What’s Your Secret Identity?

It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following me for a while that I hate my day job (or bottomless pit of despair if you catch me on a really good day) It’s strange, I’m good at what I do, I quite like what I do, and yet, I have issues with the job. I suspect it’s something to do with not being a corporate robot.

This presented an “interesting” dilemma.  I had checked out of that aspect of my life and was finding it hard to check back in to run Fight Mediocrity.  Then a couple of weeks back Catherine wrote the post about unexpected strengths.  I realised I wasn’t interested in strengths, I was interested in Super-powers. After a liitle more thought, and a realisation that everyone has a superpower, I realised that what I was missing wasn’t the superpower, or the super hero identity.  No, what I was missing was the mild-mannered alter ego.  Someone who could take the drudgery of the everyday job life and stop it interfering with my hero work.  Yes, I needed a Secret Identity.

So, I created one. “Employee dude”  Employee dude is all about blending in until I can assume my true identity full time.  Employee dude needed to fit in and not stand out.  Employee dude was not enough.  I had to create more.  I needed to make it fun again as I may be stuck with it for some time.  So, I gave my secret identity a back story.

Employee dude was attempting to infiltrate the top secret lair of the master villain – Faceless corporation.  In order to do this he needs every trick at his disposal.  He has to pretend that free will has been beaten out of him, along with ambition and the need for work life balance.  He has to don the mask of bitterness and resentment when he steps out of the office.  He has to engage in periodic bouts of moaning about the status quo (rather than going “If you don’t like it, break the system, here’s a hammer”) His mission, and the safety of the free world, depends on it.

So, every morning, I climb into the transformatron (my car) and change from the Dragon Slayer of future legends, into employee dude. (the transformation involves coffee, fortunately) I go to work, perform as well as I can, and basically, try not to create any waves.  Every day I ask myself the question “Will today be the day they realise I’m awesome?” Everyday, I climb back into the transformatron after quitting time and become The Dragon Slayer.

It’s made things a lot more bearable, mainly because suddenly it’s all fun.  It’s not paperwork, it’s the tedious trap of boredom that must be dismantled.  It’s not a client complaint, it’s a fiery pit of death that a bridge must be constructed across.  And it’s not retirement at the end of the labyrinth, it’s freedom.

Suddenly, it’s all a game.

And tomorrow, it’s time to go after the minotaur of QESH.  That bastard keeps interupting my coffee break.

Where could you use a mild-mannered alter ego?

8 Responses to What’s Your Secret Identity?
  1. Kelly
    August 17, 2010 | 9:48 pm

    I love the idea of a secret identity who just blends in, biding his time, but only during the day. Maybe he’ll find a few things to do after you quit, too, like bookkeeping and taxes. But he’ll just work on a strictly part-time, as-needed basis, and he’ll mostly be retired.

  2. Lisa Valuyskaya
    August 18, 2010 | 9:00 am

    Ooh, I totally have one! I am the Geeky Mac Girl, shy and quiet and day-dreamy, the one everybody runs to when they can’t figure out how to do something on their Mac, and by being extremely helpful, I’m privy to many secrets which can be useful to my SuperPowered self. But that’s another story… 😉

    P.S. Is “usefulL tools” the feature you were talking about the other day? 🙂

  3. Gareth
    August 18, 2010 | 11:55 am

    Yeah, I’m sure I’ll pull out the “chino and collared shirt” costume every so often, (even if just out of a sense of nostalgia)

  4. Gareth
    August 18, 2010 | 11:58 am

    Whenever i see “that’s another story…” my mind automatically starts to fill in the blanks. And wow, the stuff you get up to in that other story…

    yeah, i’m going to keep it. I figure things that are useful are, well, cliched, or sarcastic. But UsefulL yeah, you’d better check that sucker out.

  5. Maya
    August 19, 2010 | 10:31 pm

    This is a totally awesome concept. I could have used this before being laid off early last year. As it was the annoyance and hatred for the job had boiled over and presented itself in my everyday demeanor. So when I was selected for the cut I totally wasn’t surprised.

    This post puts the idea of dealing with the faceless corporate nature of my previous job into perspective. My parents always said, “Just suck it up and work” or “You do what you have to.” So not good enough for me. So as always… open mouth insert foot. Had I had a more creative and fitting example for how to deal with it I may still be there.

    Even still everything happens for a reason. Now I work part time retail and really enjoy it versus the cubicle lifestyle. In the event that changes I am totally adopting this line of thought!

    Thanks for a great and helpful post!

  6. Gareth
    August 20, 2010 | 8:22 pm

    Unfortunately it’s not a permanent solution, merely a temporary fix. It works really well for the short term where you find yourself in a situation that is not ideal, but for whatever reason, you are not in a position to leave it completely.

    Good luck with the retail gig. It’s a pity I don’t knit, or know anyone who does. Your yarn is lovely.

  7. Schedule5
    August 21, 2010 | 6:47 pm

    Ooh – shiny yarn. It’s like a little bonus on your blog. Just because one hasn’t knitted much lately doesn’t mean one isn’t still a knitter. We can pop up in unexpected places.

    Maya’s yarns are indeed lovely. I particularly liked the milk protein yarn, and the drop spindles that made me go “ooooooh”.

  8. BirdyD
    October 31, 2010 | 7:43 am

    Yes! In dealing with my day job (at least at times), in dealing with Bill-type People, and generally places where my real self is just too Weird for Words.

    I’m trying not to need her too much tho’ – as I believe you point out, she’s not entirely good for my health.

    Trying also to find the Third Option that lets me have the strength & sovereignty, but offers enough hooks into their lives to let there be connection and (hopefully), harmony.

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