Apr 262016

I’ve been told…again…I should go out and get a, “real job”.  Let us examine this premise for a bit.

The phrase, “real job” leaves me a bit confused.  What the hell is a, “real job”?

I have built and now host about 10 websites and monitor a couple more.  Granted, it’s not a lot of work, except for one in particular lately whom we won’t mention…ahem…but still.  Building and maintaining said sites does require some time and effort.  Updates, fending off hackers, traffic monitoring, it takes a lot to keep a website up and running.

I have a few apps running on the app store.   Trust me, learning to code and building said apps was one of the hardest things I have done in years.  I’ve not been doing any coding lately but next year I’ll be getting back into it.  Think it’s easy?  Go download a copy of Xcode, if you have a Mac, and take a shot.  Not to mention getting set up as a developer and keeping up with all the new gadgets and software.  Let me know how it works out.

I’ve written and published three ebooks so far.  Have you ever written and published a book?  There is a lot of work involved there, trust me.  A lot.  Think it’s easy?  You take a captain, a mermaid, an interspecies love affair, a pirate battle, and an evil developer, and try to form a book out of it.  (All based on a true story by the way.)  And then sell it.

And I run this here blog, for what it’s worth.  These sure-to-be-someday-award-winning-posts don’t write themselves.

Do any of these endeavors count as, “real jobs”?  Yes?  No?  I’m confused.  Or is a, “real job” only one where one becomes a worker bee, working for a corporate warlord, punching a time clock, and doing something physical which anyone looking at said worker bee would exclaim, “There is someone with a ‘real job’.”

Does a, “real job” only count when one is a part of the hive, working regular hours, getting a regular paycheck, and working for someone else?  Self employment don’t count?  Does a, “real job” only count if one comes home from a day of toil, covered in sweat, dirt, or whatever one is working in?  Somebody ‘splain this to me because I’m not getting it.

Oh, wait!  Now I think I see.  It’s all about money!  Right?  A, “real job” means one is earning ‘real money’.  A ‘steady’ paycheck complete with deductions for social security, taxes, and health insurance.  Self employed don’t count unless one is making lots of money.  Is this what a, “real job” is all about?  Making lots of money on a regular basis?  No?  I’m still confused.

I will admit, my current endeavors are not making ends meet.  Mostly it’s my fault as I haven’t been marketing my extensive, cunning skills in a way most others think I probably should.  In other words, I’ve been lazy.  But, I’ve had some distractions over the past year.  And right now I’m sort of cruising along until I can put together some more nefarious plans for the coming years.  The nice thing is only I gain or lose according to what I put into my toils.

Now, in the distant past, before I became enlightened, I did jobs as described above.  Over the years I’ve shoveled black top, worked in a school yearbook factory, slaved in a fiberglass plant, toiled in a scuba shop, been a scuba tour guide, drove around Florida as a scuba sales rep, stood watch behind a motorcycle parts counter, sold motorcycles, published a motorcycle newsletter, did a very brief gig roofing, (never again), worked in a kayak shop, repaired kayaks, ran my own paddle board rental company, led many a kayak and paddle board tour, and some charter work as a captain.  Do any of those count as, “real jobs”?

It was hinted if I did indeed get a, “real job” I could make enough money to live where I wanted and not take advantage of the good graces of family where I am currently.  Well, I won’t get into details of why I am here in Pa., it’s personal, but it’s necessary.  The money part is not important at the moment.

Whatever constitutes a, “real job”, I would like it ‘splained to me in great detail.  Cause I ain’t deviating from what I have been doing these past few years.  As I get older, and not so stupider, I’ve learned said computer skills so I could continue to earn some money without beating myself to death in some useless physical labor.  I’ve downsized and become mobile so I can travel, explore, and live in places where most people would never consider, because they are stuck in a, “real job”.

Gaining great wealth has no interest to me, although I won’t turn it down.  My needs are few and expenses are manageable without me having to put in endless hours behind a counter or otherwise making some uncaring corporate warlord even richer.  I’m accountable to very few and have control over where I can live and when I can travel.

Sure, I’m in a down time right now.  Money is tight and I’m restricted a little.  No big deal.  I’ve been in far worse situations in the past when I was working a, “real job”.  It’s way more better now since I’ve downsized.  The future is looking extremely good at the moment. 

Maybe there is a bit of jealousy involved.  Some look at those not unlike myself, digital nomads, travelers, people who are not bound by possessions, responsibilities, or “real jobs” and are resentful they didn’t have the guts to break away from the hive and take some chances.  They are afraid to leave the security of their homes, their careers, or unable to because of family obligations.  If they can’t do it, why should anyone else be able too?

Well, we make our own way in the world.  We make our own choices and nobody else can be blamed for where we end up.  I’m quite content with where I am now in life and what I am doing.  I learned money, while necessary, is not the be all, end all to life.  There is way more to living than earning a paycheck, working a, “real job”, until you cannot work anymore, then going off to retirement to wait to die.  If this is what a, “real job” is, you can have it.

I would prefer to have a, “real life”.

Capt. Fritter

  4 Responses to “What Is A, “Real Job”?…”

  1. Maybe you need to hang out more with people living the nomad lifestyle. There are lots of people out there supporting themselves on their “not a real job” jobs. Maybe start with Technomadia.com, WheelingIt.com, and IntersellarOrchard.com to see how people even younger than you are making a life instead of making a living.

    • There are some good digital nomad groups on FB too. It’s slowly coming together. Just need to get through the year.
      C. F.

  2. The definition of a “real job” has changed over the years….as with many things. Some people are just to stuck in their backwards ways to get with the program and understand that a job, a life, a home, etc do not necessarily look like they did years ago. Times – they’re a changin’!

  3. you have to always consider the source I think when people make comments like that.

    it probably comes from a deeply rooted sense of insecurity in themselves. or maybe they’re very old.
    too old to grasp this computerized age.

    for most people some generations ago… that is all people knew. get a job. work hard. pay your bills. retire. die.
    and they counted on social security to augment their retirement. and having a “job” meant social security.

    sadly … or not so sadly… however you look at it …
    the truth is… if it hadn’t been for my 25+ years of working at that kind of “real job!” LOL
    and pitching in payments to both my retirement program AND social security…
    I wouldn’t enjoy getting a regular amount to live on each month.
    some of us can’t live the wonderful way you’re talking about. not now anyway.
    and now I rather like that regular amount coming in every month.

    so … I do see both sides really.
    that being said…
    i’m not taking their side at ALL.
    what they said to you was rude and hurtful and uncalled for.
    nothing gives someone the right to say that to you.
    they obviously don’t know you very well and all you’ve accomplished.

    and if it was a family member… they often are sometimes the worst.
    they feel they can say whatever they want
    just BECAUSE they’re “family.”

    you should/could have said …
    “please. just mind your own business. if I want your narrow opinion i’ll ask for it!”