The Origin of the Squeaky Wheel

For the past few weeks, my imagination has been silent.  I mean cricket chirping in the background of a bleak landscape silent.  Also?  I can’t read.  Let that sink in.  For the first time in my life that I can remember, I cannot focus on a book.  It’s killing me.  Well, you know, it’s not killing me but I do feel like I’m missing a part of me, and I am not happy about it at all.  So, in the hopes of at least getting the hamster wheel in my brain spinning again, I figured I would write a true story and see if putting any old words down will get the rest flowing again.  Otherwise?  Eeeeeek.

When I was pretty little my grandpa would call me the squeaky wheel, or sometimes a maverick.  While my grandpa loved me, to be sure, these were not terms of endearment.  I questioned everything, all the time.  I could never go along to get along.  I am an information girl – I have to understand, and if it doesn’t make sense to me I want you to not get frustrated but to keep explaining and answering my questions until I get it.

I cannot keep my mouth shut when I feel that there’s discrimination or ignorance being served up on a platter.  I cannot keep my mouth shut when people don’t make sense.  I can’t smile and nod at passive / aggressive or manipulative people.  I can’t fake.  I can’t get along.

These tendencies have caused me no little strife in my life.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is also why I have always been drawn to the magical, the heroic, the epic.  There’s not much black and white in a hero’s landscape.  The peasants revolt, the farmer leads the oppressed to overthrow the tyrant.  The knight fights the evil wizard and frees the princess from the spell.  The Monster Hunter takes up her father’s mantle and protects the world from evil.  The Winchester’s hop in the Impala and stop demons from ending the world.  This is a simplistic synopsis, and I fully understand that these tales are also often used to mirror humanity’s quest for understanding and balance within themselves, couched within the mythic.  But the simplistic is what drew me.  The details are what drew my dreams with them.

The job that I have right now is an environment that breeds on poor decision making by unqualified people who basically demand a smile and nod mentality, and those without it are treated like pariahs while still being given an over abundant work load.  I understand that I am not universally unique in disliking my job, and that there are many companies out there that are just no good, or full of people who are petty and small and rude.  Of course, I’m grateful for a paycheck every 2 weeks and there are a handful of people who are awesome human beings.  Still….

I have worked for this company for too long.  I have been unhappy almost from the get go.  The work that I was hired to do was supposed to veer in a different direction and I have been treated and talked to like a recalcitrant pet for seven and a half years.  So why have I held on for so long, let myself be broken down and stressed out to the point where my dude gave me the ultimatum of either going to a shrink or finding a new job?  Grasping.

I was unemployed for about a year and a half before I started there.  The company that I had worked for previously, making very comfortable money in an interesting position working for good people, was bought out and moved to California.  Right after I got a promotion and a fat raise.  Oops.  In a one parent household with a 5 year old, unemployment does not go very far.  I remember having to borrow money to buy Shrek for the kid for Christmas as one of my lowest moments.  Or sitting in the car in the grocery store parking lot in the middle of the day, not wanting to go in, like I would stick out among the housewives as one of the unfortunates who had stay at home motherhood thrust upon them as opposed to choosing it.

So time passed.  And passed.  And I swallowed more shit from people than I ever have before in my life.  I stopped talking out loud very much, stopped putting forth ideas or standing up for myself.  It’s not like I lost my self confidence as a human being, I still sport a very healthy sense of ego, but what’s the point became my new mantra.  All because I didn’t ever want to be dependent on anyone for security and survival again.  This may be a noble notion, but not viable in the long run.

When you oil the squeaky wheel, it becomes very boring indeed, rolling down a path that is not of its own choosing.  This is why my imagination is shutting down on me.  My brain is forcing me to stop going along and to make choices instead, on purpose and with purpose.

This post is all over the place.  Ha, at least I sat down and wrote something.  It can only get better….



Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “The Origin of the Squeaky Wheel

  1. I think you are well on your way to something, especially since your turn at the Fab Four Fables will be coming up. 😉

    • Ha, well thank you – I’ll try not to muddle up the ending, but I do alright under pressure so hopefully it won’t turn into the Terrific Three’s Tales after I give it a go 😉

  2. I don’t think your post was “all over the place.” It made perfect sense to me. This time last year, I got canned from a job I hated that sounds exactly like the situation you describe. Petty management, not doing the job I was hired for, more and more work piled on, being told I wasn’t going to be “management material, which is a shame because you’re smart and hard working and can learn anything we throw at you, but your attitude sucks.” I responded that a monkey could do my job and expressed nothing but disdain for the company and the people working there … they found a reason to throw me out. Whatever, a metric ton of stress lifted from me at that point. I’m still out of work (not from a lack of looking for a job, but that’s a different story)…

    You’ll find your voice again. You did a brave thing when you took the step to write on a blog. You’ll have dry spells and you’ll have times when you can’t write fast enough. It’s all good – the universe has a way of balancing things out. Ride the wave.

    • Ha, that is EXACTLY it. I am crazy bored 80% of the time because it’s menial stuff that is nonetheless time consuming when you’re covering 7 or 8 different deparments…sigh…i would have more respect for my boss is she was like Michael Scott 😉 I am sorry that you’re still out of work, but something will come along for you AND you don’t have to worry about snapping and threatening to papercut someone’s eyeballs if they don’t give you something engaging to work on…

      Apparently blurting it out last night, and knowing that people can relate, was pretty cathartic because I’m feeling much better today. Theme song for today: Swagger Like Us…I’ll ride the wave like a boss 🙂

      Thank you, you’re always a morale booster…

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