I haven’t read all of your posts about The Biz, but of the ones I have read the tone over time seems to be changing from being pretty matter of fact about your sessions to one of “I can’t believe I’m putting up with this shit.”
—From an email sent to me by a concerned reader
I did a little content analysis of recent my blog posts. The results startled me. I did not anticipate that they would contain so many references to death (which is odd, since I’m the one who wrote them, after all). The tone is often angry or morbid.
I think it’s time for me to back off.
I can’t afford to quit entirely, but there are things that I can do to minimize the stress and unpleasant aspects of my Secret Job.
First, I need to keep out of the Studio as much as possible. The Dungeon Drama is getting me down–truly, I could write a dissertation about its shockingly dysfunctional organizational culture. I need to work one shift a week in order to keep my locker and session privileges, so I sat down with the owner and we worked something out. There is a good library two blocks away from the Studio. When I’m on shift, I am going to spend my time there, on the pretext that I am working under deadline on a research project. If they need me, they can call me and I’ll be there in five minutes. They know that they can rely on me to be there when I say that I will be there.
Unless something–or someone–that sounds exceptionally fun falls into my lap, I am not accepting new clients.
I have an informal ranking system for clients. This is how it goes:
I have some regular clients whose company I truly enjoy. They don’t stress me out at all. Those guys can stay and see me whenever they want.
The “barely tolerable” ones–like Mr. Crocodile Tears from San Fran–were collectively herded out of their “Only See In Times of Acute Financial Distress” gulag at 4 AM this morning, put up against the wall, and shot. I fired about ten of them via politely-worded email. Predictably, because most of them are either obtuse or malignant boundaries-pushing assholes, they are already flooding my email box with queries about why they were let go. I cannot decide whether or not it would be therapeutic for me to answer them in frank and explicit fashion.
The cure for depression is work. I volunteered to “Care For Young Trees” in NYC parks. This means that I dig up weeds, pick up trash, and inspect bark for parasites, with periodic breaks to re-apply sunscreen. I was going to volunteer at the Adult Literacy program, but until I stop feeling crabby, I don’t think I should inflict myself upon unsuspecting strangers.
I feel like this owl:
When I want to feel like this owl: