15

votes

Do you have a boring office job?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 04, 2011 at 2:11 AM

If you have this type of job, are you thinking about switching careers?

For example, towards something that involves movement and social interaction, with minimal Microsoft and Adobe products?

I figure that eating paleo is just one bite from the big ol' paleo cookie. Living an interesting and varied life would be much easier without sitting (or standing) in front of a computer all day. If it's economically and logistically feasible, of course. My career may end up being interesting in comparison to other computer-bound jobs, but it's slowly sinking in that it is still, in the end, a desk-jockey job that will take up most of the waking hours in my life.

Essentially, I'm having cob house envy. How cool would it be to work out of your naturally built house doing something engaging with access to air and light? It's like going from conventionally-raised human to pastured free-range human!

alt text

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on April 13, 2012
at 12:44 AM

+1 Cool CC that you are selling retro computer games and for being self employed. How retro? I am an old gamer. I have keep an old windows 98 pc around just for playing my some of my old favorite pc games.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on May 05, 2011
at 03:42 PM

@PersonMan: Is being a stoic killing your ability to come up with jokes?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:24 PM

hey hippie: whats the best form of hunting for geese? Is it easy to clean them? I will be living off the land and want to kill some grub but have no hunting background. Kudos to you on the natural life. "live in accordance with nature"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Ever hear of TED KAZINSKY? you should check him out...I hear he was a PALEO-anarcho-primitivist...and a doctorate in math by the by...

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 05, 2011
at 02:34 AM

@Kamal: Thanks! I'm so glad that I made the change.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 05, 2011
at 02:34 AM

@Plain Jane Paleo: Thanks!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 05, 2011
at 01:02 AM

That is awesome. I hope to develop that attitude more in myself.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 04, 2011
at 11:04 PM

excellent!, this was exactly the sort of reference I was looking for this project: http://paleohacks.com/questions/21496/paleo-spaces-project#axzz1FftpjRGR

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on March 04, 2011
at 07:00 PM

I moved to an in-house position a little over two years ago and can only now, after a little over a year of following the Paleo diet, can I say things are not only better but they are good.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on March 04, 2011
at 07:00 PM

During my third year of law school in 2005/2006, I was working full-time and had just had an engagement called off. Oatmeal with peanut butter and apples (fructose, please) was the daily breakfast of choice after killing some chronic cardio about 6 days a week. Needless to say, I lost a ton of weight - not in a healthy way and believe I basically destroyed my gut. After two years of private practice, things had not changed.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 07:00 PM

How about "Do you have an office job that bores your musculoskeletal system?" :)

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on March 04, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Suggest removing the **boring** from the question. While I do long for a job that has a more physical nature, what I do is not at all boring.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 05:50 PM

I just realized that "Adobe product" could also refer to a naturally built house.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on March 04, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I would say this is not quite pastured but it is something like "cage-free." =)

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 04, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Thank you - it definitely is! Even on the days it makes me want to run away and join the circus, I still feel incredibly fortunate.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:44 PM

That was a courageous move, and I hope you get a great teaching job.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:41 PM

Your job sounds really cool, perhaps even worth the desk-tethering.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 04, 2011
at 01:40 PM

That is great! I'm looking forward to seeing how your talk goes.

1aee48328dafe2495d661b41e25aa83d

on March 04, 2011
at 01:36 PM

I love your description of the freedom and privacy that comes with working more independently. Best of luck!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 04, 2011
at 01:22 PM

Thanks Travis! I am super excited!

16ac9720030cbf0908f56da404ab01b9

(289)

on March 04, 2011
at 07:02 AM

My health started going downhill when I started studying for the bar exam in 2005, and practice hasn't improved it. I think it's an uncited reason that so many attorneys are unhappy. I hope they're at least paying you well. Your workouts sound terrific.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 04, 2011
at 03:40 AM

Amen to that phrase.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 04, 2011
at 03:39 AM

Awesome score on giving the talk yourself!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:58 AM

I used to have a job that used more of my brain and allowed me to travel more, but then I had a baby... There are definitely worse jobs to have and right now I am glad just to have one! One of my gym friends said if she won the lottery she'd put me through school. :)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:44 AM

Get back to work!!! , and yes, but don't know what I can do that makes comfortable money.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:20 AM

That's a pretty illustrative example. It seems like the job fits your family life and isn't too onerous, but your potential is elsewhere. Ah, how often life gets in the way of living...

