The Daily Grind

That viscious cycle of working to live; day in, day out, having to drag your arse out of the comfort of your home and make that laborious journey to work. A place where, no doubt, many of us hate. It may not have always been that way, but somehow or other it ends up that way. And the longer you’re there, the more hopeless and helpless you feel. That proverbial feeling of entrapment.

I thought I’d beat the system by switching to flexi-time. I pick and choose when I want to work, and where. Turns out the downside to this is that there are no obligations. That is, no obligations for them or me. I can choose not to work at all. They can choose not to book me in at all. Or they can cancel shifts if they no longer need me.

So, it’s great for a while when I’m in control of the where and whens, but when I actually want to eat and pay the bills, I’d like those shifts to be available. So, technically, they are in control because they still have the power to say “no”.

How do we win some of that control back, whilst still being able to earn money to live and enjoy life with? I’d say go for a vocation you truly want to be in, though that too costs money. Money you need to earn from a job you can’t stand and, in my case, don’t always have work for you. It’s even become almost impossible to switch tracks once you’re in one sector – you don’t fit the requirements, and it’s an employer’s paradise when they have the luxury of being able to be incredibly selective, due to the lack of jobs available.

There are numerous online guides about making money, but the majority are most definitely scams. Or a waste of time. Like all these surveys and adclick sites that supposedly pay when you get involved. I’m sure they do pay, but at the expense of a ridiculous amount of your time, and brain cells.

I’ve heard prostitutes are poorly paid, and very low on the job satisfaction scale. Just as I’m sure there isn’t much in the worth of a soul these days either. Even medical trials – are they really worth the risk?

So what do the blackhole folk do? We all have dreams, but what if these dreams require money we don’t have to get them off the ground? The experience we keep getting told we need, but no one will allow us to acquire (even when we’re trying to give ourselves away) is an equally demoralising situation.

I have no answers to these questions, I wish that I did. I even attempted to sign up to one of those freelance writer’s sites but it would seem my editing skills aren’t up to par as my application was rejected. Yes, a very hapless and hopeless situation it is. Is there anyway to ever escape this ratrace?

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8 responses to “The Daily Grind

  1. One way to start freelancing is to look for “giveaway” papers and magazines that may not pay much to the writer, but offer you both clips and editorial comment. I started my “bread and butter” freelance business by writing for these kinds of local family magazines and local weekly entertainment circulars. I found I could write five or six articles for them a month and make my car payment, and then use the clips to get better gigs with queries. Also, see if there are any writers groups meeting close by and join in the discussions. That’s the best way to network and find out about new markets. One last way to make freelance headway early is to take an inexpensive community college class (that’s what it’s called here in the States), where you have a group class once a week for 4 or 6 weeks, don’t get any credit, but learn from a working professional who teaches on the side.

    Good luck!

    Joanie

    • Thanks for the tips. I’ve been hunting for papers and magazines to write for for the last year or so, but there doesn’t appear to be a massive amount over here. Either that, or it’s really difficult to find them. I was even looking for charity websites to write for, but a lot of the opportunities I’ve seen they actually want people with experience. So frustrating!

      I’m in the middle of nowhere now, so no writers groups here. But I have been involved in two groups previously. One of them wasn’t much use (it was run by a local library) as it was full of people that were definitely unfamiliar with the world of writing, and all just wanted their egos stroked. Not much in the way of discussion or constructive feedback.

      The other group was better as some were published, but the members were much older and the content they provided was more biographical and poetry. I’m miles away from there now though.

      I have wanted to do the creative writing courses, but it’s fitting it in. I’ve just started an at home English degree, plus working night shifts. They’re also around £100-300 depending on what level (they had three tiers of skill, from what I remember).

  2. I totally relate to this as you well know! I have to admit and I kinda feel sad about this but I think I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that this, what I have now, is more than likely me for the rest of my days. It s a depressing thought but long as I can have some fun along the way I’ll be happy! I’m trying to lookon the bright side. Althought most days its very hard to do.

    • That doesn’t feel like a bright side for me. It feels suspiciously like I’d be giving up and giving in. Accepting “this” feels like I may as well be signing my own death certificate. It might sound melodramatic, but this isn’t what I want for my life. And “this” certainly isn’t, and hasn’t, made me happy.

      I never get to see anyone when this is my life.

      • Maybe I have given up and given in but I think I’m just being realistic.What’s the point in chasing something that isn’t going to happen, Unless I throw a wad of money at some degree or whatever. Even then its not guaranteed. So why waste money I haven’t techinally got?
        I’m getting a bit sick of hearing people moan about money, or being in a shit job. Aren’t we all? Its just time to suck it up and get on with it and make the best out of what we have got and stop focusing on what we haven’t got. .

  3. Hi Kelly,

    Ooh, you touched a nerved here. I’m with you on this one for sure. Feeling this very much myself at the moment. The time of year doesn’t help – that long slide down into dark evenings and commuting in what feels like perpetual darkness. A life sentence with no hope of parole.

    I don’t know the answer either, other than to shelter a little piece of yourself, keep it alight and out of the rain, and trust in better times to come. And remember all they can really have is your time. They can never own your soul, though they might like to fool us into thinking that they do. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what our soul feels like – another unfortunate side effect of that daily grind, but it’s always there, it’s the best part of us, the part that makes it all worthwhile and sees us through. It’s in the warm kiss of sunlight on our skin, the scent of autumn leaves, a lover’s tender look, the sparkle of moonlight on water and all those other things that tend to get dismissed by the world wery hordes as corny cliches.

    The modern world of work treats us with an ever increasing contempt, eroding terms, conditions and even basic dignities, it took us centuries to win. Well, that contempt also releases us from the neccessity of feeling any personal commitment to our day jobs. And even slaves are freed when they dream.

    • Thanks, Michael. I really appreciate the post (you got me all upset now! haha).

      I work nights, so all I do see is darkness. I normally quite like the dark as it feels easier to dream. You’re not distracted by others and their issues. You’re not pulled out of your reverie by some noisy neighbour. I’m also not subjected to the chaos of the day shifts either. I can generally read, or chat to staff. I have the better portion of the day, but it’s not enough.

      Sometimes it feels worse when you allow yourself to dream, as you begin to convince yourself that something better is possible. You believe that dream. But then those doubts start to work their way in as every step you take, you’re knocked back several. Each positive feeling you have is drowned in the torrent of negative thoughts or actions.

      Then you begin to question if you’re doing the best for you by allowing yourself to dream your way out of the drudgery; if you dream big, you have further to fall if reality wants you back.

      That’s the point I’m at at the moment, and I hate it. I’m beginning to understand the appeal of psychosis. As long as it’s a nice delusion I’d be dealing with, of course. I wouldn’t mind feeling all grandiose at all.

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