I live in Texas, and Gamestop wants me to work for them. Again. They don’t even want to take me back as an assistant manager, just as an SGA. Which isn’t horrible, it will be decent hours and decent pay, but lords above it is kind of insulting to come back to a company at a position lower than when you left it *especially* considering that the store I was working at was one of the best in the company. But I can’t argue against it too much, I’m sure my skills have rusted in the time I’ve been away and this DM doesn’t know me at all so he’s taking somewhat of a risk on hiring me. But at least it will be money, I’ll feel a lot better about spending so much time writing and learning things if I am at least taking in *some* money.
The upside to all of this time off is that I can focus on my writing for once in my life. I have a job offer lined up, I have a place to live, I have food, friends, and family. I’m not worried about maintaining my life, I *know* some job will come along to keep me afloat, even if I have to take two part-time jobs.
So that’s all that’s really happening in my life, realizing that I am far too young to give up on my dreams and being okay with the fact that I may have to work jobs I am not eternally happy with. But that’s okay, because if I am working toward my goals then what does it matter? It’s simply another stepping stone on my way to doing what I want to do.
And challenges help me focus anyway. If I know that I have to work *and* finish a draft of a story, then I won’t spend time on something superfluous like a round of Magic online.
Speaking of, I started using the Pomodoro technique recently. In a nut shell you choose a task to do, let’s say edit a paper, and work on it for 25 minutes straight. Set a timer. When your 25 minutes are up you *immediately* stop, and doing something completely unrelated and relaxing for five minutes. Use the bathroom, drink some water, watch five minutes of the Daily Show. Doesn’t matter. Then you make a check mark on a piece of paper next to the name of the task you’re doing, and go at it for another 25 minutes. This helps a lot because it segments your work into thirty minute chunks, so you’re not thinking about how many *hours* it is until your next break, but how many *minutes*. I know it’s kept me productive, and that’s all I can ask for. And for people who say that five minutes isn’t much of a break, imagine this over an eight hour shift; that’s forty minutes of break time. While there are an incredible number of bosses out there who would be appalled that I suggest you not work for forty minutes of your day, I would suggest you do this anyway. Speaking from experience I know it has kept me more focused and happy to be working on something, and avoids burn out with much higher success. It’s been shown time and time again that people are more productive with short, frequent breaks.
If nothing else, it will get you through your mind numbing job with more happiness. And that *has* to be worth it, right?
I was emptying out my Google reader and I came upon something interesting on the Skepchick feed: an article that mentioned Magic: The Gathering World Champion, Jon Finkel. For obvious reasons this elicited a full read of the article, and it has been a long time since I have actually been quite so angry at the internet. (An exercise in futility, I am well aware.) The Skepchick article was about another article, an article in which a Gizmodo editor discussed her experience on the online dating site OkCupid and, in particular, her date with one Mr. Jon Finkel. Since I am both lazy and refuse to give Gizmodo more hits I will not be linking the article here, but I am sure you’re handy enough to find it with a quick Google search. Do so. I’ll wait.
So. You can see why this may have set off my “FUCK YOU INTERNET!” alarm. For those of you that didn’t go read it, I’ll give a brief overview: Gizmodo editor drunkenly signs up for OkCupid. Creepy men hit on her on OkCupid. She considers deleting account, but nice man asks her for a date. She accepts. Man is Jon Finkel. Jon mentions, in reply to Editor bringing up her own brother’s gaming, that he plays Magic. Date proceeds, they are both left feeling a little disenchanted. She goes home and googles Jon Finkel and discovers who he is: a Magic pro-tour champion, poker world champion, and hedge fund manager. They go on a second date, and she asks him about his magic and he gets three ‘strikes’: he still plays Magic, he met his friends through Magic, and he is going to a tournament soon. Date over, she’s done with him.
And that’s all well and good. As it stands, the Gizmodo editor is just overly judgmental about a nerdy hobby. Cest la vie. What really drives me insane is how this article was presented, as if Jon Finkel was a creepy internet predator/loser who was so socially inept that he couldn’t function outside of the world of Magic the Gathering. (Also, let it be noted that choosing an interesting date activity that your date didn’t enjoy doesn’t make you creepy, it makes you a human who has interests outside your own.) The Editor actually goes so far as to say Jon “lured” her into a date, and intentionally lied to OkCupid by not putting that he was a Magic pro-tour player on there. She implies that he is stalkerish because he had gone on dates with people the Editor knew which, more than likely, seems like a coincidence and more importantly *how the hell was he to know she knew these people*? And it goes on like this. An article that, so the Editor claims, tries to show that people judge people all the time. Which is true. But a more important point would be that we judge people, then realize we are judging them, and give them a chance to show us how interesting they are.
I could live with all of that, I really could, but what put it over the edge for me was that the Editor had the audacity to include Jon’s name and Wikidpedia page. Accusing someone of luring people into dates, being a creepy loser, being borderline stalkerish, and then naming his name on the internet is as unprofessional as one can possibly get. Exposing your own private life is fine, exposing others’, without their consent, is not.
Gizmodo made a ton of money off all the internet rage though, and that’s the important part.