You just might find, having the good fortune of steely DNA or coming to apply the exact prescribed medications in the correct manner, that you live long enough to become obsolete. It’s pretty much happened to me. Just tickling into 60 as I am as I write this, I surely feel I do not fit into how the world presently spins, see no value in what present culture deems important, and pretty much eschew technology to the point where I am exhibiting the values of a modern-day Luddite as the days progress.
This is fine; the out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new is supposed to happen from generation to generation. I have become one of those, “Hey, you kids get your bikes off my lawn,” curmudgeons, where very little new has much meaning to me, and how I have done things for so very long has been all but deemed archaic. I get it; to everything, there is a season and all that.
The problem here is that I do not have infinite monetary resources. Not that I’d give up writing or music-making, but you best believe I wouldn’t pursue my career in any marketable way if I didn’t need to make money. So, trying to still do what I do (and believe me, I feel the dwindling of my faculties every day, so I have no idea how long I will be able to keep doing what I do) becomes infinitely harder in a world I truly no longer understand. But it’s less the blisteringly fast changes of technology that stupefy me (I don’t self-flagellate over concepts and technology I did not grow up with, although they do piss me off!) as being aged out in how work works these days.
Best I can, I deliver the work I can in the best way I know how, keeping my head down. I won’t answer an ad for writing I do not do (social media posts, grant writing, or ‘pharma’), knowing I will never be able to just pick up the knowledge of those subjects as I go along. I won’t engage an employer looking for me to have a strong social media footprint, which I do not (a fact I revel in). More often than not, I refuse to review books (something I am paid to do from time to time) if that book can only be sent to me in PDF form, as I already read way too much sitting at my computer. And if I can help it, I avoid communicating via Zoom, Skype and text if someone agrees to get on the phone with me, or if they are close to my area and can meet me for a cup of coffee.
Does the above keep me from work? Certainly, but I can’t do my job the best way I can making all too many concessions on the above. Although I have and do, they kill my spirit every time I try to fit in and in the end, I’ll produce less, in quantity and quality, than I am capable of.
Let me give you get another example from my writing life and something that illustrates well another of my modern work ethic pet peeves…how nobody is communicating all that well when, in this day and age especially, we can communicate the best we ever have.
I work for one of the better-known adult websites in existence. I love the writing I do for them and am quite fond of the people I do it for, from my immediate boss contact to the other editors who come to me from time to time, giving me extra work, to the main boss. They are all nice people, honest and forthwith, when I can get them to be so forth…with…it. Herein lies the problem. As with many other modern businesses, hell with many other people I have found these days (and this is certainly a generational thing), there seems to be an aversion these days to answering a direct question. Or not following up over something some asks me to do, I do it, and then they don’t confirm if they got the thing and it was done to their specifications.
What should I just assume? Everything’s ok if I don’t hear from you?
I don’t need you to tickle my taint with constant ‘job well dones.’ (I tickle my taint daily with the new Remco ‘Taint Tickler and Bass Catcher’ thank you very much) But, when you come back to me a week later and tell me this or that copy isn’t working for you, well a.) don’t be surprised that I am surprised b.) don’t expect me to drop everything to get on what you should have got on, or at least told me about. a week ago.
If you hire me to do a job and I have a question about that job, why not hit me back as quickly as you can (yes, I know you’re busy setting the world on fire with your new dildo and bass catching machine), but when you have the ability of being able to communicate from anywhere at any time, but find it more important to watch a TikTok video about a bunch of dogs jumping into a lake or you think spending time on Twitter is going to actually increase your nescient business, over a writer asking you what SEO keywords you’d like him to use in your web copy, web copy you keep badgering that writer to deliver, maybe you should prioritize a little.
Or at least drop me a line within a few days.
But I am hoping for responses, considering the world as it used to be, not as it is. I am forever confused by a remote job situation where you have me working six set hours a day but don’t mind wasting money paying me for working maybe all of two hours of that time. I don’t understand working by committee, where one set person can’t ever make a final decision. I am stymied by the fact that I am stigmatized when I choose not to indicate a pronoun in my byline or a job application. I can’t understand why…
Yeah yeah, yeah, I’m just old, I know. I should just shut up, pull up my blanket after enjoying another ‘Early Bird’ special. Hey, I think there is a Matlock repeat on. Got to go!