Thursday, April 26, 2012

Approaching the End of Working Life

I just can't face any more contract concessions at my workplace. The last negotiations didn't go well. They began with pink slips from Gavin Newsom and his city cohorts and ended with pay cuts and furlough days. Only the MUNI transportation workers resisted the bad deal and voted no on workers shouldering the financial pain. 

I fought hard against the concessions but, like a cat who refuses to go gently into her box to be taken to the vet, all that kicking, scratching and stretching out my claws to hold onto the sides was wasted energy, I knew that, in spite of my best efforts, I would wind up in that box. It was easy to see that the people pushing me there were not only bigger and stronger but had all the power and authority on their side. 

So, I accepted the vet and life in the box and it's really not that bad because I am in the company of the finest of felines. Knowing this has served to make my demotion back into the class from which I came not only tolerable but a starting point for organizing. 

With new contract negotiation going on combined with the fact of my advancing age and a far more oppressive workplace, I have decided to bid adieu to the working world and spend the rest of my days writing, dismantling capitalism and traveling. I am so lucky to have a pension, and eventually I will also have social security, so that I can make this decision. 

At first, the thought of breaking with work was hard, what would I do with all that unstructured time? Now, it seems difficult to believe that I was able to make the demands of work palatable at all. In psychology this process is called resolving cognitive dissonance. 

I will be a retired librarian soon. They say when one door closes another opens, so I'm looking forward to not being stuck in that proverbial hallway too long. My conscious keeps repeating, Close the door, Joan, close that goddamn door! "Blow out your candles, Laura...and so goodbye."