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Welcome to Corporate America

Creativity, Drive, and the Perversion of the Work Ethic

“The course of a career depends on one’s own action predominantly, but not exclusively. A career requires a struggle; it involves tension, disappointments, obstacles which are challenging, at times, but are often ugly, painful, senseless - particularly, in an age like the present, when one has to fight too frequently against the dishonesty, the evasions, the irrationality of the people one deals with.”

- Ayn Rand, The Ayn Rand Column

I am an Art Director. Impressive title, isn’t it? I supervise a staff of designers and production artists who design three monthly trade magazines, a quarterly trade magazine, promotional materials for the magazines and trade shows, and accompanying web sites. I’ve worked my way up at this company; I started here in a low-end position making less than half of what I make now. Now I do good work, and I get compliments on our product from others regularly. My name is on the masthead of every magazine. I have my own office. I work in downtown Chicago, with a relatively impressive view of the Chicago river and the Mercantile Exchange building. I’ve worked at this company for four and a half years. I commute on the train. I have a health plan and a 401(K) retirement savings. Occasionally I sit in for the editors and go to special functions and media events and get free food and drink. All in all, I have it pretty good.

Diary Entry, July 1997

I think I’m going to quit my job. I really can’t stand it here; even though I’m paid well I’m treated like crap by the owner; he resents me because I asked to be paid what I’m worth. And everyone seems to fight me on any decision to be made, even though everyone will say I am the best here at my job, they’ll still argue with me. I have really gotten to the point where I just hate it here, so much that I feel like I almost have to leave.

Oh, I forgot to mention it, though: Corporate America, as represented by the company I’m employed at, is horrendous. And I plan on giving up that office, that view, those media dinners, my name of the masthead, that salary.

You see, it goes like this: I love my work. I enjoy designing magazines. I enjoy working on Macintoshes, retouching photos, playing with typefaces. I don’t know why, but I love it. And the thing is, I know I’m good at what I do, and every single person in this company would agree that I’m a good designer, but every person in this company also tries to still tell me what to do, even though I’m the head of this department, even though they repeatedly say I’m good at what I do. This company does not let me just do my job.

Office Memo, January 10, 1997

S., I know we’ve gone over this before, but I just want to let you know when problems came up. Today C., in front of myself, D. S. and D. E., badgered myself with design questions focusing on two scans (specifically on whether or not they would be outlined). I told her that barring technical difficulties or purely a lack of time they would be done. She insisted on having them done, that these two photos not outlined jeopardized the integrity of the design, that I looked at every scan and personally told her that they would all be outlined (which I did not do). Her tone was more than condescending, it was flat out rude. If I were her secretary I would have been offended. The demands she posed were trivial and out of her jurisdiction, and they were made to not a low-ranking member of the staff, but to the Art Director, in front of her staff. Behavior like that is unprofessional and intolerable.

We have discussed and agreed that her behavior and attitude is a problem in this office. It has caused one designer to quit and it was part of the reason the associate editor quit. I suggest that something be done as soon as possible, before she jeopardizes the job position of the new designer we plan to hire next week.

The people that work here, I’ve discovered, are not rational. I’ve done my best over the years to work with them anyway, to meet their demands, to come up with a compromise that will temporarily appease them so that I can do what I’m supposed to do. But the more I’ve compromised the more I’ve realized that a compromise between good and evil always ends up with some evil. If you concede a small token to the enemy, they will continue to try to take more from you. And I can no longer let incompetent people destroy a good product.

Office Memo, June 12,1997

For months I have written repeated memos, had regular meetings and expressed an urgent concern about not only the meddling but the design incompetence of C. that has proven to be detrimental to this magazine and to this company. I have demonstrated over and over again that I am a good, quick designer, even when regularly faced with an late, incomplete and inconsistent work from editors. I have documented repeatedly that her interference in the design department has hurt the morale of the design department, has cost hours upon hours of time and additional money to this company and has ultimately sacrificed the design integrity of the magazine.

For a full year I have outlined what a problem this is. You have told me it will get better, that you’d talk to her. Apparently, however, she has not listened to memos or discussions about this problem.

