Gotham Beacon

The ramblings of an aging Bruce Wayne

Once Upon a Time

Posted on 25 January 2013 under Personal.

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a little boy.

The little boy fell in love with computers when he was just seven or eight. That would be his future, he thought. To work with computers and change the world would be his ultimate goal in life.

He did really well in school until he reached the 10th grade. Faced with the pressure of needing good grades to get into university, he struggled to keep his previous track record. In the final year of that decisive cycle, he cracked and found himself clinically depressed.

After seeking professional help, the little boy realized that he didn’t give a damn about school. It was a means to an end and he would do just enough to get accepted at a good university with a good computer science program. And so he did.

Unfortunately, university wasn’t what the little boy expected it to be. He set aside those subjects that didn’t interest him and got passable grades, while devoting his time and attention to exciting topics on which he easily excelled.

Motivating himself to finish the degree was always a problem and, when confronted with a lack of academic progress, the little boy decided to get a job as a research assistant at his computer science department. He could work on something he’d surely like and be able to keep studying without the usual hassle of juggling work and school.

After two and a half years, the little boy still enjoyed the work he was doing, but felt unappreciated by his boss, as many of his co workers did. When his research grant came to an end, he decided to look for a new job in the corporate world. He would make more money and take part in exciting projects built with cutting edge technologies.

The first two years passed. The little boy bought a house and got married. He never took pleasure in any of the tasks he performed at the three companies he worked for. Instead of showcasing a strong background in cool technologies, he ended up working with outdated tech and platforms that led recruiters to believe he wouldn’t be able to work with anything else. The only good to come out of these jobs were the (hopefully lifelong) friends he made.

Then came his first true challenge. A close friend recommended him for a temporary position at one of the world’s greatest companies. After going through the recruitment process, the little boy got to work with his close friend and some very intelligent people. During the project, he had no doubt that the environment he was immersed in was what he wanted for his professional future.

When the project ended, the little boy returned to one of his previous companies. The work itself was generally dull, but he loved spending his days with those who were now his friends. That year went by slowly and his level of ambition was clearly dwindling.

With a new year came a fresh start. The little boy applied for a position at the cool company he had worked at before and, once again with a recommendation from his close friend, a recruitment process began. This time, it didn’t go as planned. So many things went wrong that day, but the truth of the matter is that the little boy simply wasn’t good enough to go through to the next stage.

The little boy was hurt. He felt unskilled, unaccomplished, unwanted. He felt worthless. He had blown what could have been a once in a lifetime chance to provide a better future for himself and his family. With his judgement clearly clouded by this experience, he decided to accept a job offer that would prove to be one of the biggest mistakes he would ever make in his life. The signs were all there, but he decided to ignore them. His spider sense screamed ‘no’, but he said ‘yes’ instead.

It didn’t take long for the little boy to realize that he was working for the kind of people who treat other human beings as disposable pawns in a chess board. After a year of hard work and having his confidence constantly abused, he was thrown out like an old rag doll. To this day, the little boy curses the group of people who did this to him and ardently hopes they may suffer excruciatingly.

Suddenly, the little boy became a father to a beautiful little girl. His daily routine changed. His goals for the future changed. His life changed. Every little decision was to be made with his daughter’s well being in mind.

Despite knowing that the kind of work being proposed wasn’t what he wanted or hoped for, the little boy accepted a job offer. The steady wage (given the economic situation of his country) was enough to persuade him. Although the daily commute is long and tiresome (he’d much rather spend that time with his family), the little boy went on to find a good team environment and a few nice add ons that he never had at other companies. The frustration of doing meaningless work is dealt with on a daily basis. There are more important things to worry about.

The little boy hasn’t given up on fighting for the future of his family, but keeping his feet on the ground is what he will do henceforth. This means he will give up on some of his dreams in order to achieve the remaining ones.

The little boy doesn’t have what it takes to work for one of the greatest companies in the world.

The little boy will hardly have the chance to do the kind of work he always wanted.

The little boy will surely have a steady career in a profession that has unfortunately disappointed him at every turn.

The little boy always thought that having an unsatisfying day job would be impossible to deal with. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he realized that he can still be happy by focusing on what’s truly important: his family.

The little boy loves his family.

The little boy will set aside most of his dreams, but he refuses to grow up. He still likes to dream. Being a little boy is nice.

The little boy will let others be grown men while he enjoys his life like a little boy.