There’s a reason I like Holden Caulfield. There’s a reason I absolutely love The Catcher in the Rye. It’s because I identify with Holden on so many levels. And just like Holden, in the midst of myloneliness and the sentiment of preserving innocence, I too find myself toying with the idea devoting myself to a religion and becoming a clergy member of some sort.
Most recently, I got myself into a job I thought I would enjoy. I was hired as a security officer at a very upscale retail location. Everyone, including my employers and veteran co-workers told me I should be proud that I got the position: considering the economy where it is now, and how selective the company is with their employees, my successful hire was considered quite a feat. It wasn’t anything to me because I have an extremely high success rate when it comes to passing interviews.
Everyone I spoke to seemed to like their jobs. The work is easy, the environment is clean, mostly quiet, and void of riff raff. Most of the employees are friendly and enjoy their work. My co-workers exalted the way the company takes care of its employees. The job pays well, and there is no work to take home.On paper, it’s a very good job. But three days into my new job, I was already crying and sobbing. I was depressed at the long hours. Imagine going in to work when the sun is high and bright. The day is full of promise. Imagine leaving work with tired feet, walking out of the building onto the bustling night streets of New York City. The entire day just passed you by, and in that day, you have achieved nothing. Your work produces nothing, and you have nothing to show for ten hours of work. By the time you get home and finish dinner, you’re already trying to ready yourself for the next day.It reminds me of this Russian coworker at my old place of employment. I remember walking to the train station with him one evening after work. He walked fast, and the length of his legs made it harder for me to keep up with him. I asked him how he liked it here in America. “American way is bullshit. Every day is another day of eating shit. You wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, and repeat cycle. I eat shit today. Tomorrow I eat shit again.” He observed how incredibly money-centric it was here. He recalled how it was easier to relax and have time for leisure. And it didn’t cost an arm and a leg to have a good time back in Russia.
What he saidrangso true to me…although I haven’t lived anywhere but New York City, I felt the same way he did about “the American way”. And it was how I felt when my workday ended. I hated the fact that my job was mind-numbingly boring, and that it really amounted to nothing at the end of the day. I didn’t feel like I was making a difference at all: I wasn’t contributing anything or producing anything. The fact that a well-programmed robot could do my job was even more demoralizing.
I realized that I was in the wrong line of work. My various skills were not being put to use. There were no challenges for me, and I was not being mentally engaged. With such an enormous aversion towards my current line of work, I decided to do something about it.
Over the course of a week or so, my mind wandered, trying to find a job that would be suited to me. I wondered about my qualities: my penchant for writing, my flair for the dramatic, my ability to motivate people, my desire to inspire and help others, and my intellectual interest in religion. Thinking back to a conversation I had with my professor this one day from a chance meeting in the train station, I realized that perhaps his suggestion to become a minister was a good one.
And so I toyed with the idea. I imagined that it would incredibly rewarding. And though every job has its moments of boredom, I didn’t suppose that being a minister would be boring on a day to day basis. As much of a lone wolf as I believe myself to be, I do crave face to face interaction with people as a part of my job: it helps break up the monotony of the daily grind. Considering that I seem to draw people in need of advice, I would also be in a very good position to help people.
The only problem is whether or not I can bring myself to settle down with the concept of faith. Do I believe in God? Do I believe that He is there? That He has a plan for all of us? And all of that other mumble jumble? I have no doubt that I can fake it…I fairly certain that should my morals fall by the wayside, I could “infiltrate” the ranks of the clergy (let’s not get into a debate about how God wouldn’t let that happen).
Considering that I don’t want to go to hell (or wake up with an awful feeling every morning knowing that I’m just a big phony for that matter), I do believe I should continue my job hunt. Finding my way will be difficult, and I can only hope that I can do so with celerity and grace.