Man goes from stable employment to zero-hour contract, is relieved

Well, obviously the guy is a few cents short of a euro. Clearly he is scratching his arse when it’s his head that’s itching. Blatantly the bloke is a boat bereft of a bosun. Transparently a train without a track. And so on.

The thing is, if you are an aspiring artist, actor, writer or musician, you will understand. You will grasp the fact that, if you are committed to your chosen career at all, you need to be able to choose your hours and have them flexible enough so that they can be cancelled virtually on a whim. You will know that, just as you need to make money in order to survive, you need enough time in which to pursue your art – a life which, unfortunately enough, does not immediately provide a livelihood. You will see that, essentially, there is little or no choice; to follow your dream as far as you can into the future, you must sacrifice your security in the present. That is life.

I may be alone in this, but it seems to be damned difficult to explain this to those who are not in the same situation or of the same mind. Whenever anyone in the ‘stable’ job asked me what I was going to do upon leaving, “I’m gonna temporarily go back to my old job while I look for something more permanent, there’s plenty out there”, I would repLIE. “Yeah I’ve been looking around, and I’ve found a few things, just trying to see which suits me best”. Only to a student, interning for a while as she is the daughter of one of the office accountants, did I even mention my desire to write more, to be more active politically. Possibly I felt she would be more understanding, I don’t know.

In reality, this is almost certainly how I came across

My wish, in putting this up, is to see if there are others who have had the same experience or feel the same way. Namely, the embarrassment, shame or fear that arises when asked, “What are you gonna do next?” or “What is your plan?” or “Where do you see yourself in five/ten/twenty years?” That instinct to lie, obfuscate or simply bullshit when somebody enquires as to your career opportunities or work prospects. That fucking sinking feeling in your stomach when somebody turns to you and says, “So what do you do?”

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’ve gotta grow some balls and say, “I’m a writer dammit. It’s neither my responsibility nor my desire to justify my existence or output to you. This is what I do. Judge me, admire me, ignore me – I don’t give a fuck. I chose my path for reasons other than reward and status. I will not waste my time trying to please you”. Maybe I should start refusing to answer the question at all.

I am Seb. I am a Red. What more do people need to know?

Let me know what you think.

Solidarity, brothers & sisters… 

About Seba Roux

Gooner, Socialist, Historian, Slacker. That's pretty much all you need to know.
This entry was posted in Autobiographical, Journalism, Philosophy, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Man goes from stable employment to zero-hour contract, is relieved

  1. It’s not just you. It’s not even just you and me. Self-identifying as a writer or artist is a very hard thing to do and even massively famous and successful ones often think they are frauds and expect to be found out. Just keep writing, you can’t do much more than that.

  2. ipantsless says:

    Society, at large, will never be comfortable with people who shirk full-time “conventional” work. It’s just hard to accept, and I suppose I understand where they’re coming from. You grow up thinking life is this step-by-step thing, that there’s a definite structure to it. You go to school, you get a job, you make more people. And I guess that works for a lot of people because, hey, things can be really terrifying without structure. Trouble is, that’s just what life CAN be, rather than what it IS. When people accept that structure, they often unconsciously recognize it as the “right” or even “only” way to live. They’ll never fully understand what they perceive as a deviation, because as far as they’re concerned there are no other options (and sure WHY would you want one?! /sarcasm). Your lifestyle, MY lifestyle, will always just read as stunted development to them. Which is a pain in the arse for us, and the countless millions like us, but what can you do?
    We’re not lazy. We’re not useless. But it’s absolute insanity to think that one system, one lifestyle, is suitable for every living person. Rationally, that doesn’t make sense. So although everything I’ve been taught tells me I should feel shame for my discomfort in that system, I won’t. There have always been artists and writers. There always will be. And while we’re still measuring life the way we currently do, they’ll always be seen as wasters.

    Seb, I like to think I know you pretty well. And I am certain that I love you. You don’t belong in an office. That way of living will probably never suit you. And you shouldn’t be made to feel less ambitious, or worthy, or active than anyone as a result. You just want something different, and sadly that something isn’t in vogue. It might never be, because as long as artists remain a precarious investment (which they inherently are), a capitalist system will never value their existence. Life won’t be easy, but it will be happy. There are still ways to be free, and this is one of them. Sorry for the rant x

    • sebthered says:

      Never apologise for diatribes like that. Never. They serve to remind me of why I love you – as if I needed reminding – and why I want to spend my unstable, unlucrative life with you.

      Your reply is much more articulate and convincing than my initial post. I know you hate it when I say stuff like that, but it’s the truth!

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