In the beginning of the June issue you told her not to meddle, to let the designers do their job. For once she actually listened, and the result was not only a smoother month in getting work done but a great looking 112-page issue. I have received compliments on the design of the issue. The magazine looks good because she was not actively involved with the design, not in spite of it. This month, however, she apparently forgot what you told her. In our design meeting she picked on almost every subjective matter she could... Why are you listening to her, when she has been told repeatedly that this is out of her jurisdiction, when it has been shown that her input in these matters only hurts the final design of this magazine?

I’ve had to replace one staff member that quit because of her; I’ve had to remove one staff member from working on this magazine because they cannot stand working with her. The challenge of working well under difficult circumstances is not the problem; the challenge of working well when inexperienced people are actively trying to stop you from doing a good job is the problem. I can’t tell people they should work on this magazine when I can’t even think of any reasons why I should continue to.

Something, apparently something drastic, must be done immediately. I genuinely do not know how much longer I can work with the current circumstances. Please let me know as soon as possible if we can implement these changes and if you have any other ideas on how to solve this problem.

I know I sound like I’m overreacting here. But shouting matches are somewhat regular here, as well as multiple rounds of corrections in copy (after having three editors read something 15 times, there shouldn’t be any need for more changes, they just cost time and money). Butting in to the production department’s jobs is also a regular occurrence here. Having the goals of your department change without you knowing it. Having work redone because people weren’t paying attention. Redoing work because someone new saw it and said it needed to change, after 7 other people approved it. Welcome to Corporate America.

Diary Entry, September 9, 1997

I took a sick day today. A well day, so to speak. A mental health day. I didn’t think it would be good for me to go to work today. I really hate that place. Everyone hates everyone there, I think. J. told D. he’s sending out resumes again. D. says he wants to leave. B. was interviewing a few weeks ago.

Are we not supposed to have balls and ask for things we deserve? Are other people in the office jealous because there are actually some people with some talent in the production department, and they have the power to expose the ignorance of the rest of the staff? I hate the fact that there are so many stupid people that are able to hold a job there. And of course it then becomes my job to cater to them, because they can’t figure out what to do. I hate the fact that I have to follow other people’s whims. That’s precisely what they are - whims. People in that office don’t know what they want, and don’t trust the production department to do their job. They cost tons of money and tons of time. And the boss blames us for their ignorance.

I know I’ve said over and over again that I’m afraid of losing my financial security, that I’m afraid I might be making a mistake, that I’m worried about not having a plan, but there is no way whatsoever that I could stay there. It’s beginning to get hard to stay there now, and I still have over a month and a half before I quit. Five weeks before I tell them.

The turnover rate in the production design department, according to rough estimates only done in my head, are something like thirty percent annually. When we’re talking about a staff of seven, that means having to hire - and train - two or three people a year. If it isn’t that bad, why are they all running out of here?

Diary Entry, August 2, 1997

A co-worker quit from the company I work for today. I work in an office with about thirty-five people. Now this co-worker was in charge of our trade shows and quit two days before our annual trade show was about to begin. Apparently she was at a meeting about the trade show and someone else started badgering her and twenty minutes after the meeting she was on the phone with her husband saying, “It’s been bad enough that every day after work I cry when I get home, but now I’m on the phone crying while I’m at work.” So her husband told her it’s okay if she wants to leave, they can work it out. So leave she did. She collected her things, and just... left.

Now I only got to hear about this scene second-hand, I didn’t actually see her or even get to say good-bye to her, and that’s a real shame because I probably would have shook her hand and thanked her for doing something that just about every person in our office has pretty much dreamt about on a daily basis. I mean, when I heard about what she did I let out a low, sadistic laugh, you know, one of those laughs that comes from really deep down, because we haven’t had one of those angry quitting scenes in a while, and believe me, they’re always fun to watch. And I laughed like that because I know what she was going through and I know what a relief it must have been for her to do it.

I work in my spare time as the editor of the literary magazine “Children, Churches and Daddies.” One of the reasons I do it is simple: I want to put together a good magazine, one people like, on my own terms, and know that it is good. I have been praised for the design of the magazine. Everything about that magazine is a result of my own decisions: what the covers look like, what kind of sections the magazine has, who the contributors are, what the type looks like, what photos are used.

I need “Children, Churches and Daddies” for my own sanity. I need to do the work I love, without anyone telling me how to do it. I don’t get that at work, and I know I deserve it. People tell me I’m good, but they still get in my way and obstruct my progress - not at getting ahead at this company, but from producing a good product - the best product - at this company. I love my work. But they haven’t let me do it here.

