Work and Suicide

I’ve been looking for a fresh gig for a long time. No serious offers just yet.

I’ve had a bad morning though, reminding me of a gig last year where the project’s management nearly drove me to suicide. I mean, I was picking out a room in that vast building and considering methods. I’ve never encountered such cold and unfeeling people. Also, I was having a hard time getting over a friend’s death earlier in the summer.

I realized I could leave the project and I did, the lesser of two evils. The experience made me understand that managing myself  and work is my responsibility.

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Dear Recruiter

My name is Edgar Huntington and you recently contacted about a contract gig as a technical writer. I needed to give you some feedback about our interaction.

You called me, yet you are not patient, or won’t leave a message if I can’t answer the phone. I might not have my phone with me, or I might be driving. I am hard-of-hearing and the phone is not an optimal way of communicating with me. Many recruiters like you speak English with an accent that is so thick that I can’t understand you. I’m not going to do business with you it I can’t understand you. Email me and let me contact you if there is interest.

I also wonder if you are doing your homework before you contact me. I am a technical writer, but many jobs I get calls or emails about often require biology or engineering degrees and experience which I do not have. Your clients deserve someone who can actually do the job, actually qualified for the task at hand. That person is not me.

I don’t know if the pressure to produce  is great in your firm if you only make money if  am placed. I have encountered so many recruiters who are pushy, some unprofessionally rude and critical. Could we have a dialog, a relaxed conversation about work you might have for me? I have professional goals. Find out what they are. Be flexible about compensation. You need to be transparent about the effects of certain ways of paying me. It may be handy for you, but might not be good for me.

I might be a fool, but I will not be your fool. Your pride has caused me too many problems. Please remember that you need to be of service, in integrity and accountable to both parties.

Thank God It’s Back!

In late February my housemates and I were returning from somewhere when all gasped. “Oh my God it’s gone!” The existing McDonald’s franchise had been removed. Gone. As if an alien force had zapped it into electrons. I chatted up a manager at another McDonald’s store to find that the South Madison Street Store was being rebuilt and remodeled and it would be back in mid-May.

Reconstruction seemed ruthlessly efficient. Every time I turned around they were making major progress, rebuilding from the ground up. They opened this morning at 12:01 am. We pondered actually walking down there, but by that time I was dead to the world and so was everyone else.

I wouldn’t be too snobby if I were you. This is a low income neighborhood, and I’d much rather spend money on a salad at Mickey D’s than the alleged brown salad sold at the Kmart. McDonalds might have the only vegetables for miles when Kmart leaves in about a year.

The interior is the sophisticated dark super graphics the chains has been favoring of recent. The footprint of the store seems to be slightly different, a bit wider and longer. The kitchen is much larger, the McCafe hidden behind a wall to quiet the riot. (One of the reasons why I can’t stand Starbucks is the noise of all those expensive coffee making machines. McDonald’s is often worse.) The overall flow was good.

The usual suspects were there, the unemployed (moi), the elderly, blue-collar guys at lunch, kids having French-fry tantrums, coffee drinkers staring out at the traffic. I had my usual – a large drink, two McChicken sandwiches, a side salad with ranch. I treated myself with cookies.

For many people the local McDonald’s is a place to hook onto the Internet, since they offer free WIFI access. I’ve used it before, marching down Madison in the morning cold with my laptop to my office. You see people studying, or poring over reports for work, catching up on email. This McDonald’s is not just a place to eat, it’s an extension of living rooms and our lives.

Eden

I love the spring. Eden must have been an amazing place, a watery green oasis capped with blue sky and lazy white clouds. Plants and animals simply were just themselves in that sacred, remote utopia. The utility of plants and animals to humans didn’t matter. God had made everything and it was good.

 

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DCIM100SPORT

DCIM100SPORT

Ultra Music Festival Miami

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The Fortunate Warrior watched the Ultra Music Festival Miami streaming over the internet. When I was pricing out this trip – that is, when I thought I might be able to afford attending this festival – I realized it was going to be very expensive indeed. One clue was that hotels were sold out ninety days before the event in downtown Miami, where the event was being held. A single three-day event pass general admission cost about $500 – a VIP pass would cost $1000 – per person. So for everything this festival chalked up to about $3000 at least for the entire 3-day event.

It would have been worth every penny.

Of all EDM festivals this one is the mothership, originally intended to anchor the end of the Spring Music Conference, a gathering of music business professionals. Not long ago it was a single day. Last year it expanded to two adjacent weekends. The City of Miami hated this, so this year it was back to a single weekend. (The site is not ideal in many ways. It’s in a narrow park between the ocean and Downtown Miami, requiring a major thoroughfare to close for this big event.)

There is a wide generational gulf between myself at 54 and the typical attendee in their 20’s. Add the subcultures that comprise EDM and I have a tough time writing about this, even though I watched rather than be present. Even so it was an intense and moving experience. EDM is a spiritual movement within a political movement within a musical movement – the flags, the joyous music and crowds of people, the chant “EAT SLEEP RAVE REPEAT” tells me something deeper is going on. There is a shift in consciousness going on – and not drug induced, as some in Miami city government have decried. This event is an initiation.

