Back to Work, Round 2

Recently I was hired back by my employer after being laid off for about a month. While my work is certainly not my passion by any stretch, it was good to be making money again. Then, half way through my third day back, I sliced my index finger open with a razor knife. Deep. Blood everywhere. Expletives were said (shouted). It was not a good time.

I ended up having to go to the hospital and get stitches. Now, I’m back at home healing, not working. I’m hoping I can return to work after this weekend, but the stitches don’t come out until a week later, and carpentry being a rather dextrous job, I’m not sure if I will actually be able to do that.

This most recent experience is one of a long line of misfortune and poor choices on my part in regards to my job. Looking back, I wish that I had made different decisions, with the benefit of hindsight to see where my choices have ultimately led. I didn’t set out intending to be a carpenter. I simply bounced around from job to job, gradually making a little more money each time, until I settled into the one I have now. Was Mises correct when he said that all human action was purposeful? Perhaps, but it certainly has unintended consequences as well.

Now I find myself feeling trapped; I’m paid well for what I do and my skill set, especially in this economy and the particular area I live. However, the majority of my day is spent wishing I were somewhere else, doing something meaningful. Ironically enough, the most meaningful tasks within the sphere of carpentry are the most menial; roofs must be fixed, rotting sills must be replaced, etc. The more enjoyable work, like renovating a large house right on the ocean, is the most vain. The customers of those projects often spend days, weeks, even months deciding between oak floors or Brazilian cherry, the exact placement of electrical boxes (and literally swearing and crying if they’re slightly out of place), or deciding on the exact piece of granite, only to decide that they want a different piece after its installed.

They should be free to make those choices of course. I just don’t want to be a part of it.

So once again the Dread creeps in, eating away at my spirit and threatening to steal what joy I have outside of my work. It’s tiresome to be in constant battle, even more so when the enemy is yourself and from a larger perspective, part of the human condition. There truly is no escape. From a Christian worldview, even death is not an answer.

But in the short term, I need to find alternate gainful employment. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

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