Diary Entry, August 29, 1997

I hate having pride in my work at this place. It is hard when you know you’re good at something and everyone tells you you’re good and yet no one will let you make decisions. I’m the highest-ranking designer at this company and people outside my department overrule decisions of mine arbitrarily - and regularly. They destroy any consistency or style something may have. And then I have to answer for it, since I’m the head of design. But I’m really not. I’m a slave to the whims of people who don’t know anything about my work. It makes me want to leave so badly.

I just hate seeing things that are good get destroyed. It’s one of the hardest things for me to witness.

There are two types of people: people who think of work as an extension of themselves, people who are productive, and continually strive to improve, to move forward, and there are people who think of work as some sort of evil necessity to help them exist because no one will give them free money for some reason. So they go through work making a greater effort to not work and act like they are working, they stay in the same job, they gossip, and they make life difficult for productive people.

One of the greatest benefits of Capitalism is that when the most productive people are allowed to work and to excel and to own and fully reap the benefits of their labor, then the standard of living is raised for all. Consider how well off homeless people are in this country as opposed to other countries, for instance. There is such a wealth of goods and services that it trickles down and improves the lives of all. When new technology is created, the ole technology becomes cheaper, and more affordable to the lower classes. Well, my point from all that is that yes, that’s one of the greatest things about Capitalism, but I must admit that there are times when on an entirely selfish level it bothers me that people who choose not to create, not to work hard, not to really contribute to society, still get the benefits from intelligent people’s work.

There’s a group of women that work in another department here at the office. Their pay is equivalent to that of a secretary here at this company, and this company has a surprisingly low pay scale. They punch in on time, they sit in the lunchroom together and gossip while eating their fast food, they take their smoke breaks in the lounge on the 22nd floor, they try to look like they have a lot of work to do so no one bothers them. They’re all overweight. They all punch out at 4:30, go home, watch prime time television, and come back the next day and talk about it as if the characters on Melrose Place are friends of theirs. They never try to get a promotion, but they are angry if they don’t get a raise. They never ask what needs to be done. They are resistant to change. They don’t like people who succeed.

And these people make my blood boil.

It angers me that they are in the same office as me, taking partial credit for the magazine I work on. It angers me because these are the people that are a detriment to progress; that is the only thing they should have credit for.

“The difference between a career person and a job holder is as follows: a career person regards his/her work as constant progress, as a constant upward motion from one achievement to another, higher one, driven by the constant expansion of his/her mind, his/her knowledge, his/her ability, his/her creative ingenuity, never stopping to stagnate on any level. A job holder regards his/her work as a punishment imposed on him/her by the incomprehensible malevolence of reality or of society, which, somehow, does not let him/her exist without effort; so his/her policy is to go through the least amount of motions demanded of him/her by somebody and to stay put in any job or drift off to another, wherever chance, circumstances or relatives might happen to push him/her.”

- Ayn Rand, The Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. III, No. 26

So I’ve made this decision that I don’t have to deal with all of this trouble anymore. One coworker told me that people in the industry refer to this company as a slave camp. But it stays in business anyway. So I’ve made this decision to give up the salary, the schedule, the “plan.” You see, I’ve planned everything in my life. I’m a control freak and need to have everything in order at all times.

And I’m not going to have that kind of security, that kind of stability, that kind of plan anymore. I have a plan to quit my job, to visit Florida for a month and then enjoy my Christmas holiday for once in my adult life (you see, it’s crunch time at this company from November 1st to February 1st, so you’re putting in 80 hours a week and have no time for the holidays). I plan to tour around the States, some for pleasure, some for writing, some for doing readings at bookstores and coffeehouses and bars and festivals. And then I plan on going to Europe for a few months.

I’ve never left this continent before, and I’d love the chance. I know some people in different countries in Europe, and figure that if they help me out I can afford to do this, to take almost a year off and travel.

But am I only running away from something?

In all the decisions I’ve made in my life, I’ve tried to move toward something, not to run away from something. So what am I looking for?

Diary Entry, August 29, 1997

I feel like I’m making such a large decision in my life now. When I left college, I knew I was only going to be going to school for four years, this was the logical conclusion to my schooling, but it was still a great change to go back home, as an adult, and start to look for a job. Once you’re working, though, you make your own schedules. You can stay at the same job for thirty years, you can marry and quit your job and take care of a family, you can get another job. And the thing is, I had no idea how long I was going to be at this job. I thought I’d be here for at least six years; that’s when my 401(K) becomes fully vested and I will have made the optimal amount of money in it, then I’d be ready to go, I could quit my job right about when I was probably ready to get married and possibly move to another city. But here I am, quitting a year and a half ahead of my plan, planning to spend a ton of my money on travelling instead of working for the next year.

