I started writing this piece some time ago, as with many of my entries, but most of the ideas expressed herein remain true to the form they took when I first began to approach the idea.
I suppose that’s a good sign. But things have also evolved a bit, and that’s a good sign as well.
I can also now say that I may finally have arrived as a minor internet celebrity – about a week or so ago I received my first marriage proposal through the blog email address.
I responded to the person with a personal email declining her (or his) very gracious offer, and I won’t further belabor the issue, but I thought it worth mentioning as it has been on my mind when I think of the blog.
The Internet is a strange place…
But this is a piece about control, and the Internet is quite clearly outside of the control of anyone.
Part of living in human society means that you have to surrender control of some aspects of your life to other people, processes, governments, corporations… entities beyond your influence.
No matter how much one embodies the qualities of Dominance or how much of the Domliest Dom of them all you may be, there are parts of your life that are not yours to control.
As you might imagine, for a control freak like me, sometimes this causes hiccups for me.
It’s always part of a bargain though… Control is yours, like anything else, and you are coerced, compelled, or even just sometimes asked to trade it away for other things. You trade some of your personal liberties for safety when you agree to abide by the laws that we have in place to prevent crimes of property. I give control over my ability to drive my car when and how I want to in order to have access to the public roadways. These are mostly things that we’re used to and things that don’t intrude upon our thoughts very often, so it’s not as if I feel their loss most of the time.
Right now I’m having a bit of an issue though.
I’m too attached to my job.
One of the ways in which I’ve always been able to exert more control over my life is through practising the concepts of non-attachment. If I don’t become attached to things, people, concepts, preconceived notions.. well, then they can’t be used to control me.
But I’m not perfect.
It’s almost always been the case that I’ve had a great deal of liberty with respect to my job. My skills are in high demand, and there are more jobs to be had for people with my abilities than there are people with my abilities, so I’ve always had the freedom to just quit and find another job – generally equally as good, often actually better.
I don’t even really like my job. It’s not particularly important work that I do, but it pays well, and that’s part of the problem. I could be doing something more meaningful or more interesting, but if I were, I’d have to give up some of the ability to control my own life and choices that I’m provided by having access to more money.
I also have a lot of schedule flexibility with my job. I could take a more interesting job somewhere that would probably pay me as much, or at least a similar enough amount that I wouldn’t feel the loss of the income too acutely, but if I were to do so, I’d lose some of my ability to control my schedule.
On the surface, these are good things. I have the ability to control my schedule and I make enough money at my job that I’m able to finance the things that I want to do when I exercise that schedule flexibility. I can, quite literally, do almost anything that I want to, almost any time that I want.
That is a huge amount of control for one person to have, and I’ve become quite attached to it, and it’s beginning to make my unhappy.
That’s what attachment is, you see – it’s unhappiness. When you become attached to something, you vest your future happiness in having that thing be present, and when that future is threatened, you become paralysed in your attempts to hold on to it.
So – I’m too attached to my job, and this is starting to become a problem because when you fear the loss of something, you will do things that you wouldn’t ordinarily do in order to keep it.
My boss is a particularly loathsome type of individual. She is operating at the level of her incompetence, and because I have held positions in other companies which are directly superior to her current position, because I am older than she is, and because I occupy a higher pay grade than she does, she feels extremely threatened by my existence. I am reasonably certain that she has tried to have me fired or transferred more than once, but unfortunately for her, the company puts as much or more value on me than they do her, so we are stuck at an impasse.
Add to this the fact that she is extremely passive aggressive and completely incapable of dealing with someone who is very open and assertive like myself, and we end up with the situation we have now where she avoids me in person, talks about me behind my back, and attempts to undermine my authority and position through subterfuge.
I must admit, I do experience a small amount of schadenfreude every time I hear about one of her efforts to undermine me going awry, but the fact of the matter is that none of this shit should be happening in the first place. I am her most capable employee, a natural leader who chooses not to lead in the office setting because I have no patience for the political games, and I would be more than happy to let her take credit for all of my successes if she would only get the fuck out of my way and let me succeed.
But… personal success is the only kind she has ever known and she clings to it like sinking ship because she is in charge of too many people and too many projects to actually be able to do the job and I made the mistake of offering to help.
And I really was offering to help.
I do not have to be Dominant in every aspect of my life.
In fact, coming out of a 24/7 TPE relationship that ended and finding myself in one that is more egalitarian, I am finding that I actually like not having to make all of the decisions, not having to lead every charge, not having to always be certain of everything. I still naturally stand in front, and I always (much to the chagrin of those who know me) speak up when I feel that I am right, and these are not things that I can or am willing to change about myself.
And so – every day at my job has become a new alpha contest with my boss.
The worst of it is, I want her to win.
I want her to take control, but I’m not going to just roll over and let her have it.
I recently re-took ‘The BDSM test’ and was slightly surprised to find that alongside the top two categories for which I am rated (Dominance and Bondage-giver) I am also extremely highly rated as Primal(hunter).
I don’t really think of myself in such a way, but when I allow myself to observe my interactions with other people, I can see it.
I naturally stand taller around people when I want them to listen to me.
I have a resonant voice and I’m not afraid to use it.
And, apparently, while I’m willing to acknowledge another as Alpha, I’m not willing to simply roll over and let an unqualified person take the mantle. In this case, the mantle was never mine, and I never (and still don’t) wanted it. She became my manager because my manager left the company, and she inherited me.
I don’t know how this situation will resolve itself.
In the past, being unattached to my job, I would simply leave in a situation like this – washing my hands of the issue, metaphorically speaking, and letting the incompetent lead the incompetent. But now, I’m attached to this job. I am not willing to so easily give it up, and while I do strongly believe that happiness can be achieved through non-attachment, I also believe that some things are worth holding on to and fighting for.
I may be making a terrible decision here, but I’m going to hold on to this job, and I don’t think the intolerable situation between my boss and I will resolve itself until one or the other of us leaves the company through choice or force, and I don’t intend to be the one to flinch here.
I am Rant.
I am usually happy, and I am usually able to let the detritus of life slide off my back, but this time I’m feeling ornery.