Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Greetings from the Island of Misfit Toys

I am having angst. It is career-related angst, and it is not a pretty thing. It is a bright red, heavy, sharp-horned little creature yanking on my neck and piggybacking along throughout my days.
In a recent post I wrote that my current job, the one I referred to as Safety School and where I’ve been for all of two months, is not Awesome with a capital A. I bemoaned the fact that I took the job out of desperation. I noted that a position at my First Choice, where I really wanted to work, was still open.

I don’t think I have fully conveyed how unhappy I was at my previous job. I had been there for 5 ½ years, still love the organization and the people there, but the job itself was killing my soul. I wasn’t growing at all and there wasn’t any way for me to move up or even laterally there.

This new thing I’m doing is a higher level than what I was doing before, but I am still basically doing a lot of the same functions. Now I am supervising staff and that is taking up a lot of time, because I am editing work as well as writing my own.

But it is still the same hamster wheel.

I am trying to figure out what to do now, realizing it is partly the place where I work but also partly the work I am doing that is clouding my days.

In all this, I am aware that I am very lucky to have a job. My job is what gives my family health insurance and a steady paycheck. It has now been almost two years since Sweet Dub was laid off. He continues to freelance, and some months are better than others. Quite honestly, I feel a steady low-thrumming, kind of free-floating anxiety in the back of my mind much of the time.

I am wondering how to transition out of this. Can I afford to take classes on the side? Should I actually enroll in a degree program or just pick up a class here or there? How can I handle this job in the meantime? Why won’t a pile of money drop from the sky? Would I be better off just dropping off the grid and moving my whole family to…I don’t know, where would we move to?

I feel I am operating out of fear rather than out of enthusiasm in this career thing right now. I am skateboarding (badly) while holding an egg. I can’t just leave, and I don’t want to bail out of this job into another one doing what I have grown to dislike. I have decided against trying to re-apply for a job at First Choice as the appeal of that job was not the job itself but the organization, which is very artsy and creative—as opposed to where I am now, which is very rigid and sterile.

(An aside: I have never worked anywhere where such a high degree of social awkwardness pervades nearly every interaction. It is truly bizarre.)

(Also:  I found out that the person I now supervise interviewed for my job. And really wanted it. And is rather bitter and sarcastic, occasionally flaring up with an attitude when I ask her to do things. Work things, conveyed to me by my boss as Things We Need To Do. Oh, it is a blast and a half at Safety School.)

(Not to worry, I am documenting everything.)

 So, yeah. It is a conundrum! A dilemma! And being the Grown-Up sucks some days, the end.


Bridget said...

Wow. What a perfectly and creatively written post.

I completely understand what you are going through. My situation is a little different but your words still wrapped around it like a department store gift wrapped present.

I hope things get better for all of us.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

Bridget, thank you. I have been reluctant to write here for fear of it just becoming repetitive. It is a rough time, but it's real, and I don't want to post on here like everything is sunshine and rainbows when it's not.

I hope things turn around for you soon as well. It's awful, walking around feeling like this and it helps to know someone else is going through something similar.