Monday, February 8, 2010

I Was (sorta) Born a Ramblin' Man

I thought I was going to be get myself on an at-least-once-a-week posting basis, but that seems to be a little ambitious for me. I never claimed to be a prolific man.

Anyway, things in the past month have settled into what could almost be considered a reasonable situation. No more venturing up to New Paltz every week and driving on one-hour's sleep for me. I'm moving on to coordinating logistics for deliveries and spending more time in the office and making deliveries on the truck twice a week. Right now it's a really nice balance between on the road craziness and office-work. I worry though about moving into a more full-on office role. While it's technically probably "moving up" or what have you, I know from experience that too much office time makes me want to stab a pencil myself in the eye.

As I'm transitioning out of the driver/deliverer role and being more office-bound, I've been thinking a lot about the blue-collar/young professional dynamic that's come up for me in this job. As crazy as it drove me I definitely miss the driving aspect of my job. There's a part of me that could easily see myself getting my Class A CDL (license for tractor-trailers) and just doing that. Cause I fucking love that lifestyle. I love being on the road and having that sense of freedom even if it sometimes means I'm bleary eyed screaming at the top of my lungs at 5 AM on the NYS Thruway trying to keep myself awake. And I've always felt that I work best in situations that require sustained bursts of energy followed by sustained bursts of crashing the fuck out.

But then there's always been something that's kept me from really going for it. I've taken off and lived on a farm in the middle of Maine for six months, I've hitchhiked down the west coast, I've rode my bike from Maine to Vermont, and I've driven across the country five times, but I think that when comes down to it, I'm just not really a ramblin' man. Or at least I wasn't born to be one, and that's where the conflict lies because as much as the thought of being sucked back into the office world feels terrible to me, I also want to hear how much my boss values me and how they feel like they're underutilizing me when I'm out making deliveries. And as much as I perversely love and feel pride in getting up at 4:30 in the morning to go make deliveries and feel a sense of solidarity with the other souls waiting for the train before dawn and can adopt the attitude of, "fuck yeah I'm a delivery guy," there's also the voice in my head saying, "fuck, i'm a delivery guy?"

The fact of the matter is that I come from a long-line of white-collar types. Definitely hard working people who have earned what they have, but I think you'd have to go back at least a few generations if not more to find someone who really made their living off of physical labor. When I was working on the farm I made a joke to my uncle that I was probably the first person in the family to work on a farm since the old country, and his response was something along the lines of, "yeah, the real old country." I guess I feel that living the life of a rover is very much in my soul, but not so much in my blood.

At least I definitely feel like I'm coming ever closer to reconciling these directions that I'm being pulled in. I'm still holding out hope that ultimately I'll be able to find something that allows me to fulfill my desire to ramble and rove and make a living from some amount of physical work but also use my brain and indulge the side of me that wants the recognition (not to mention the pay and benefits) that comes from "doing something" with oneself. Whatever the fuck that means.



E-BAD said...

I'm working on being better at blogging too on a regular basis. But will you still be able to drive upstate when you want to?

amjp said...

I don't know whether or not you'll go back to see this Mark, but I wanted to add a piece of information you may not know. Your great-grandfather, on the Jaffe side, was a horse trader in NJ in the early 1900's. Your grandfather MJ was heard to say that, as a boy, he was a "pilot." His brother shoveled it, and he "piled it."