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19 Answers

7
Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 04, 2011
at 01:51 PM

What you're describing is what I've come to understand as true integrity - the integration of our inner and outer worlds so that contradictions between what we value and how we live are dissolved.

I've come in and out of livelihoods and lifestyles that have been integrated to varying degrees, and I still dream of living with full integrity. None of my jobs would have ever been considered paleo, but I'm trying to make decisions that reflect the way I think about the world.

Examples? I recently moved from the urban core to a pretty extreme (strikingly beautiful) coastal village where I chop and carry wood, hike, and live a more "free-range" life. Right now, I do economic consulting work, but have managed to make it paleoesque by specializing in very targeted sectors - I've done work in organic food production, grass-fed beef, green energy, etc. I spend my work days talking with people and writing - I use a standing desk in the office and am trying to transition to working from my seaside home. I go to meetings dressed in a loin cloth made from the fur of animals I've killed...OK...that's not true, but fun to think about.

By the way, I love the natural house idea and took a straw bale / cob building course that I hope to use to build my own cave one day.

I realize none of this makes me very "caveman", but that's never my goal. Unless the wooly mammoth hunting industry sees a resurgence, I'm stuck having to use my neolithic brain to put bacon on the table.

5
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on March 04, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Yes, yes I do.

I work in a steel service center in the office doing various jobs and a lot of it is on the computer. I wore a pedometer for a gym challenge and was seriously shocked at how little I actually move! The job fits into my life pretty well though. I work 7am-3:30pm and can be at all of my daughter's sporting and school events. I can wear what I want, I show up in gym clothes three days a week and then change later. Sadly, it doesn't use much of my brain either.

I have thought about going back to school to do something that I would LOVE, but it's just not really feasible time and money-wise for my family.

In the meantime, I help out at my gym with presentations and nutrition stuff and setting up challenges. Also, my workplace just declared this WELLNESS MONTH and asked me to book a nutritionist to come in and do a Lunch & Learn and I talked them into letting me give the talk! (Expect a topic on this soon!) So I get my nutrition geek on when I can, but I wish it could be more.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:58 AM

I used to have a job that used more of my brain and allowed me to travel more, but then I had a baby... There are definitely worse jobs to have and right now I am glad just to have one! One of my gym friends said if she won the lottery she'd put me through school. :)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:20 AM

That's a pretty illustrative example. It seems like the job fits your family life and isn't too onerous, but your potential is elsewhere. Ah, how often life gets in the way of living...

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 04, 2011
at 01:40 PM

That is great! I'm looking forward to seeing how your talk goes.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 04, 2011
at 03:39 AM

Awesome score on giving the talk yourself!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 04, 2011
at 01:22 PM

Thanks Travis! I am super excited!

4
A5ead9de259ae72f2165ecb12f4ae764

(440)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:55 AM

I forgot where I read this but it fits me well - "Don't live to work, work to live".

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 04, 2011
at 03:40 AM

Amen to that phrase.

3
4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7

on March 05, 2011
at 12:59 AM

I have never worked in an office other than installing cabinets and other woodwork. I couldn't do it. I don't care about money that much. I lived years without any and it's not that bad. I have no kids to worry about so that helps. I work as a carpenter through the union for a few months to a year and yes it gets boring. Then get laid off until I find myself another job. I love it I get to Hunt, Fish, wild craft herbs, mushrooms, and berries to sell. Do side carpentry work. Follow my hobbies of making furniture and traditional archery bows( I'm steaming one for a bend right now!). I save money on meat by hunting, fishing, and picking up road kills. When I'm not working I stay on land I bought with some friends. When I am working I stay at my house in town that I rent out to friends. It wasn't always like this I spent 8 years working full time as a carpenter saving money and planning for the future with friends. Some day I hope to give up the union job altogether and just do side work and maybe furniture. But I can make the most money the fastest of anyone on the land so I'm sticking with it for now. I try not to stress about the what-ifs much. I hope to find future comfort in community rather then money.