It’s strange. I’ve always been so insistent that I be financially secure. I’ve always planned everything. I’ve always done the most logical thing. Is this logical? I figure that I’m young and I have a savings and I hate my job, this is as good a time as any. If I get married and/or start another job, I might not have this opportunity in my youth again. Right now there’s really nothing holding me back. So this is my chance.

But it’s not like me. It’s not like me to throw away a job that makes me great money. I have perks here. I can work on other projects here. The equipment is excellent. But I’m treated like a second-class citizen here. I have four to six people who answer to me design-wise, but I can’t tell them what to do when someone from another department is overriding my decisions all the time. I can hardly be an effective leader when no one allows me to lead.

I’ve mentally just gotten tired of fighting this place. So I’m here for another two months, I’ll try to save all of my money, and then I move on.

And recoup for a year.

I don’t know what I’m looking for in Europe. I want to be alone, really. I want to see different sights. I want to see different sights through my own eyes, with my perceptions, with my perspectives. I want to be able to react to the world. Does that make sense?

I want to know I can do this. That I can.

Why I stay at my stupid corporate job:

1. I’m a masochist at heart and this company turns me on.

2. I was raised in a slave camp, and this place lets me drink water while I work.

3. He keeps telling me he’ll deny everything in court if I leave him.

4. This company is cheaper than a sedative.

5. My boss makes me homesick for both Mother Russia and my vodka.

6. I don’t have the resources to study chimpanzees in their natural habitat; had to find similar test group.

7. I’m hoping the rays emitted from my computer will eventually give me a tan.

8. Staying trapped in my office all day allows me to avoid interaction with all people.

9. I can’t think of any faster way to become brain-dead.

10. All the fat people that work here make me feel thin.

11. It’s fun to bet on who will quit next.

12. I’d hate to have to spend my days outside in the sun, say, being active or doing different things.

13. The constantly changing whims of my supervisors keeps me on my toes.

14. Because you can’t have an abuser without an enabler.

and the bonus...

15. Contrary to popular opinion, my olive complexion does not mean I’m made of money.

Office Memo, April 28, 1997

I thought you said you told C. not to tell designers how to design departments. She did (see attached).

She also told me what to do for some of the show coverage, things that (1) go in conflict with consistency in the magazine, (2) go in conflict with consistency in design of all the show coverage per our meeting Friday, (3) would make the section look cluttered. She didn’t cause problems in the meeting Friday; she’s causing them on paper now. Why?

Please let her know that these changes are unnecessary. I’ve outlined it in a memo to her; she should also know, however, that it’s not her place to be doing things like this, and she won’t listen to me. Thanks.

I’ve tried to work through this unhealthy environment. I’ve tried to swallow my pride and just do what they tell me. But I can’t do it forever; I have too much pride and I know I should be doing something more. I’ve tried to fight for what I know is right, and then my supervisors will agree with me, and then one of the supervisors will disagree and no one will want to fight it. Everyone is so afraid to fight for things here, that they just let the cycle continue on and on and on.

Diary Entry, September 15, 1997

Why would you hate someone for paying them something close to what they’re worth? He did this to P., the old editor. When P. quit, he needed to replace him with three people, and I’m sure he’s paying the new editor more than he was paying P. He shoots himself in the foot that way. He resents people for having pride in themselves. He wants weak people here, so he can pay them next to nothing. And then he treats them like crap for doing sub-standard work.

Then he gets someone on staff who is good, and eventually they stand up for themselves and ask for more money, and he gladly gives it to them, and then he thinks about it for a while, and he thinks, “You know, I used to be able to pay them less money for the same work. They’re screwing me.” And then he hates them and makes them feel like crap until they quit.

I don’t understand how someone who can run a successful business can be so short-sighted.

If this place wasn’t so whim-oriented, it would be a lot better. The owner makes changes from one issue to the next, he changes his mind about everything, he doesn’t remember what he said, he blatantly lies.

I was told that he has told A. to sit on expense checks and petty cash requests as long as she can, so he can hold off on paying out what his employees have coming to them.

