Thursday, October 05, 2006

Why Blogging is going to get me fired one day

I have known for some time it's almost inevitable that one day I will pay the price for the fabulous indulgence that is blogging (I'm including my video activity under the broad heading of blogging). It's not so much that I'm doing anything particularly wrong but the job market here is small, conservative and gossipy. Staying pseudo-anonymous helps but at some point someone will put the effort into unmasking me. I've pissed off Nazis, Alan Jones fans and probably heaps of others I'm not even aware of. And then there are the "fans" who develop an obsession with who's behind the mask (this is mostly a YouTube thing).

Being "dooced" is a bigger issue for me than it is for some simply because I get paid reasonably well and I'm risking all that. Coming to terms with this meant I had to make a choice: be willing to lose my job and potentially suffer a reduction in earnings long-term or give up blogging. Fuck that shit! I'll always be able to work enough to get by and money alone simply isn't as fulfilling as being Mr Angry. Mr Angry is good for my health too, I'm sure: spraying bile online at every fucking moron who deserves it has definitely made me much less angry in everyday life. I've put off a stress-induced stroke by at least 5 years.

Plus, I'm taking the long view. I truly believe I can develop something out of all this mucking about that can be a new career for me. There are a number of ways I could go and now that I've seen these possibilities there's no way I'm giving them up because of some conservative fuckwit.

I like comparing this whole "Web 2.0" phase of the internet with the dotcom bubble of the 90s (me and about a million other people like doing this). I missed out completely on getting in the door on any big deals the first time around and I don't intend to make the same mistake this time. I reckon we're at about 1998 right now - serious money is coming into the game but it isn't totally insane yet. 1999 is where it gets insane and 2000 is where it all comes down in a screaming heap. I truly believe that there doesn't have to be a horrible crash this time but just in case, I want to achieve something before it's too late.

Without even planning to, I've managed to come into contact with some very talented and (possibly more important) connected people. I'm more than a little amazed that they're interested in working with me, but there you go. Doing the daily "Angry News" bulletins was an idea I had that might be translatable into other ventures. I started doing it before I was officially asked to something similar because it's a challenge for me in two ways. One, doing it every day takes quite a bit of discipline. Two, telling any sort of "story" in a video in less than a minute is very hard for me. I can easily do nonsense pieces less than a minute long but when I'm trying to get a point across I always want to go into detail. This skill is an important one for me to develop.

Anyway, all of the above was meant to be a one paragraph introduction to the following. Reasons I know blogging will get me fired one day:

1. Someone at work will find out. It isn't that what I'm doing online is actually breaking any rules or directly insulting anyone I work with. I just think discovering it would freak out people I work with for two reasons: one, they would find it hard to separate the "real" me from the scary freakishness that is Mr Angry. Two, even though I haven't mentioned them in the blog so far, I think they'd always be paranoid that I would mention them eventually.

2. I'll forget I'm at work when dealing with a stupid email. I'll answer some bozo at work the same way I'd answer a bozo in blog comments or on YouTube. The response would start with "what the fuck is your problem?"

3. I'll forget people at work don't always appreciate direct honesty. I don't pull any punches online. I call a spade a fucking shovel. This doesn't always go down well at work. I can just imagine the day at work when I'm a little tired and/or distracted and someone asks me what I think of their suggestion and I'll answer "that's the stupidest thing I've heard in ages." I actually did something like this a few years ago. It's amazing how career limiting it is to tell the boss's brother that his idea is stupid.

4. I'll walk into a meeting humming the Angry Aussie theme music. This isn't too bad in itself but it always puts me in the "zone". Someone will ask me what I'm humming and I'll be in a gangsta frame of mind which will lead me to respond with something like "It's the Mr Angry theme! You'd best represent beeatch!"

5. It won't seem worth it to not get fired. We all have days at work when we fight down certain urges that we know would get us fired. I can imagine a time when everything's going really well with blogging and at the same time everything is really shitty at work. Some dickhead will push me too far at work and I'll decide it isn't worth it any more. But, damn, I'll go out in a blaze of glory. I'll make sure everyone hears me say "You know what? You're a fucking moron and I don't feel like putting up with your shit any more."

I'm really hoping I maintain complete control over things and actually quit on good terms when the time is right. But you know what? The single best thing to come out of blogging for me is the crystal clear revelation that some things are way more important than scrabbling for a living in a "regular" job. Life's too fucking short to worry about crap like that.

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