Monday, June 18, 2007

Quarter-Life veteran

So I'm on the way home to my office, riding through heavy traffic, 66% probability of rain, and 70% humidity, in the blazing sunlight. I get here, switch on the two computers that I have to work with, and the Issue trackers on each of them are overflowing with things that I have to do, or get done. Its 10 am (ok 10:45..I woke up late, so sue me), on another Monday morning and the weekend that passed has only served to aggravate me. Monday, bloody Monday! Server's are dying, mails aren't being sent, logs are filled with errors, I forgot to recharge my cellphone, the bike's making a weird clunk every time I shift gears, and I realize that I'm another victim of the Quarter-Life crisis.

Some people whine continuously about how easy life was back when they were young, and I'm assuming they meant their mid twenties. I seriously doubt whether that will apply to our generation. The mid twenties for me seem like a horrible race to get to some unclear finish line, which I am not really sure exists, and if it does exist, I don't really know whether I want to get to it. Adding to this the fact that there are numerous obstacles along the way, and my fellow competitors seem more than able to decapitate me anytime they wish to.

Engineering college never prepared me for any of this. I kept my head down, reading those books, passing those exams, and after years of hard (last minute) work, got the darned degree. Coming out of college with that degree felt like I was a gladiator armed with many weapons, ready to face whatever was out there. I guess I was misinformed. Getting employment was difficult in itself, but once I did get a job, I kept finding myself overqualified for it, while the juicy stuff was passed on to guys with a few more years of work under their belts. Now that I happen to be one of these guys, I can understand the compulsion to pass on seemingly critical work functions to those who have demonstrated prior ability under similar circumstances. I find that I have to force myself to think without a safety net, and just let people make mistakes. The fact that I must correct those mistakes to get things done on time does irritate me, but reminding myself of the big picture, and punching the wall a few times helps me get over it.

None of this however helps me understand where I am, what I am doing, why I am doing it, or where its taking me. Sleep deprivation, continuous pressure, horrible financial condition, family forgetting my name, friends becoming distant, social life fading into oblivion...ah, the heady perks of being a quarter-life veteran.

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