The thing is, work can be something that makes you happy (yes, I’ve heard that it is possible). I produce the literary magazine “Children, Churches and Daddies” for no money; I typeset it, I design it, I write for it, I scan photos for it, I make all editorial corrections, do spell checks and make sure it gets out on time, and I do it all with more efficiency that a staff of people do here in this office.

Maybe that’s another problem. I’ve think I’ve learned all I can learn from this place. A career is supposed to be a constant progression of learning and applying what you’ve learned, but for the past year, or year-and-a-half here, I haven’t been learning, I’ve just been fighting to stay at the same point I’ve always been at.

And that shouldn’t happen. Not from the standpoint of the owner, who wants efficiency and can most easily get it by allowing his staff to produce (a happy employee is a productive employee), and certainly not from my own standpoint. I want to learn, I want to grow. I don’t want to have to fight for things I fought for a year and a half ago.

Office Memo, January 13, 1997

Bonuses and Christmas Parties

Most companies have a decent Christmas party as well as bonuses at the end of the year. HOW magazine estimates that the average production/designer received a bonus of nearly $4,000 in the midwest and nearly $6,000 nationally. Folio magazine estimates that production directors, people in positions such as myself and D. S., receive bonuses on average of over $8,000 for trade magazine work.

In 1995 we had the closest thing to a real Christmas party, although we could not invite a guest (like a spouse). This year we received less than a party. For a staff that has been overworked and is looking for some sign of gratitude, no bonus and a lunch instead of a party is insulting.

Current Overtime Compensation

Overtime is supposed to be compensated for by being able to take time off. Usually, however, we only take time off at a ratio of 1:4 or 1:3. If I work 60 hours of overtime in a given month, seldom do I have the opportunity, much less the permission, to take nearly four days off, which would be a 1:2 ratio, much less a week and a half off at a 1:1 ratio. Yet this is supposed to be my compensation for losing half of my spare time. I have had to repeatedly relinquish social and family obligations, as well as eliminate basic money-saving and necessary household chores in my life like grocery shopping because I have simply had no time to do these things that I should be doing. The sheer amount of time I have worked has also made me physically sick, and with more work always piling on, I do not have the chance to take the time off I need to to get some rest and recover from illness.

The Fair Labor Standard Act requires government employees to get 1-12 hours of comp time for every hour of overtime worked. The average (norm - expected) ratio for any company offering comp time in lieu of wages is a 1:2 ratio. The Federal government is now trying to set up a standard of one hour of comp time for every hour and a half of overtime worked (in lieu of wages). This company’s policy puts our comp time drastically below those ratios. Considering that giving an employee comp time off at a 1:2 ratio doesn’t cost the employer anything, during less busy times there is no reason why this ratio should not apply to this company.

I have consistently worked far more overtime than a worker should. Consistently I have produced quality work at a much faster rate than the rest of the production/design staff at this company. And consistently I have wondered when I’d get paid for the work I have done, if I would even get compensation for the work I did, or when I would even have a day off. I look around and see the sales staff making three to four times my salary, all while working a normal work week (when not travelling around the globe). I see an editorial staff and a marketing staff that does not put in overtime give me work consistently late, asking me to spend my spare time catching up their mistakes.

I have battled with and created a good product in spite of an inadequate staff, or an incompetent staff, or an uncooperative staff. In short, I feel I don’t receive adequate compensation in most every front at this company.

Well, if I have learned anything in the past year, it has been how to deal with the incompetency of an inadequate and uncooperative staff, which is probably a lesson I’d have to learn sooner or later anyway.

At least I haven’t given in and joined them with that mentality. Then I would have really lost.

But I know there is more out there, and I know it is time for me to learn something new. It’s time for me to shake up my routine.

Change is hard for anyone to look forward to; when you get used to something, it just gets ... comfortable. Change can be scary. I’ve been at this company longer than I’ve been in college. The pay is pretty good. It could be worse.

Yes, I suppose it could be worse. But it could definitely be better, and I know that if it’s going to get better, I’m going to be the one that will make it that way.

Diary Entry, September 15, 1997

M. just came into my office with the most recent issue. She was so excited about how it looked, and she was going on about how the printer did a good job, and she’s so pleased. And she keeps saying things like “Next year will be better,” and “We’ll have a lot more ads next year,” and “We’ll have a lot more time to work on it next year,” and I keep nodding my head and agreeing with her, but I know the issue she just handed me will be the last issue I do, at least while I’m employed here.