PS I have built with cob a lot from benches and stoves to homes it's slow but beautiful

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 05, 2011
at 01:02 AM

That is awesome. I hope to develop that attitude more in myself.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:24 PM

hey hippie: whats the best form of hunting for geese? Is it easy to clean them? I will be living off the land and want to kill some grub but have no hunting background. Kudos to you on the natural life. "live in accordance with nature"

3
Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on March 04, 2011
at 04:33 PM

I am a fiction writer and a college prof as my 'day job' (bradbarkley.com if you're curious). Time has always been more valuable to me than money. This job(s) allows me to have the summer off, from early May until Sept. 1, and a winter break that runs from Dec. 15 to Jan. 31 or so. Yes, I use a lot of that time off for writing, but less so in that last few years. Last summer my wife and I became hang glider pilots, and will continue that training this summer. We also like to be outdoors, hiking, walking our dogs, or even just taking a long drive in the country. Becoming paleo has happened at a time when my life is changing in other ways, when writing books is less important to me, and playing, having fun, spending time doing things I love (though that also does include writing as well), being with people I love take top priority. I'm not sure if the change happened and then led me to to paleo, or vice-versa, but it doesn't matter...I'm happier.

3
95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 04, 2011
at 03:36 AM

I skipped out on the corporate office job 6 years ago, way before going paleo. It was killing my spirit and I was tired of the treadmill of inanity, blandness, and mediocrity. So I took a chance and I went back to school for my doctorate in applied math. It was a dream I didn't want to let slip away. I gave up a job as a software developer that paid quite well. It's been a long and challenging road to travel for myself and my family, but I'm almost done! I'll defend my thesis and graduate at the end of this coming summer.

So what comes after graduation? I'm sure teaching math at the college level will be a part of my future. I enjoy teaching because of the social interaction and the variety. There are new students each semester and new ways to think about presenting material. I feel that I'm doing something very useful. However, I don't want to travel the usual high-pressure academic path, which would be post-doc for a few years, followed by a tenure track job and the pursuit of full professorship, all under the publish or perish mantra. That really isn't for me; to me it's just another type of treadmill I don't want to be confined on. I imagine I'll land at a community college or a small liberal arts school that focuses on teaching.

If there's one thing I've learned about myself, it's that I require a lot of freedom while working and I need to keep that foremost in my mind at all times. I like the way I work now. Yeah, I sit in an office to do my thesis work, bit it's not the least bit boring. I can also go work out in the middle of the day if I feel like it, or I can take Tuesday off and work on Saturday if I want to. If something's puzzling me, I can go for a walk to think about it without some busybody or timeline flunky wondering where I'm going. If I'm feeling a bit burnt out, I can go to the art museum or go stare at the clouds for the afternoon and catch up later.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:44 PM

That was a courageous move, and I hope you get a great teaching job.

1aee48328dafe2495d661b41e25aa83d

on March 04, 2011
at 01:36 PM

I love your description of the freedom and privacy that comes with working more independently. Best of luck!

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 05, 2011
at 02:34 AM

@Plain Jane Paleo: Thanks!

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 05, 2011
at 02:34 AM

@Kamal: Thanks! I'm so glad that I made the change.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Ever hear of TED KAZINSKY? you should check him out...I hear he was a PALEO-anarcho-primitivist...and a doctorate in math by the by...

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on May 05, 2011
at 03:42 PM

@PersonMan: Is being a stoic killing your ability to come up with jokes?

2
7f4c64d6caca80c74a6c2d91efa3259b

(831)

on April 20, 2011
at 12:41 PM

Oh God yes!

And as if the job isn't bad enough, the 2 hour each-way commute doesn't help things. And that 2 hours is a minimum time, it can easily extend if there are delays on the mainline trains (often), or equipment failures or 'passenger incidents' - a euphemism for either medical issues or jumpers - on the underground (frequently). It has been known to leave work at 15:30 and get home at 23:00 - that's a distance of 45 miles!

