Different Strokes

A little while back, I had one of those realization, bright light over the head, moments of just how different we all are. It was at a contract gig I had for a little bit for a dot-com that was pre-IPO. I was merely doing web development for them and so I came in, did my thing and went home. The downside was that I of course got no benefits, nor did I get any shares in the company. But, when I saw that most folks there put in 10-12 hour days or even more, I realized that I just did not want to do that. I did it in the whole Web 1.0 craze and it was for nothing. I still have to work like most folks, and to be honest, the youthful, early-twenties stupidity that was driving all that has long been tempered by quasi-Buddhist pondering on the whole nature of, just what is a career?
This is of course all well and good. Of my friends and even those who aren’t friends, a great majority have thought about things like this from time to time. What happened to make this a bit different was the fact that at one point, some high up fellow in the company was walking by the spot where I did my thing and said, “Yeah, keep driving profit like that and it’ll make our options go through the roof.”
That pretty much clinched it for me. Despite the fact that this all didn’t work for most people the first time around, here were a group trying it again. Maybe it will work for them down the road, maybe not. Maybe they’ll all just be working like crazy indefinitely and maybe the company will disappear overnight as what happened to another place I was contracting for. All I know is that in the end of it, while I may not be part of the millions that they might possibly get (and really, it’s just the upper 5% of management that seem to score that), I’ll only have worked eight hour days, paid my bills and ultimately have been a lot happier.
I’m just different than all this I guess. The promise of riches means nothing to me. If I’m busting my ass for something, that means I’m interested in it and not just because of monetary compensation. Just look at my film (yeah, I know, I said no more, but hey, it was cool…) That gave me a splitting headache for two weeks, costs me a dump of money, and took up massive amounts of time. But guess what? I loved it. I loved each and every minute of it. I guess this is the double-edged curse of having artists for parents. You’re happier than most people in the long run, but you’re never really rich. Of course, I’d never have it any other way.