So now I sit here, grinning and bearing it, trying not to tip anyone off, trying not to burn any bridges. Who knows, maybe they will want to freelance out one magazine to me, have me work on it at home, on my own time. Maybe I’ll have the best of both worlds for a while.

Maybe it’s not like this everywhere. Maybe after travelling, I’ll find a company that thinks it’s a good idea to pay people what they’re worth. Maybe I’ll find a place that judges people on merit, and not on how they dress or if they’re gay or not or how well they play golf or if they can hold their liquor or how many friends they can make - or should I say fake - with the staff.

Or maybe I’ll win the lottery and become independently wealthy. Oh, I guess that means I’ll have to play first. Well, I hate throwing away money, and I know I’d have to work anyway, because as I said, I love my job, I do my own work in my spare time just to keep me sane.

Maybe I’ll get sick and tired of working for someone else and go for another change altogether and start my own company. One where I produce a product with content I care about, that looks as good as I know it can look.

Anybody need a job in a year or two?

Diary Entry, September 17, 1997

I make it through the day here by thinking about October 17th, the day I put in my two week notice. It’s one month from today. Thirty days from now I will be telling the owner and D. S. that I’m putting in my two week notice.

Thirty days from now I’ll be telling everyone in production to come into my office, so I can tell them I’m leaving. And D. J. will be pouring champagne for me, and I’ll be telling everyone about my travel plans, and I’ll be laughing and smiling.

And when S. finds out and comes to me and asks me not to go I’ll say too bad, that apparently they can’t pay me enough to stay here, and if she asks me why I’m going I’ll tell her it’s because I can’t stand incompetence and idiocy and whim-worshipping and I deserve something better because I’m talented, hard-working and intelligent.

And I bet she won’t even get that she is the incompetent, whim-worshipping idiot.

And C. will be glad that I’m leaving, because then she can take over the design of this magazine, even though she’s not a designer or an art director but an editor, and a bad one at that.

And I’ll look at J., the main saleswoman for this magazine, and I know she’ll be thinking two things:

1. if the magazine looks worse it will be even harder to sell, which will make her near-impossible job of selling crap even more impossible, and

2. she’ll be jealous, because she wants to get out of here too, because this place places constant barriers in front of any attempts to do your job and she’s underpaid and her job depends on there being a good product when editorial can’t write to save their lives.

And I’ll feel bad for J., and I’ll want to tell her to just get out of here, that working at McDonald’s has to be better than this place, you’d have to have more pride in your work any place else than here.


I keep trying to think that it’s not that the weak and stupid are able to beat the intelligent and hard-working and rational. That I’m not leaving because they beat me. That I was wrong. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s that the intelligent and rational human does not need to put themselves through this kind of abuse. I have to make a point to actively consciously remind myself of this. There is nothing to gain from battling those who do not listen to reason. Consider trying to have a rational argument with a religious fanatic - they are not coming from a rational base, so the foundation of their argument is not sound, even though they don’t question their foundation and accept it as true. And therefore they won’t listen to your argument, no matter how much reason and logic you use. They’ve rejected that line of thinking. They’ve rejected thinking.

The ignorant are different from the stupid, because being stupid is not a statement on whether you choose to be that way. Being ignorant, the way I see it (I know this is not in the definition), means you choose the option of being an idiot; you ignore the better choices; you choose irrationality over reason. You’re stupid because you weren’t educated, but you’re ignorant because you choose not to be educated, that’s the difference that I see between the two, and that’s how I use the word ignorant. Being ignorant is detestable. Being ignorant, since it is a choice to avoid rationality, cannot be rationally argued with. Reason won’t change their mind.

So if the choices are: 1. fighting a losing battle, not because reason is not on your side, but because you opponent does not recognize reason, or 2. leaving the battleground, so you don’t have to bang your head against a wall, then I guess choice number two seems to be most logical.

D. J. refers to working here as “pounding nails into your cock.” It’s extremely painful and also absolutely pointless.

Kind of crass, but well said.

So I just keep thinking, “Thirty days.”

So I now embrace change with open arms, I welcome it into my life, and I keep my eyes focused on the future, to make the best out of what I have and what I’ve learned in order to face the challenges I give myself in the year - and the lifetime - to come.

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