Anywho...the company I worked for was very corporate. We made, amongst other things, signage, meters, and space age time clocks with lasers and bar codes. Ironically, we still punched in on a time clock that looked like it was the best soviet model of 1949.
It was the one and only job where I worked on the clock. Strangely, as a child I always wanted to work on a clock. George Jetson punched a clock, and so did Fred Flinstone (although his was at least a cool dinosaur..) Punching a clock was somehow evidence of being a grown up. Of course, I hated it. I felt like a machine and I was treated as a machine.
I found a smaller leaner company, less than 20 employees, doing something similar. I jumped. In the exit interview, my supervisor started with the only thing that made sense to him.
"It's the money isn't it?"
Let me say that if it takes until your employee leaving before you think of this, it's just too late, but more importantly, it wasn't. The new job was longer hours, less pay. Try as hard as he could, my supe just couldn't wrap his head around why I was leaving. He nearly spent an hour begging me to stay. That, my friends, was the only time I ever found out I was valuable to the company. But it wasn't about the money. I wanted to work on better computers, with people who didn't operate under the principle of CYA. (Cover Your A** to any newbies out there.)
I wanted to forge my own destiny with a young crowd, and boy were they young. My new supervisor was younger than me and straight out of high school, but he knew his stuff. I wasn't there long. Just a year before I took off on another adventure. Graduate School. that job probably gave me the resolve and courage to try and when I left the new company, they didn't stand around cluelessly wondering why I was doing it when there was no money in it. Instead they practically tipped me out of the nest and said "Go fly!" (In the best possible sense of course.) It was a great company. The company's long since been sold off by now, but I do wonder where they all ended up, but I know it wasn't in some corporate machine.
Trying to explain to someone who's only idea of success is money that money isn't everything is a futile effort.
But this video comes as close as I've seen to explaining it.
I do have hopes that my writing career will be successful, even monetarily, but that ain't why I'm doing it.