Claustrophobia is a terrible thing. For some it's a nuisance that results in slightly faster breathing and agitation, while for others it can cripple them to such an extent that a primal part of the brain kicks in and the only thing that matters is escape. Since moving to Japan I have found that I suffer from this little issue from time to time, though it's usually controllable. Aside from the occasional disagreement, I've yet to lash out and start attacking people. But when the world feels like it's closing in on all sides it's hard to keep the unfounded desire to strike contained. It's classic fight or flight, and I only fly when I'm wrong.
Over the last few months I've become much angrier at the daily patterns that trap us, particularly when working with my current employer. The work schedules are awful, arranged in such a way that there is very little time to have any regular family time. The benefits are minimal. The room for advancement non-existent without managers leaving the country or dying. The more I think about what I want to accomplish in the next five years, the more I see that I chose the wrong place to work. There will never be enough money to pay for the mortgage. There will be very little money to raise a child with, let alone two or more. I would need to put in over 20 years of service before finally earning the amount I want right now, and by the time I reach 20 years of service I'll need even more to cover the cost of my kids' education1.
How about the additional revenue through DeMatigo? Well, I'm currently batting 0.185 when it comes to getting paid for my work, and even less when it comes to receiving timely responses from clients for materials. By timely, I mean they answer within 7 days. Hardly timely for me, but I digress. So, because nobody is paying for work, I am stuck using a computer that overheats when running only Evernote for 35 minutes to do all of my development work on. It's gotten so bad that there are two iced gel packs under the system to keep it cool enough to not lock up for a few hours.
Can I find good, paying work elsewhere in the area? I sure as heck hope so, but I've yet to find any leads. Can I get paid for the work that I've completed but not yet shipped? I sure as heck hope so, but I've yet to hear back from a lot of clients. Can I get a new machine that would allow me to develop more software for myself to put on the various App Stores in the future? Who can say for certain.
I'm locked in.
On all sides.
And I want so very much to get out.