The crowd is savvy, chatty, patriotic (national flags are everywhere) in a “we are the world” mode, slutty, vulgar, sexual and yet enlightened. Ultra cameramen dive into the ample cleavage of the many, many voluptuous women on hand, some wearing only pasties with blinking LED’s of the Ultra logo. Look for the blonde in a white bikini on the shoulders of some hapless dude, slapping her ass as she looks back into the camera. Boobies rules here.
Considering that there are seven stages and nearly 300 DJ’s performing it must be tough to make choices. Few of the names you would recognize, (many are Dutch). An American group, Kruella, based in Chicago, comprised of two sisters and a male friend talked the main state audience down to sing a ballad – a first for Ultra. Some of the performers were very young, one from South Africa had just turned 17, flying in to Miami to do this set, then, whisking back to the airport to fly to another festival in Brazil. There are live acts as well as DJ’s.

I don’t know. Bro Safari was a twisted torrent of sound! This unruly music ate the stage, the DJ, the audience, the camera – hungry fucking music! It explains why I have bite marks on my left arm. Jack U — made up of star DJ’s Diplo and Skrillex…, well, how do I characterize their set? The music was a prowling party animal, such ravenous noise, ripping off my ass and bludgeoning me bloody with it. The audience packed so tightly up front that individual motion was impossible- if one person moved many others would have to move with them. When the DJ’s exhorted the audience to jump, acres of them did. Dancing was a frenzy of ecstasy, an odd physical worship of motion and sound, possessed of a maniacal god. Disjointed polyrhythms are fun, with no real melodies, often punctuated by exhortations of the DJ.

It was draining just to watch, often dancing around my small room prowling and jumping and pacing.

Insight Is Not a Good Surprise

The Fortunate Warrior was surprised to come across a concept that was so vivid that it is changing how I look at myself and my childhood – emotional isolation. My isolation. The isolation of my parents.

Isolation used to keep the peace in the family. My uncle David was the apple of my grandfather’s eye. My aunts and mother had better know their place. I was not to embarrass my mother or upstage her relationship with her husband and I was supposed to be a silent invisible character. I remember the day I realized that she was going to kill me if I kept trying to have a relationship with her.

School and church were long shadows of conformity. In high school I do not remember a single sunny day, it was all grey and drab and worthless. Isolation breeds depression and depression breeds anxiety.

Connecting to others is hard. Isolation – lots of isolation – does not breed connectedness, but more isolation. It’s a familiar place, staying home from parties, lose the stuff that makes us connect, so we sleep and dream and depression sets in like a dark ocean. Even awake it’s as if you have mopped the floor with your brain. Functioning is your goal. It’s excessive to have loftier goals. People don’t care because you can’t connect or you are a downer or too serious.

I didn’t drive in high school. I didn’t have a driver’s license until I was 23. I’ve always been odd and different that way. Even now I am isolated by poverty and people who use me to prop up their self-esteem. My grief is boundless for my ruined worthless life.

Am I really smart or have I buffaloed myself and everybody else? I don’t feel smart at all. I have a hard time learning – maybe I have a learning disability. I can sing (kind of) but keyboards and fingered instruments baffle me. I have trouble with focus and concentration.

I wonder if I’m ever going to be a success or at least have people listen to me. Am I ever going to are my dreams ever going to become true? Are my stories just vast falsehoods of telling that have to point except to make me feel better?

I walk and other people ride, Busses and trucks pass me and I can hear a little out of my right ear. Has anything I ever done been really worth it? The answer that comes to mind is no. Does what I want even matter? – Victory, damn sacred vixen, might want me to think it’s something she might want me to do, and I will not give her the satisfaction. Victory doesn’t care about me, really about any of us. Her job is to deliver to her divine father, Zeus, manifest Victory. Maybe that pain in my lower back is sciatica and not a fatal wound.

Gleefully Awaiting the Apocalypse

The Fortunate Warrior feels betrayed today. It seems that my generosity towards my roommates in the past is not being reciprocated in the present. I am a good diligent man who wants people around me to grow, when really all they want to do is sit around on their asses and greet the coming apocalypse with glee. There is a great deal of pride in those two poor and petty men, set  boundaries that do no one any good except feeding that man’s pride.

The afore mentioned apocalypse is the impending disconnection of all of our utilities. In 2012 I experienced a great deal of chaos with these bills, so when I had money in 2013 I paid them, even though none of these bills were in my name. This was probably foolish, but I wanted stability and thought that  my actions would buy that. I didn’t like the prospect of having utilities that I enjoyed and needed being turned off wantonly. It doesn’t seem to upset my two roommates at all. They seem resigned to it. They are now arguing about trivialities while time burns away.

I’m regretting being so generous, down about $2000 without a word of thanks to me. I told them that my resources would diminish in 2014 yet they did not heed me. My money is tied up in red tape right now.  It’s all good – there are no accidents. I can’t help them at all. I think the Universe is telling me something – it’s time to use my money for my own ends. I think it is time to look at apartments and live alone again. I want away from the chaos, the house and away from these men.

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The Fortunate Warrior has sold out! Visit his hope at Fortunate Warrior Gear. Bookmark this store and visit often – big changes are coming!