Monday, September 05, 2005

[Essay] 52 Hours a Week

I used to work six and a half days a week. The pay wasn’t much, but I loved the atmosphere I was in. From 10 am to 6 pm, I was surrounded by anime paraphernalia and talked to customers who loved anime. After work, you’d think that a person like me would go to a bar or something, but all I did was go home, watch some anime, and chatted with friends via the Internet about anime. You’d think that after sixty non-stop days, I’d be burnt out but the fact of the matter was, the only thing I truly missed back then was my participation in Magic: The Gathering tournaments.

These days, working five days a week is already draining. So what happened? I simply grew and developed a lot of other interests. Not only am I just interested in anime, I have to juggle my reading time, my writing time, my gaming time, and my regular public service announcements in addition to work. And believe me, work these days is work.

I met a friend of mine, Richie, a few weeks ago. He’s had several years of experience working in various jobs and positions, and now he’s finally landed a career in what you’d think would be a dream job. I mean he loves gadgets and technological devices. He now writes for a magazine that deals with those kind of stuff. Yet because it’s his job to know about the latest stuff, it stops being a hobby. When you’re compelled to do something other than for the sheer fun of it, it starts being a duty.

Yet his story is not unique. Nor is it the rule. I have friends who’ve learned to hate their ideal job, because it’s draining the sheer fun out of the experience. But I also know people like Vin, one of the people who started Comic Quest, and he still retains his passion for comics despite being surrounded by comics day in and day out. Your experiences with work is a double-edged sword.

I mean personally, it’s because I’m deathly bored and stressed with my work that when I get home, I’m in a hurry to get things done, whether it’s reading, writing, or gaming. I wonder if I was in a job that incorporated all three, would there be less output from me, quality and quantity wise? But I also remember my days in Comic Alley, and perhaps the reason I was there everyday (aside from the fact that I had no social life) was because of my enthusiasm for my hobby.

We all react differently, depending on the situation. Perhaps the only real warning I can give people is be careful what you wish for. Or as my Christian faith would say, be grateful that God doesn’t give you what you want, but what you need.

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