I don’t know how it happened. This is not what I wanted to be when I grew up, yet here I am – a mid-level manager in Information Technology (IT). Could it be worse? Certainly. Could it be better? Certainly.
I find myself surrounded by incompetence and social ineptitude and I wonder how this all happened. My journey wasn’t an overnight adventure; this was a semi-calculated career with stability and options. Yet, I wonder how I got here.
Here is a strange place. I work with extremely logical and smart people, yet most of them have no social skills and most of them are very egotistical. I find myself loathing lunch outings or happy hours with my coworkers. I sometimes go with them to lunch or happy hours, but it’s never comfortable. It’s almost always embarrassing. These people constantly exude inappropriate behavior.
It’s like I’m back in high school and hanging out with the nerds. These people, most in their late 20s and early 30s, have not changed any. It’s no wonder most of them don’t have dates or girlfriends or participate in “normal” activities. Normal activities to them include nightly raids or LAN (local area network) parties. A raid is where a bunch of geeks virtually get together in a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) and accomplish a task, such as killing a large creature in the game or “running a dungeon” for treasure. A LAN party is when a bunch of nerds physically get together. They all bring their laptops, network cables, and headphones. They connect all their machines together and play games. A few of the nerds even play old-school D&D (Dungeons and Dragons), like in the movie ET.
Now, I do have some nerd traits myself, but I try to have balance. I used to find it interesting that a group of us would go out to Hooters for happy hour with plans to end up at a strip club, yet we always ended up at someone’s house for a LAN party. I guess the strip club just sounded cool, but who wants to look at real semi-naked girls, when we could battle an epic virtual creature instead?!?
For some reason, I always thought my life would be different. I thought it would be more like the movie “American Psycho”, minus the psycho part. A life of work with brilliant and socially adept people. A life of happy hours at cool clubs with sexy girls, great music, and great drinks. A life of weekend pool parties at cool houses with lots of sexy girls in bikinis, cool music, cool appetizers, and cool drinks. A life of bypassing the lines outside the cool clubs because we were the epitome of style and coolness. A life of making a difference with a passion for excellence.
Well, it didn’t quite turn out that way. It’s nobody’s fault but mine. I chose to be in Information Technology. I chose the “stable” career. STABLE = BORING. I often feel spent from dealing with the social ineptitude and incompetence. This has become a vicious cycle. I’m devoid of the energy to switch to something different, yet what’s draining my energy is the sameness. I keep thinking I’ll muster the energy to make a change, yet I never do. Tomorrow never comes. I’m losing my competence and my social skills everyday. I’m slowly being assimilated into the world I’ve immersed myself within. Someone will write something similar about my social ineptitude if I continue down this path.