I'm only there for the money. Not much around in my line of work where I live. If I could support my wife and 2 teenage boys (one at uni) by working locally, I'd be off like a shot.

2
B00fb3a3a8f29b381a0c3b606bcc4765

(270)

on March 05, 2011
at 03:59 AM

I work in support at a wellness company, and am surrounded by very nice people who are all very invested in the Food Pyramid. It's a little difficult some days to see the constant barrage of low-fat, low calorie recommendations for anyone with a BMI of 25 or higher. (or lower, for that matter.) Some phone support, some clerical stuff.

I enjoy having a job, but I come home and argue (loudly) with the statin commercials.

(ETA thank goodness I don't have to talk to anyone about food or diet, it wouldn't fit in well with the party line!)

2
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 04, 2011
at 01:48 PM

I am a contractor working on a Navy base, doing admin-type work. I work 7-4 with every other Friday off, which is wonderful! I definitely sit way too much, and should look into rigging things up so I can stand at my desk sometimes. On the plus side, my job is low-stress, and my building even has a small gym on the bottom floor with a couple treadmills, a decent pullup bar, and dumbbells; sometimes I take a lunch break and do a quick workout. We also have a decent cafeteria; sometimes I bring some leafy greens and dressing from home and add some stuff from the salad bar.

2
2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 04, 2011
at 11:12 AM

I'm self employed, I have an ebay business selling retro computer games and consoles, baby clothes, retro board games and anything I think is going to make money basically. Hopefully kicking off a paleo website in a couple of weeks too. I love the freedom, have always been a free spirit, I just don't do well in 9-5 jobs. Not very good at being told what to do either..... :/

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on April 13, 2012
at 12:44 AM

+1 Cool CC that you are selling retro computer games and for being self employed. How retro? I am an old gamer. I have keep an old windows 98 pc around just for playing my some of my old favorite pc games.

2
209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on March 04, 2011
at 11:00 AM

I work in a boring office job for a heartless global corporation. The only saving grace is the hours aren't crazy, there's not a lot of travel and it pays well. I've always wanted to go into business for myself but can't come up with what I would actually want to do and be able to support my family doing it. I'm willing to take the risk to go out on my own, but it needs to be something worthwhile personally as well.

1
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 05, 2011
at 08:37 AM

I'm a physical therapist. So, movement: check!, social interaction: check!, variation: check! So no reasons to complain here! My wife (also PT) and I work at home, so no commuting, only bringing the kids to school by bike, that's nice too. And not too much computer work. If I'm doing too much computer work, it is my own damn fault (or the fault of paleo websites).

Things that could be better: 4 days in the week are working until 9:30pm. On the other hand, we compensate that by getting some leisure time in the daytime, which is nice for walking and working out.

The thing that could make my job even better is if I could work outside. I'm thinking about that. I would like to give some outdoor classes of natural movement (?? la MovNat) for kids, or for adults. I already teach a lot of my patients to run barefoot/minimalist.

Although I really like my job, the one thing I can imagine getting bored of, or better, getting frustrated with, is that so much of the problems I see are perfectly preventable. Secondary prevention (preventing a problem from happening again, after the patients get better) is something I work on a lot. And yes, it is evolutionary based!

By the way, I really agree with Brad: I've always valued time more than money (he put that nicely, maybe that's why he is a writer).

That would be my paleo-work and lifestyle advice (besides the food/exercise/...): Make time to do what makes you happy. Because time = money <=> money = time. Use your money to buy time to do what you like and what really makes you happy.

For us that is, family and friends-time, preferably outdoors, walking and hiking, some vigorous physical activity now and then, play, relaxing, eating. Luckily not expensive things. Well, maybe that's not a coincidence: things that make jumans happy are not for sale.

Nice question Kamal.

1
05f5f61e6a889481323554393ae6192d

on March 04, 2011
at 02:16 PM

You know, you really hit home with that for me. I seriously wish I could do exactly what you're saying. How nice would it be if we could get a little 'country living' or just breathe a little fresh air instead of being packed in like sheep ;)

Maybe Some Office Jokes Will Brighten Our Day.

