Monday, September 18, 2006

Not Much Joy These Days

I used to really love my job. I still try to tell myself that I do... but I don't. Not really. Not anymore.

You see, I teach people how to kill other people... and I don't like it anymore.

In my career field, there are certainly thousands upon thousands of people that would literally kill to do what I do (and get paid well to do it). After all, I wear comfortable clothes to work. I have interesting and expensive guns to use; I have all the ammunition that I could possibly hope to shoot; I can shoot practically as much as I want.... and get paid for it. What more could a gun geek want?

Sure, I do this for Uncle Sam... that's supposed to make it better. It doesn't. I am supposed to feel good about it because if my students apply violence properly it may save their lives or the lives of innocents. I tell myself that the people that would get shot as a result of my teaching would be "bad guys". That helps... but only so much.

I'm getting tired of this.

I'd like to do something else. but I have a problem. I am 42 and all I really know how to do (that I can make a living at) is shoot. No kidding, you really CAN make a living like that. I'm what my Drill Instructors in the Marine Corps called a "natural shooter"... put a gun in my hand and I can make it work rapidly, efficiently, and accurately. It doesn't matter if it is a pistol, rifle, shotgun or heavy machine gun. It's kind of weird.

So today, I am going to teach a group of 20 Agents, Officers, and Deputies, how to most efficiently shoot people at close range.

My heart isn't in it anymore.

The hell of it that I am really good at what I do. No... I mean really good at it.

I guess a therapist would nod sagely at all of this and tell me that I am "conflicted" and that I need to "seek other employment options". S/he would be right, but that wouldn't mean a damned thing when the mortgage was due.

Anybody out there want to hire a nice guy to do odd jobs?

I promise to leave my gun at home.


Anonymous said...

How odd would the job have to be?


Anonymous said...

That is a conundrum, GF. There's some of that going on in our own household. The being professionally conflicted, not the only being good at teaching people how to shoot.

I suppose you could consider going back to school... or do as I'm doing: just gut it out and hope the joy returns.


Janet said...

I would hire you, but I don't think you'd like the commute

zanne said...

Wish I had a job for you--you've got a great heart! Keep listening to it. Peace my friend.

Gunfighter said...


Oddity wouldn't be a requirement, but oddity wouldn't rule a job out, either.


Gutting it out is most likely. The joy will likely retrun... at least, I hope it does.


It would be cool if we could work together... I could be a fellow subversive in the libraries of America.


When you get ordained, I'd be a Deacon in your church any day!


Elizabeth said...

I've got a house that needs to be finished from the remodeling I started.

I think you should be a stand up comic and have a routine about people who use the word 'conundrum.'

Good luck. I think most of us hit the confilcted stage now and again. At least there is something you're good at and you can make a living at it. Many people in this world don't have that.

Gunfighter said...


I couldn't do a comedy routine about people that use words like conundrum... I've been known to use the word, myself.

As for your home improvement issues, I am pretty decent with a drill, hammer, drywall, painting, and installing light fixtures & switches. I can install a new garbage disposal, snake out a clogged drain, powerwash decks and fences, and operate assorted mowers and weed-whackers. I'm a good cook (Chicken Marsala is my specialty), and old people, kids, and dogs like me. I can carry heavy things, and I raise nice roses.


Bent Fabric said...

You could get started on your novel. :) I'm sure your job has yielded many interesting anecdotes. Maybe you can write some short stories about your adventures and misadventures. Not a solution but it could prove cathartic.

Btw, I used to love going to the range in basic training. I was damn good. In the future I'd like to learn how to use something other than an M16.

Gunfighter said...


Unfortunately, the best anecdotes I have are things that I can't talk about.