I admittedly have several problems, including emotional hypersensitivity and infrequent psychotic delusions. The former (emotional hypersensitivity) doesn't seem to affect my life very much aside from making it difficult for me to make friends. I'm actually pleasantly surprised I've been able to interact on this site as much as I have; I've already been banned from several other sites in the very short period of time I've been experimenting with social media. The latter (psychotic delusions) can be frightening, but I've taught myself to live with them fairly well.
The most life-destructive mental issue for me feels to me as if it's not an issue, as if I'm right about it and everyone else is wrong. It has to do with multi-purpose working. I simply can't comprehend a job having more than one purpose. If it is the quality of work that matters, than why should hours worked or money earned be involved? If it is hours that matter, I can and have just sat and stared at the clock all day in some hidden corner. If it is money that matters, there are MUCH easier ways to get money than working a "nine-to-five" five days a week, namely stealing it from other people or waiting a year without working and receiving welfare checks.
I always try to go with the first option - the notion that quality outcome is the purpose of my work, but it never seems to last. Every employer starts out loving me but figures that if I'm doing so well than they should ask me to do even more. Eventually they end up demanding more than is possible in the allotted time and I usually try to stay late after clocking out in order to preserve the quality of the work. I've found out from several employers that, at least where I live, this is not permitted because there are apparently certain legal liabilities for on-the-job injuries while working without pay. Once I realize I can't fulfill all the tasks required in the best fashion possible, I turn to hours as a purpose and, as I've said, sit and watch the clock. Except they eventually become privy to my behavior and ask me to resign. It's as though they WANT me to do a half-assed job or fall slightly below the bar they set. This just baffles me!
Right now, I'm working towards a Ph.D and have an unpaid internship at a Community College. I've clung to college because it seems like the only place where there's a clear purpose: complete and/or teach the course material in the best possible way. I also know professors are usually salaried, which gets rid of the "hours" problem. But, after having a discussion about this with one of my professors, I'm still frightened that, once I make it to my doctorate and am hired by a university, it'll go back to the same old shit - being "required" to do more than is possible, in this case in the allowed semester rather than the allowed hours.
Am I crazy? I honestly think everyone else is crazy for wanting to knowingly set standards higher than can physically be met. It's not just the modern working world where I see this. Cops seem to expect people to drive just a bit over the speed limit but consider it illegal to go, say, twenty or thirty miles over. Even the Old Testament endorses this mentality: "Thou shall not lie." REALLY??? NEVER??? Is that even possible? Some psychologists have told me this is called perfectionism, but I don't believe that because doing no work is, for me, just as satisfying as doing the best possible job. Others have called it "black and white" thinking, but I feel like it's just basic logic, like the rest of the world is fooling themselves or just lying to everyone around them.
I've heard that the definition of insanity is when you think you're right and everyone else is wrong, and I'm not completely expecting an answer here; but I fear I'll end up turning to a life of slacking off or - even worse - a life of crime if I can't one day make sense of this.