Do you work for the Red Queen?

I made it to a coffee shop, so here’s what I would have posted yesterday!

I had an especially frustrating day at work.  It’s nothing new.  Everyone has frustrating days at work.  I felt like I was spinning my wheels, getting nowhere, feeling particularly useless.  It’s not through lack of hard work.  I ran my ass off, knocked tasks off of the list, and attended to the customers.

But what did I come home with besides the 6-pack I bought on the way out?  What was my contribution to society?  I cleaned the bathroom, only to have it need to be cleaned pretty much right away.  I organize products on shelves only to have them taken off and the shelves messed up once again.  I mopped the floor only to have dirty, muddy boots bring it back to where I started.

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”

That’s a quote from the Red Queen in Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.  It feels like a description of work to me.  I’m sure there are others out there who feel the same way, or who have at one point felt the same way about work.

By the way, there’s also a Red Queen Hypothesis in evolutionary theory, where an organism evolves simply to keep up with its prey or its predators or its parasites.  This made me think.  Which one of those applies to me right now?  Is my job something that I hunt down and capture for prey?  Is it something I’m actively running from?  Or is it just sucking the life out of me?

I’m very tempted to describe my job as a parasite.  But I’d have to go with predator.  I’m running and scrambling to keep it from eating me alive.  At the same time, I’m hunting down a totally different job.  One that would be far more rewarding, pay more, and less stressful.  It’s currently a very unhatched chicken, so I’m not going to make any moves to quit my gas station job just yet.

Here’s the thing:  I want to hear back from you, reader.  Is your job anything like this?  Are you struggling to even keep up?  Is your job nothing like that at all?  Are you just a drone?  If not, how did you escape the clutches of the Red Queen?  Which one is more applicable, evolutionary theory, or Through the Looking-Glass?  I want to hear your stories.  What do you do?  What do you love?  What do you hate?  Do you feel like you’re doing something actually worthwhile?  It doesn’t have to be something world-changing.  I just want to get to know you and what you find important.  If I get enough feedback, I think I’ll put up a post with some of your stories.

I look forward to what you’ve got to say!

Red Queen

One thought on “Do you work for the Red Queen?

  1. Hey! I can actually my reply now!
    My current occupation is a volunteer for a non-profit festival and my current job is 95% undoing the work of another member… apologizing… and trying to fix what they do… the other 5% is trying to do everything… without help.


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