1
1aee48328dafe2495d661b41e25aa83d

on March 04, 2011
at 01:42 PM

I have a desk job, but compared to some of the awful temp jobs I had when I was younger, it's not boring at all. In fact, I love being an editor so much that for several years I felt that I had found my dream job, but lately I find myself thinking more and more about transitioning to freelancing full-time someday. My dad has his own business so I am not naive about what this can entail (it seems you can often you end up working more), but I am finding the possibility of becoming a ... pastured free-range human deeply appealing!

1
A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 04, 2011
at 01:20 PM

Yeah I do. I'm an accountant. It's not super boring, but it's not exciting!

I have it pretty good though. I work from home one day a week, and we only work a 35 hour work week.

I'm not looking to change careers, rather, I'd like to move up in the corporate ladder enough to have plenty of extra time and comfort money.

1
9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 04, 2011
at 08:16 AM

I work with adobe and microsoft products :( that doesn't stress me though. I have a freedom of how I structure my day, which is most important to me. I work from home - freelance, I could never go back to an office job.

1
6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 04, 2011
at 03:52 AM

I do creative work (write, edit and design) for a pro-female/anti-domestic violence nonprofit org. Most of the time the work is pretty awesome (today I interviewed a movie star; seriously), but it does keep me tethered to my desk, ass in chair, full-time. Fortunately I have a big window in my office, and I live close enough to commute (one hour) on foot. Sometimes I dream about getting off my leash. But when I hear myself describe my job, I think I'd be a fool to leave it.

Part of me would like to be a full-time author and design/volunteer/behave self-indulgently on the side. But I have worked for myself before, and I went a little nuts. Some structure can be good.

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 04, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Thank you - it definitely is! Even on the days it makes me want to run away and join the circus, I still feel incredibly fortunate.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:41 PM

Your job sounds really cool, perhaps even worth the desk-tethering.

1
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on March 04, 2011
at 03:19 AM

I'm a corporate and securities attorney who chases commas in 200 page documents full of fine print that no one really reads but laws require companies to assemble. I wear a suit and tie every day and sit for at least 10 hours. I work out with two of my buddies in a garage at 0600 4 days during the week and once on the weekend (0900). We generally CrossFit with a couple of days of Max Effort per Louie Simmons. We refer to it as "the best hour of the day" and there is no question about it.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on March 04, 2011
at 07:00 PM

I moved to an in-house position a little over two years ago and can only now, after a little over a year of following the Paleo diet, can I say things are not only better but they are good.

16ac9720030cbf0908f56da404ab01b9

(289)

on March 04, 2011
at 07:02 AM

My health started going downhill when I started studying for the bar exam in 2005, and practice hasn't improved it. I think it's an uncited reason that so many attorneys are unhappy. I hope they're at least paying you well. Your workouts sound terrific.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on March 04, 2011
at 07:00 PM

During my third year of law school in 2005/2006, I was working full-time and had just had an engagement called off. Oatmeal with peanut butter and apples (fructose, please) was the daily breakfast of choice after killing some chronic cardio about 6 days a week. Needless to say, I lost a ton of weight - not in a healthy way and believe I basically destroyed my gut. After two years of private practice, things had not changed.

0
3edf46d729f17cfff798b66eaa1ecb02

on March 05, 2011
at 06:27 AM

I basically do data entry all day; all sitting, all in front of the computer. I'm 3 months in but there is the potential for layoffs within the year due to sloppy budgeting. I sit at work all day and it is so dull and brainless that all I can think about is what else I'd rather be doing. I really wanted this job but erm. It was false advertising!

I've had other jobs that weren't so bad - I could do any other job if it kept my mind occupied for most of the day, or had some more interaction with people...I need the money because I'm trying to put myself through graduate school. Having second thoughts about that, too, but am going to try to maximize my studies so that I am able to apply them to programming or web design that I can do freelance and have more time and finish paying for school...

It's hard not to think about these things when your work is dull. I've been tossing around the fantasy of becoming a trainer or running a farm (not that I have ever done either! total fantasy, at least right now.)

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