Posts tagged ‘work’

April 2, 2012

#38) Learning From Idiots, Part 3

Talk about hating your job.

Hans Url, a 56-year old Austrian man, was told that the government disability benefits he was receiving would run out if he refused a job that had been found for him.  He responded by sawing off his own foot to remain on disability.

As bizarre as the story is, and as unsympathetic a character as Url may be compared to the countless people in the United States and elsewhere who are desperate for work, I’ve caught myself thinking about his plight since I first heard about it last week.  When I’ve found myself being less than thrilled about work, I think at least I don’t hate my job enough to cut my own foot off.  Come to think of it, I’ve never had a job–even working in a Greyhound bus station or teaching special education in South Los Angeles–that I’ve hated so much that I would consider doing something like that.

It’s safe to say, too, that Url is obviously not quite right in the head.  Like the killers profiled in Jonathan Kambouris’s Last Meals Project (see D-Theory #24),   Url is a human being, however inappropriate and dangerous his actions may have been.  No, he doesn’t get many sympathy votes when compared to people who suffer such devastating injuries through no fault of their own, but he obviously was in some sort of emotional pain and distress.  After all, nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to cut off their own foot, no matter how much they hate their job.  Whether he’s a dangerous psychopath or a victim of an inefficient government bureaucracy, Hans Url’s story stood out to me among all of the other news items I’ve consumed recently.

The irony is that, for all of his efforts, Url may have to go to work after all.  Like Cary Elwes’s character from the movie “Saw”, his efforts may be all in vain.

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August 1, 2011

#18) Back From Vacation!

I’m back.  To be sure, I actually cut my “vacation” short by about 9 hours; I felt as if my purpose had been served.

Being on hiatus from Trail Head Enterprises did feel weird, but after a while, resisting the temptation to see how my online presence was progressing felt more like having to remind myself to write the new date at the beginning of a year, rather than being unable to scratch an itch.  Without worrying about what to post on my blog or which photos to submit, I focused on other things: music, my relationship, friends and hiking just for the fun of it.  I revisited a few of my old favorites without the camera, just as I did the first few times I visited them, long before T.H.E. or Nobody Hikes in L.A. were born.

I learned a few things on my vacation.  First and foremost, I learned that don’t need to sweat the small details.  While I was gone, NHLA received a lot of site traffic; although I only posted 9 new hikes in July, it was still my busiest month ever.  My photos did well too in my absence, as did my Examiner articles (July ended up being my best month for the latter).   I also learned that what I miss the most is focusing on and sharing the message of my hiking; not the actual day to day operations over which I tend to fuss.  And I learned that while I enjoyed seeing how much site traffic I got and how many pictures were downloaded in my absence, I can go for over a week without having any idea and still enjoy my life.

I had also hoped that by spending less energy worrying about the small picture, the big picture might become clearer, as far as where I ultimately want T.H.E. to go.  I’m not sure if that happened, but as I return, I may find that new ideas and visions work their way into how I handle things.  I have no doubt that taking this time off will help me put more enthusiasm into my work, and that doing so will convert into results.

The vacation, overall, was a definite success, and the best part of it is that I know should I decide to take another one, I can do so any time.