Operation Achieve Anything: Day Two-Hundred-Eighty-Four, Dateline 10-11-2018

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None are more taken in by flattery than the proud, who wish to be the first and are not.
— Baruch Spinoza

Good afternoon crickets. Welcome to day number two-hundred-eighty-four of Operation Achieve Anything. I’m getting so fed up with this country and its greed and for reasons that nowhere near new as these issues have been building for years. This isn’t going to be a political rant, this is more of an issue that I have with banks, corporations, and all the other assholes that horde the wealth of this nation. This isn’t about wanting free shit, this is about not wanting to be charged extra just because you are poor.

Today, I received an email informing me that my paycheck was on its way. To my surprise, I found a second check coming my way for a bonus task that work offered that offered up an extra five bucks to fill out a five-minute survey. They do this quarterly, so I know it’s not much of a bonus, but it’s worth it since it’s such a simple task. In the past, these bonuses were merged with my main paycheck. This was great because the bonus then covered the three-dollars the payroll company charges to cut a physical check.

Yes, they do have an option where direct deposit is available for free, but I live paycheck to paycheck with money coming in only once a month. If you have lived in this situation, then you probably know first hand that if you do have a bank account while living this poor person lifestyle, service charges tend to pile up. Whether you’re charged for not keeping a minimum balance or charged overdraft fees for automatic payments that always get processed the day right before you get paid, for some reason, you’re constantly having to pay when you have no money to do so.

In this five dollar bonus check situation, I am not getting charge three bucks for this meager check and another three bucks for my usual payment. Then when I go to cash the check, from the back that cut them, which used to mean that they’d cash the payroll checks that they cut for free, I’ll then get charged an extra sic bucks for each check to fulfill getting paid. If I were to do so, that would mean I would have to end up PAYING four-dollars for my five dollar BONUS. It would also mean that over an hour’s worth of my work.

Then to add insult to injury, when you contact anyone to try to get any help all that you get is how everything is automated and out of their hands. I remember back in the day when I for entered the workforce where getting hired meant you were signing up for a partnership and weren’t totally treated like a cog. At least back then, companies had to pay for our training and baseline benefits, making us investments and not just some PowerPoint trained, no-benefit having, easily replaceable sack of meat that they treat more as a burden than an asset.

My current job takes at least a week to respond to any issue, and when they do, it’s an automated response with a reminder under the signature about how easy it is for them to fire you. Even in the notes that go out saying that the system is down and it’s all their fault end with the same notice about how many ways they can terminate you for breaking their many rules. Sure, it’s a little less personable in my case because I work at home along with people all over the world, but I used to get this same treatment back when I worked out in the real world. The real world incidents were actually worse because you could put a face to the person who doesn’t give a shit about you or your concerns.

This is the whole reason that I am so hell-bent on escaping the world where I need to work for others to live and will live in a van down by the river happily before ever giving in to work for the man again. At least if that involves putting on pants and having to leave my house. It’s not that I don’t want to work, being that whether or not I was work full-time, I’ve also been committing another full-time job’s worth of effort toward honing my craft as a writer throughout my entire adult life.

Why am I not further ahead for putting in so much work, you ask? Well, for one, my unacknowledged learning disabilities made it so that I didn’t take an interest in the technical side of writing until I already graduated and was on my own. I wanted to either be a stand-up comedian or a screenwriter, so even at first my logic was that no one would actually see my written words since I’d either be orating them verbally or the actions would be playing out on the screen. I always was self-conscious about my grammar and spelling, but these issues seemed to be common in both fields, especially at an amateur level where other amateurs are rating your work.

It wasn’t until I started this blog and publicly posting my words that it finally set in that I have no option but to figure it out how to resolve these issues. It also helps that this non-screenwriting style requires the need to be more playful with my words as opposed to scripts where we can only write what we see with the dialogue being the only place for flowery language. Since I strictly stuck to the screenplay format for over twenty years, my ability to write compelling content using standard prose needed a bit of work.

At this point, I feel like I’m at a place where I need a writing coach of sorts to help me cohesively combine all of my abilities. I say, coach of sorts because I’m looking for more of a two-way collaborative effort where I would give feedback on their work when it comes to concepts and outside-of-the-box solutions to story issues. So, I guess I’m looking for a creative buddy to mutually boost the level of one another’s work.

I guess this sort of leads us into the assignment from yesterday where I was supposed to start exploring yesterday’s quote of the day about how both flattery and insults come from people who have ulterior motives. As a shut-in who is trying to make it through this world with far less human contact, this is no longer a big issue, but I do indeed get the point.

Back when I was working in film I witnessed, and probably practiced this even more than I actually think. I wouldn’t say that people were totally phony, but there was a sense that some people were nice purely in case you had anything to do with landing your next gig, or better yet in case one of your projects actually hits making you a source of potential work. It’s also a very competitive field where your competition will point out your flaws to ensure that they continue to work.

This kind of queered my outlook of large-scale collaborations whether working in a creative or corporate field. At least I got to witness it all first hand, solidifying my dream to only become somewhat successful while working on small-scale projects with just the right amount of help from people who love what they do and are not concerned with the fame or fortune that draws many uncreative types into these creative fields.

Today’s assignment continues the flattery theme with a reminder that if you openly accept any flattering praise, you must also openly accepts any insults since the validity is the same. To cope with this, the Achieve Anything… book suggests to, at most, be aware of both while not letting either go to your head. The book goes on to share how those who are confident/competent continue to move forward either way. In my case, it’s the amount of self-hate within me that allows me to block out whatever anyone else has to say but the outcome is pretty much the same, where an outsiders opinion has never really affected my work.

Of course, I’ll delve more into what I mean when I check in tomorrow with my next update. Until then, it’s now time for me to sign off as usual by saying, good day and good luck to you and all of your projects.

Talk to you soon.

Sincerely,

The Wicker Breaker

P.S. Below are links to my novel, which I plan to promote as part of Operation Achieve Anything, as well as a link to where you can buy the book that is providing the structure to this project in case you would like to purchase it in order to play along.

Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.