If you track me on Facebook — and why would you want to do such a thing, anyway? — you would have seen several plaintive wails, the most recent of which, dispatched this past weekend, reads as follows:

As frustrations increase, my ability to deal with them decreases. Most of them are minor, but the cumulative effect is a serious reduction in my will to live. I'd like to think I deserve better; but that's not mine to say, is it?

Some things I can't do much about at all. The recent water-heater business was no good for anyone: apart from a week's worth of cold showers, which I wouldn't wish on anyone, the technicians had to make three trips out here to complete the repairs, which more than ate up the amount they got paid. (Admittedly, had they solved the problem on the first try, they'd have come out better, but I am not one of those snitty little twerps who glory in the embarrassment of tradespeople.) There really wasn't a lot I could have done to forestall the failure: mechanical devices, even those seemingly lacking in moving parts, can and will fail, sooner or later.

Nor am I likely to see any improvements in my health: I hesitate to say "This damn back surgery has crippled me for life," but clearly I'm not getting any better, and for someone who has long striven for self-sufficiency, this is a kick in the yarbles. This disability, such as it is, has played hell with my sense of well-being, and it's made doing my job substantially more difficult.

Then again, doing my job has become decidedly more unpleasant anyway, inasmuch as I have to deal with a customer base which thinks itself far more clever than it is and with a nonprofit organization whose sheer greed borders on legendary and whose New Ideas invariably prove to be ill-conceived. Besides which, any corporate entity which expects incoming data to arrive in two different formats, one of which requires hard copy, is never going to advance much beyond a garage-sale ColecoVision.

However, I can do something about this, if only to retreat from the battlefield. And so yesterday I let it be known at the office that I would be retiring some time in 2019. If I time this correctly, it won't be that much of a drop in income, at least until Social Security finally goes broke, and I figure the government will prop it up for a short time, if only to avoid the peasants with pitchforks. It's not like I'm going to be around for thirty or forty more years.

It might be argued that having announced a plan in advance, I may have somehow screwed the pooch. I don't think so. It's not like I'm awash in bargaining chips in the first place. And I am weary. Retiring may or not mean a few extra days before the mortal coil goes shuffling off to Buffalo, and it doesn't really matter either way; the last thing I want is to work right up until the day I die. Surely I deserve better than that.

The Vent

  1 May 2018

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