I'm writing this in my last half-hour of work at NEW, a satellite TV
tech support company that employs some 2,400 people in Klamath Falls,
the small Oregon city where I grew up. So far, the job has been a real
tooth and claw experience. I have some intellectual deficiencies and
mastering technology is an arduous process for me.
I'm learning in a class of 13 new employees- working class people,
young and old. I'm impressed by the professionalism and intelligence
they bring to their work. The instructor is an extremely fat, bald man,
who in reality doesn't make that much more than we do. He is at times a
ridiculous authoritarian. He has a stick he loves to swing through the
air. Supposedly in jest, he will sometimes threaten to hit a trainee if
he/she doesn't work faster. But he's very knowledgeable about the
technology and at times can be friendly.
In some ways, I'm frustrated that I have to do this petty, technical
job in order to get by. It has always been my belief that I'm meant to
work with ideas. But my contemplations have led me to a firm belief
that the universe is proceeding as it should. And I think maybe I can
see the meaning of my being stuck with this job.
I have never wanted to keep my nose to the grindstone, unless it was
the grindstone of my own imagination and ambition. Partly, this has
been because I have failed at most of the tasks society considers
worthwhile. I have truly poor coordination, strength organization and
spatial reasoning. But I do have a certain logical aptitude.
Most likely, if I really gave this job my all, I could be successful
at it. Doing so would mean greatly bending my personality to society's
will. But maybe these workdays are the dues I have to pay before I can
have a more rewarding career and have the world take my ideas more