Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Depressing much

It's no secret that I'm not particularly enthused by my current job. I'm on placement (e.g. my company is renting me out) to a big life office. The job title was "manual calcs" which, in the actuarial world, usually means a fair amount of juicy maths.

Actuarial maths doesn't really float my boat, but I figured I'd at least get some good old-fashioned brain stimulation. No dice. The job turns out to be basically data entry: extracting information from old systems and posting it to pensions administrators. Not exactly world-changing stuff.

One thing I don't mind about the job is that it gives you a certain feeling of connection. You read all these names, all these dry facts about people, and you wonder what their life is like. This lady went to Australia. Was it an elopement? This guy married at the age of 60. Did he finally meet the love of his life?
This young fella who was only in the scheme for a year. Did he find his dream job elsewhere?

Then there's the death claims. These quite often give a sense of connection, but for entirely the wrong reasons. Today I processed one that really got to me: a top-tier medical professional, lonely and living alone, committing suicide.

When you read something like that, you can't help but wonder: will that be my life? Will I live without love? Will I die with no-one to mourn me?

I'm 23 and I've been single for 5 years now, which time included my entire university career. I'm fairly sure that I'll be able to fall off this particular wagon given time, but it's not immediately obvious how to go about this. That's really disturbing, when you think about it: the only thing between me and a really depressing death claim is 40 years.

I'm not scared of kicking the bucket (no, really!). I just don't want to have too many regrets when it happens. The situation definitely calls for me to do something drastic. The problem is, I don't have a damn clue what.

Answers on a postcard.
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