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In the beginning I would piece things together. Collecting the details from myriad sources, learning by collection, achieving by aggregate. I had no knowledge of my own. Even the bits I collected were themselves recycled, the distillation of true know-how; satisfying nonetheless.

Organizing, sorting and absorbing are a specialty of mine. Systems emerged, patterns formed and reconfigured themselves over and over. At some point I was good enough to get a job doing it, without education or references. Budgets, deadlines and of course the magical paycheck amped up the pace. I started drinking coffee.

My job was silly putty mashed down on the employment section and stretched, stretched. Yet I hungered, my satisfaction chomping at the bit. They were piling it on, and I welcomed it. No task was impossible with the Internet. Before long I started to really sink my teeth into meta-work. You know, the bureaucratic bullshit that facilitates large systems. Processes.

I could have been a manager, but I see people as better at defining problems, and computers as better at solving them. So I implemented software, a lot of it, to improve my own efficiency. Computers make wonderful bureaucrats, so I had an army of them. Sure I talked, people nodded, congratulations! But my elation was invisible, my work a solitary achievement.

Over time experience tempered my will. I got comfortable and bored. All the different directions and responsibility were interesting, but inevitably the novelty eroded. Part-time assistants picked up much of the inevitable drudgery, but they were the bandaid on the amputee. Human error had finally caught up with innovation. Planned future improvements were depressingly lateral.

Next, the jitters. Knowledge was the clutch of my mind, and it was slipping. More precisely the clutch was the inverse of my knowledge, because the more I learned the more my mind revved. Variations on a theme eventually left me powerless, searching for the perfect solution where none existed. Projects ground to a halt. Facts floated around my head imploring some resolution. Before long the facts seemed irrelevant and I was gasping for focus like a Buddhist monk who's just been jabbed in the stomach.

Time after time I revisited myself, questioning and reminiscing past enthusiasms. I moped and sulked and sat silently. I screamed and clutched at my head. I pondered all the age-old conundrums as well as a few new ones. Time passed and I became a working stiff. Office Space started seeming less and less like a comedy. One day, eyes glazed over and boredly epiphanous I suddenly accepted myself.

Today I don't do a great job, but I don't do a bad job either. I go fishing on Saturdays and watch football on Sundays. I drink a lot of beer and install furniture for my wife. I could be happy but at least I'm content. This is zen I think.

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