Virtual pirate faces real life
by Kris Dibou
For years now, I have enjoyed a virtual life in paradise. I have been the poet, the pirate, the writer, the builder, graphic artist, programmer, cowboy, musician, editor, and game designer of sorts. All this and more; yet, in the outside world (which we refer to as 'rl') I have not succeeded at any of that.
I did not finish college and I am hypersensitive; the songs I write are good (most common comment 'you have a way with words') but not hit material. I am a square peg pretending to fit in the round hole.
So what has this virtual pirate learned that could help him out? Was my trip through the metaverse a long diversion, or were there lessons being learned?
The main asset I developed was a harder shell. Being submerged in a world full of diverse personalities and griefers enabled me to survive an hour and a half 'butt-chewing' at the office that I could not have gotten through before. I even stayed and worked for the rest of the day afterward, which is super-human for a lot of people.
But what of the spirit of the virtual pirate? The Captain Jack Sparrow/Captain Blood pirate? The bold adventurer taking on the world with his own set of rules (guidelines really..). Rescuing fair maidens, setting captives free, fighting injustice and breathing in his well-earned freedom on the open sea? Can this power be harnessed and used to enhance your rl? What would Captain Blood do?
Rare is the employer who will admit they are wrong and do things your way (and who is to say you are right anyway?). Can you retain your self-respect while being in a situation where you know you are right but have to do it the bosses way? Is your job worth your sanity and your health? What does the pirate do when he is backed into the corner with his enemy approaching from all sides? Does he lay down his sword, whimpering?
I would like to think he yells a curse and charges into death slashing and kicking. Perhaps the Jack Sparrow type will pretend to give up while plotting a subtler escape.
Let's take my current rl situation. My worst nightmare is to go into an annual review and get broadsided. Until recently, it has never happened; however, as I mentioned earlier, they finally got me.
Today is the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow.
I resisted my first impulse to curse and start swinging. Instead, I agreed to the terms of surrender while plotting my escape, for indeed, no prison can hold Captain Jack!
I summed up all my liabilities to see if I could get a mortgage on the house to consolidate them, then calculated the household income without my current position. Perhaps it is time to retire. I will determine how much I need to get by on and take on work to break even. Captain Jack knows that more treasure awaits; it is just a matter of time.
Fortunately, Captain Jack was a good example to follow, as later we learn that my job is secure and the whole situation was more a case of 'shit running downhill'. Never the less, be ready to sail at a moments notice, mateys; keep your cutlasses sharp and your wits about you, for the Royal Navy is always just one step behind.