When I watched the first episode of Zom 100, I couldn’t believe it. This is a guy in his early 20’s who starts working for an advertising agency (like me), is super gung-ho about it at the beginning (like me), realizes that it’s a freaking tough job and breakdowns psychologically (like me), but was once a university rugby player (like me). Did the writer of this series just create a manga from reading my blogs? The sheer amount of times, I’ve broken down in front of an Excel, to only remind myself “YOU USED TO BE A RUGBY PLAYER, YOU USED TO HIT GUYS AND GET HIT BY GUYS WAY BIGGER THAN YOU IN THE SWELTERING HEAT, WHY IS AN EXCEL SPREADSHEET KILLING YOU.” – too many times. Or even the times I’ve walked into office thinking “If that car just swerves a little too far right or if that scaffolding for that new building falls, I won’t have to worry about going to work anymore.” I think about these things nearly everyday.
Now you’re telling me that this main character, is literally celebrating not having to go to work because there’s a zombie apocalypse, where possibility everyone you know and love are dead, and you might be next? OK sounds interesting. I’m kidding, I think. I don’t actually hate my job like that. I hate my job at certain moments but that’s when I’m just just drowning in work with no end in sight. I actually think that on the whole, I enjoy working, I’m just intense about getting things done sometimes, because I put a lot of pressure on myself to be good, or at least try to be good. The issue with me at work, is that just like the main character of Zom 100, I tend to give all of myself to work and forget about myself. I oftentimes don’t think about the money, the hours being taken away from my private life, or my health, my standing at the company – I just do the job blindly like a zombie.
It’s not because I don’t care about myself but I think that I have this bedrock belief that as long as I get the job done, as long as people around are happy, and as long as there are no complaints, then I will be fine too. But that’s such a contradiction to who I am as a person, who believes in being satisfied and secure with one’s self. I think it truly is just me having to prove to myself that I’m invincible and that I can do all things, because such a big part of my youth was that, I wasn’t the smartest, most athletic, or the most handsome, but I always had to be amazing to myself just to prove to myself that I deserved all the nice things, that people who are better than me get.
I realize that I’ve strayed from talking about Zom 100, which is a great show so far and I’m really enjoying it. But I think that good literature makes you self-reflect. It makes you think about why you are the way that you are, but it’s also something that puts you in the position to keep asking yourself why and justify your intentions. Sometimes, we’re so insecure about things that we create narratives in our heads to feed our inner narcissist when it really isn’t anything that special, you’re just insecure. And I know that my gumption for work and my trait of forgetting about who I am in order to get the job done can probably be sourced from insecurity, which is something that I’m working on.
I think it’s important to understand what your responsibilities are to others at your workplace but it’s also important to understand your responsibilities to yourself. The truth is that the work will never end. You will never be at a point in your career where you’ll just realize that there’s no more work to be done. There’s always going to be stuff to do, so instead of working extra hard, maybe chill out. In my case, chill out or burnout – I think that I’m already plenty burnt haha. This advice coming from me, is so useless. I’m the guy who works on vacation . . . Perspective OK guys? Please don’t let your job be the reason you hate your life, that’s all I’m saying.
Zom 100 is a lot of fun though, I highly recommend checking it.