The futility of existence (and how consumerism solves it)

The world is way too random to plan anything long term. When insurance agents send me mails, exhorting me to think about long term plans, all I can do is smirk (and then delete the mails). If anything the year gone by has taught me, is that life is a chaotic process. I am well read on the topic of chaos, but to take a step back and see how it has played havoc with all of our lives, is enlightening at best and depressing at worst.

Jan 2020: Reports of a new virus making people ill start maing its way into western media

early Feb 2020: The virus has started making its way into other countries. Remember how media reported on the first few cases in every country? I can recollect the discussion around an infected woman who travelled to Dublin and then took a train to Belfast (or vice-versa). I remember the discussion around the son of a bureacrat who attended a party in London, got infected, travelled to Kolkata but failed to declare it to the West Bengal health authorities. Both the mother and son were villfied to no end in the media.

Late Feb 2020: We were asked to work from home and Ireland declared a lockdown. Remember the pitch fork battle fought over toilet paper in the aisles of Aldi?

March 2020: Every discussion was around Coronavirus. HR trying to uplift the spirit of all employees stuck at home through different virtual events. Piece of advice: Those events are fun when you do it among team members and not company wide. I don’t know who Elisa from Accounting is and I can’t be arsed to team up with her in a quiz with Amazon vouchers at stake.

April 2020: Reddit was filled with rants about how people were not following social distancing norms and how close to reaching the peak we were. If I recollect correctly, Ireland did not reach the peak until May. But more importantly, the radar project I was working, the project for which I moved countries, was cancelled and we were left in a limbo.

May 2020: More work from home, but now fatigue has started to creep in. I got allocated to a project in which I had no interest.

June 2020: Signs of unlocking

July 2020: Unlocking of Ireland started in phases. Finally I could get a haircut.

August 2020: Work from home continues.

September 2020: I needed a new job and started looking for one.

October 2020: Was busy with an internal conference at Analog Devices. Took my mind off the distressing state of affairs.

November 2020: Cases rising –> lets lock up people in their homes. Fuck civil liberties. We, the elite Government, completely mistrust the people and we have this inherent need to protect people from themselves.

December 2020: Accepted the job offer in England. Started going out with Ciara, probably the best thing to have happened to me in sometime.

Jan 2021: Started packing to leave Ireland. Meanwhile cases exploded exponentially.

Feb 2021: Left Ireland and came to England.

March 2021: Same work from home but in a different country.

April 2021: Unlocking of the new country, but what could I do with the new found freedom, besides getting a haircut? I am a loner deep down and changing countries frequently does not help.

May 2021: Got my first dose of vaccine. Ciara comes over.

June 2021: Back to being alone. Got my second dose of vaccine yesterday.

Could I have predicted any of it, or any of the insurance agents predicted it? I doubt.

But what has kept my sanity all these while? Amazon (not Amazon Video). I have bought so much of stuff over the last few months and it felt like the boxes from Amazon were the only thing I could really look forward to.

“Oh but your job is so interesting!”

“Boohoo. I have been working long enough to know it does not matter really.” I mean, sure, I love my job and cannot fathom doing anything else. But to be fair, my biggest motivation to keep getting better at my job is the moolah the experienced folks in my industry make. And the job security that comes with it. As easy it is to replace an experienced software engineer with a younger grad, it is hard to do that for an experienced circuit design engineer. Do you know why? Because industry does not share its knowledge with the academia (not that the academia is very interested either) and you cannot fire up an IDE to learn stuff on your own.

Its physically hard for me to type this out, but I am now a card bearing member of the great consumerism culture. Capitalism claims yet another victim.

Having money means I can overcome most of the problems life throws at me. But it also means I am forever beholden to a 9-5 job (Well its more like 8-6 for me with a half an hour lunchbreak). Sure I can risk starting my own business, and in the remotest possibility that I am successful, I can cash out and live the rest of my life out of that money. But then if you know me personally, I cannot live without a hustle, I thrive in high stress environments.

All that for Amazon delivery boxes to keep you company in your loneliest times.

“What about family? Family gives purpose to one’s life?”

Discussion (read: rant) for another day 🙂