Altruism: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Finally Friday night. Work is over for the week. It is a holiday weekend in the US and most of EMEA. The team deserves a break and so do I. We had a major outage last weekend due to another department making a change (which they didn’t fucking admit to). We’ve been getting our asses kicked by customers all week over it, and now we are ready to get drunk and relax. Systems are all back up and purring like kittens.

I sent everyone home early and put all projects on hold until Tuesday. We’ve had enough this week. The beauty of IT consulting is that it is only software and money, and neither of it is ours. None of the drama is real. No one is actually standing on the edge of a roof when they call us about an issue.

Sometimes I feel guilty leaving social work for IT. The work is almost exactly the same. Except that IT pays better, and no one’s life or emotional well-being is at stake. Tech support is almost the same conversation, with much less pressure on the outcome of the call. No one has a gun in their mouth.

I try to be a good boss. Help people when I can. Make sure they keep their jobs, are well paid and have time for their families.

I spent years working with acutely abused children by day and covering a suicide hotline overnight. Insane hours. Horrible pay, and no love for the effort. My first wife left me. We sent our night watchman to prison for sexually molesting the already abused girls in our care. Etc. Etc. Etc….needless to say I burnt out and bailed.

When I met T, I was managing a gaming store, but had recently also returned to the Children’s Home. They were shorthanded. I took the store manager job to keep my first wife from leaving. But it didn’t matter. She said it was about the money, but it wasn’t. She had met someone else. Once she was gone, I went back to work at the Home, but only part time. I didn’t want to give it up. I was hooked on the hero crack. This is why I’ve been so supportive of her at the animal sanctuary.

I Grok.


There was a quote on twitter tonight.

Beware of altruism. It is based on self-deception, the root of all evil. – Robert Heinlein

I disagree. Regardless of origin, there are two facts about altruism: #1 it exists #2 it benefits

Ergo the intent of the altruistic act is not a factor.

Like sexwork, the intent of the client does not change the fact that it usually benefits the sexworker. Not to imply of course that the client is an altruist.  it is just the same logic.


Ok enough of that rant.

Heading up to Chicago to see Charlotte tomorrow. I told T (and everyone else) that I am heading to my home town (an hour away) to hang out on the beach.

Relax. Breathe.

Saturday night we have reservations for Tapas. Sunday we hike at a cool forest preserve I found. It is supposed to rain, but not until late in the afternoon. This will be a good trip.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. instaphd says:

    I don’t disagree with you…and yet yesterday as I extended myself to try and help a client, I thought: no good deed goes unpunished. I haven’t figured this out yet but what do you think it means?


    1. uehobbyist says:

      LOL. My motto at work lately has been “don’t be helpful”. It is the curse of the empath. You can only provide a finite amount of help to a finite amount of people.. It costs you something each time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. instaphd says:

        Too bad I’m helpful as a profession! Even then there are limits. I get you on this curse of the empath.


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