This post is for my friends who text me between the hours of 8am-5pm Monday thru Friday and ask me “what are you up to?”
I’m working. It’s pretty simple. I have an 8-5 job during the week and I have Saturdays and Sundays off. This is the schedule of an adult with health insurance and 401k benefits. I am not saying I like this schedule or that I like being an adult because it means I have to be in bed no later than Midnight, so if you text me Sunday-Thursday night at 3am and don’t hear back from me, then it is because I am sleeping. I am sleeping because I have to get up early. I realize if you are texting me at 3am then you don’t have a 6:30am alarm set or maybe you just don’t give a fuck, or maybe someone died.
This Monday thru Friday gig has been my schedule for over 15 years. It hasn’t changed and it will not change unless I am lucky enough to be discovered by someone looking for a sub-par writer, and I can create my own schedule…which means I would work a few hours a day and spend the rest of my time reading, watching TV, playing with my dog or pet rats and drinking. If by chance you are someone looking for such talent then please know I will freelance write about mostly anything except animal cruelty. That’s off the table. I’ll even write about how awesome your shampoo makes my scalp feel even if I don’t use your shampoo. I have no problem lying.
Receiving the “what are you up to?” text while I am suffering and withering away at a soulless job is taunting and cruel. It should be noted that I use the term “working” loosely because typically I am not actually working on work stuff but I am cruising the Internet for free documentaries, essays and TED Talks. Or I might just be watching my dog at daycare and writing. But the point is that I am trapped in an unending Groundhog Day-like cycle of Hell.
It’s okay friends because you are not the only offenders. My mom also calls me during my normal work hours and opens the conversation with “what are you doing?” I simply respond with the same answer I have been using for years: I’m working.