaintances runs logistics for a limo company and he was exasperated by the shit he had to put up with. “this job isn’t fucking hard. You just show up. Sit there. And drive the guy when he’s ready. Some people just can’t fucking do it. They weren’t born with our work ethic man!” The last part made me laugh because I don’t have a work ethic, but you get the idea.
Yet as obnoxious as this may be, I’ve started to appreciate their viewpoint. The first way to see it is just by examining their lack of work ethic in the context of their life. First up, most of the people who do this shit just have shitty lives in the first place. They’ve got nothing to protect. What do they care if they get fired from McDonalds or some other shitty minimum wage chain, it wasn’t like they were getting paid enough to do more than make ends meet in the first place. And there’s always other shitty jobs out there.
I think a more persuasive way of looking at it is to look at this in the context of my own life though. It’s not that there’s something wrong with them for acting the way that they do, I think there’s something wrong with me. Why am I so content to place myself in roles of servility? What the fuck is wrong with me, that I have become so docile and accepting of the authority of others? I notice is particularly when I’m reading stuff, I just implicitly trust books and newspaper articles, unless they’re obviously fucked up. I’ll bet Karl Marx would have found me eminently persuadable if he had a few minutes to wear down my resolve. I just agree with people. It’s how I roll.
It’s obviously not so cut and dry as that, but I think it’s a very serious problem, and it is indicative of one of the things I hate most about myself, that I am not a proactive person. I never set out and do things. Shit happens to me and I respond to it. Being in a situation where I’m told what to do is great for me, because it means I know exactly what I, personally, as in me, this guy right here with the thumbs, has to do to make things work properly. I don’t have to think about it, make any hard choices, nope. Just sit down, do what I’m told, and everyone will like me for doing what I’m supposed to do.
That’s not a very good way to live, and I’ll bet it’s the number one reason why I was basically unemployed for 10 months. Will I fix this? No idea. but that’s just how the world works: you have to make your luck, and I’m bad at that and it actually scares me a great deal. I’ve been lucky in that a lot of things have sort of fallen into my lap over the years, something that I think eroded to some extent my desire to be super forward and proactive: if good things happen to me when I’m chilling, what’s the point of working my ass of?
I’ll leave by writing down the main theme here, the end of which is a paraphrasal of something from the Road. The world does not wait for people. It does not coddle them, it does not help them. There is no benevolent force looking out for me. The world has no opinion on my existence, It doesn’t even know I’m here.