Infamous

Sometimes I forget just how infamous I really am.

When I study my behaviour, actions and history, there is no denying the reality that what I’ve done and continue to practice will always make me infamous. There is quite literally too many unique aspects of me to ever fade into obscurity.

There is no real way to write this rambling essay on myself, without sounding arrogant and unbearably self-centred, but understand that, this is the only way to truly discuss the problem with being even slightly influential.

Leadership roles have thrust on me ever since I learned that taking charge was the only true way to gather 12 unruly teenage boys in a quiet Chinese restaurant and get the orders completed for the poor waiter.

This initial taste of command, has evolved to a long litany of roles in which I’ve always been the “older brother”, the one who made all the big decisions and ultimately put a lot of other people at ease, freed from the burden of responsibility.

From ordering for my group of friends, to leading a festival, to even commanding total strangers who turned up to work as labourers for an event, command seems to follow me around.

Throw in a penchant for military style clothing and styling, a no-bullshit attitude and a competitive streak that dictates my workstyle has to be harder, faster and longer than everyone else, and you’ll find me a relatively unique character amongst many generic people.

There is no denying that my unique attributes and hardass attitude has given me a reputation amongst the community I work for. I have a tendency to scowl whenever I work, an indirect result of me focusing on harnessing my inner anger to fuel my work. Without that inner anger, I would not be able to achieve half of what I can do in a full shift.

The sheer efficiency at which I work out, has often exhausted and surprised by bosses, who struggle to find tasks for me to do once I’ve completed their list in shorter time than expected.

But that is just how I operate. I like doing all my difficult tasks at the beginning of the shift, so I can relax later. For me, work is a sprint, not a marathon and I like how it feels to know that my final 2 hours out of 8 can be done at a more relaxed pace.

However, in the off-chance that I do need to maintain that speed, my anger within will sustain me throughout the entire workload.

Fast and furious. That is a surprisingly apt way to describe me at work. Everything is done at a swift pace and there is an undercurrent of rage behind every movement.

It’s just something I learned as a younger man. Being happy wasn’t a good mental state to be in. Tapping into the darker elements of my personality was something that could be sustained for much, much longer period of time. It’s helped me to mentally focus on the job at hand and get past all the bullshit that any job has. Whether it’s a terrible manager, a rude customer, an angry protestor, an irate food vendor or just an idiot who wants to waste my time, having a deep well of anger that I can tap into, allows me to control it more and not lose control.

I suppose the fact that I don’t bother to hide this darkness within, that I actively drink from the well of anger, is part of the reason why I am infamous. The scowl, the military precision, the undercurrent of rage bubbling beneath every action … it’s no small wonder so many people in the community have heard of me, yet lack of the courage to come up and test my mettle.

I suppose the rumours of my temper, lack of patience when it comes to idiocy and overall recalcitrance doesn’t help. In many ways, I’m still atypical of young, angry men who have the potential for great violence, despite their stable upbringing and natural luck.

You know the sort … the ones who fall in with bad crowds, develop a fixation for lost causes and are more eager to lash out than talk things through. Boys who are unnecessarily rebellious, more eager to stir up trouble than toe the line and are often a strain on society than an asset.

I’ve never really grown past that side of me, and it’s reflected in how the community at large views me. They don’t know how thoughtful I can, how considerate or kind. All they see is an angry individual, whose angry demeanour is only matched by his lack of respect towards his elders and is stubbornly headstrong and fractious.

I’ve unwittingly cultivated this persona for so many years and allowed it to grow to mythical proportions that it’s now out of my control. My name is synonymous with a reluctant, ruthless and rebellious leader who has little time for politics, interpersonal problems or anything that gets in the way of the job.

But that is essentially true. My leadership style is brutally direct and straightforward. It doesn’t bother with ego, feelings, emotions or politics. I simply do not have enough time for it. I suppose, it’s why many people don’t view me as their friend afterwards, because why would they?

I used them as tools to an end, and they did the same to me. It keeps things simple, professional and efficient. Whatever their personal lives and problems are, I have no interest, unless it will directly affect the outcome of the task.

That impersonal touch to my leadership style though, ironically makes my personal moments all the more touching and raw when they do appear. The people under my command see it like a glimpse of the man behind the tough armour. They appreciate the nanosecond of vulnerability, before the plates of armour close up again and they are confronted with a tough exterior once more.

But it makes for a very pleasant work environment, one in which people can truly just focus on their task at hand and ignore everything else. Under my command, it does not matter one bit where, who, what or why you came to be. All that I ask for, is for you to not be asshole to the other team members and do your job.

Your identity is stripped down to the tasks you have been assigned to and how competent you are at delivering them.

There is a reassuring feeling about how much I don’t care about your personal problems. Because under me, you can put them aside and just focus on the job at hand. Life is simpler, easier and much more satisfying because you can actually achieve something under my supervision.

That is the base appeal behind my infamous style. Because beneath all the anger, the scowl, the ruthlessness and dispassionate judgement, is a place where you can actually thrive.

But you have to put in the work and those who aren’t brave …. will never see past the surface level of my reputation and understand why I inspire such loyalty.

I know that I am infamous amongst the community, not just for being my father’s son, but also because I’ve carved a much darker slice of history for myself. To know that my name is held in the same regard as many other prominent community members, but with a much fearsome caveat is something that I’m oddly proud of.

Because in this life, amongst so much uniformity, I always strive to be unique and divergent. I hate being lumped in the same category as everyone else and to be as distinct as I am, even amongst all the more accomplished young people, is ultimately a good thing.

It’s still strange knowing though, that at one point, I was disparaged, mocked, disrespected and cursed for my actions by hundreds of people. I suppose I should be thankful that all my experience and mental training prepared me for such a moment and all that toxicity rolled off my back like water to a duck.

It also helped that my opinion of the community I’ve served for many years, was quite low and due to my inherently rebellious nature, I’ve always held people in contempt until they’ve earned my respect.

So, in a lot of ways, I only added to my dark reputation. I still stood tall, a proud insurgent against everything they threw at me.

At the end of the day, no-one controls me nor will anyone ever come close to doing so.

If that is what I am known for, then let it be heard everywhere.

~ Damocles.

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