You know when you’re a Little Kid (LK), and suddenly you inherit something from the Big Brother (BB)? BB has decided he wants to move on to bigger and better things, so he leaves you his old Legos. They’re a mess, all jumbled and combined. Some are broken, some are old, and some are warped. But you take them anyway, because well, it’s part of your job and you know you can make it better.
You spend hours and hours painfully organizing them by color, size, and type. You throw out broken ones, get new ones to replace old ones, and you create a system that works for you. You maintain your organization, you stay on top of incoming and outgoing parts, and your system suddenly works for everyone.
After all the hard work is done, you are able to find everything you need. People are happy, you are happy, and they commend you. And so, you create a masterpiece:
Meanwhile, BB had realized that he doesn’t play well with the other BB’s in the neighborhood. It’s mostly due to the way he plays: he’s nosy, he’s condescending, and he has to be in charge all the time. Because Mom refuses to let BB go off on his own to play, she allows him back in the house. BB starts playing with the Legos again, realizing he made a mess and is pretending to care, saying what a great job you did, and OMG your masterpiece is phenomenal. Of course, he’s not as organized as you, so he starts making little messes, which you promptly clean up. You’re a little curious as to why he’s so happy, and being nice. Maybe it’s because he’s been spending a lot of time with Mom, who is altogether happier now that he’s back inside.
Then, one day, you get called in by Big Sister (BS). You know full well what is going on. BB has been talking to BS and Mom. BS tells you that BB is going to take back all his Legos…well, more like 80% of them, including your masterpiece. Little Sister (LS) is taking the other 20%. Thanks for all your hard work in getting it cleaned up and streamlined, but BB and LS can take it from here. Instead, you’ll be putting new Legos in their proper place when they come in, and only after BB and LS are done with them. And because it’s coming from BS and Mom, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Insert real people. This happened to me yesterday. My giant capstone of working at Yale is now under the control and is the responsibility of the very person that made it a problem in the first place. My hard work and my efforts to impress people at Yale, so I will be irreplaceable and they will want to hire me…it was all so Big Brother could come back and take it over again.
Sigh. Life is just not fair sometimes.