I started this blog six months ago because I didn’t have enough work to do at my job, and writing seemed like a good way to fill my “down time” and prevent brain stagnation. Last week I got a job offer and, after turning down the first two offers, I finally accepted it on New Year’s Eve. So, yesterday I came to work and gave my two weeks’ notice. It was not fun—I like the people here so much. On the other hand, I think I’m doing the right thing. My commute will be cut in half, and I’ll make more money, so it would have been a no-brainer if I didn’t have such warm feelings toward my co-workers. They are a great bunch of people and I felt so welcome here. What a difference from my last job, where I got dirty looks and mean comments from the Customer Service people all the time. (I walked into a long-time rift between sales & customer service.) Here at my current job, people seemed happy to see me from Day 1.
On the other hand, we did not get raises in 2009 and we will not get raises in 2010 because we’re state funded, and the job has not provided me with the growth or inspiring work that I’d hoped for. I always thought that small non-profits needed talented people who were willing to try new things and develop new skills, but that didn’t really seem to be the case here. I guess I learned a few new resume-worthy skills within the tiny confines of my two-member department, but I never got the idea that I was involved in any real planning or strategy. I just take care of the day-to-day stuff, and none of it changes based on where the organization is going. I guess I just need more stimulation. I don’t think you have to be an egomaniac in order to want to be busy and be heard. I didn’t feel that my other work or life experiences really counted for much in this job.
And for better or worse, I think I was hired simply because I had a personality that fit well with the others in the office. I have decided to take this as a great compliment, because being liked by others and being easy to work with are very important to me—more important than I’d like them to be, in fact. But I believe that this is the main reason so many people have left this position before me, too. The bosses hire based on a personality fit, rather than choosing people who are going to be happy settling into a boring office job where there are some real dry spells, but where you need to stay at your desk all day in case the phone rings. I suppose they’ll do the same thing after I leave.
Any way you look at it, my paid semi-vacation is almost over.
What have I learned? At the risk of being really boring, I’m going to make a list!
- I like to blog, and not so much because of the “expression” aspect of it, as for the analytical aspect. Writing still helps me clarify my thoughts and feelings.
- I have become sceptical about how much some nonprofit organizations really offer to their communities – the return on investment seems so low.
- The agricultural community has no interest in being green or environmentally conscious, unless they can save or make money doing it.
- In fact, “green” is a dirty word and generally insulting to farmers.
- Farmers feed the world; therefore, they should be allowed to pollute the environment as much as they want and keep animals in small cages for their entire lives (and feed them cheap crap that makes them grow fast). Otherwise, we apparently wouldn’t have anything to eat. (Who knew?!)
- Having a low-stress job improves every other aspect of my life.
- Books on CD are wondrous ways to spend a commute. You can “read” books that you otherwise would have skipped because we don’t live long enough to read everything worthy of reading.
- Laziness is not the same thing as boredom.
- Some people still do not believe that global warming is related to human activity.
- Being bubbly at work is not the same as being an extrovert.
- Just shutting up is OK once in awhile.
- Wearing jeans to work every day is something to be savored while it lasts.
- It’s sort of a hassle when a US Senator visits your office for the first time in many years. Don’t tell anyone, or the press might come along and give your organization free publicity.
- If I don’t exercise my brain, I lose my edge.
- When I lose my edge, it’s really hard to find it again.
- It’s harder to take risks when you’re 40, than when you’re 22.
- It’s easier not to worry about the small things when you’re 40, than it is when you’re 22.
- It’s easy to gain about 1 pound per month of pure fat, when you eat too much and you sit on your ass all day at work and don’t go to the gym as often as you should.
- It’s easier to gain weight than to lose it. No, wait—I knew that before so it doesn’t belong on this list but I’ll leave it anyway.
- A bean burrito from Taco John’s is not bad every 3-4 weeks, but eaten more frequently, it can be somewhat sickening. Be careful when you place your order. You’ll say “bean” and they’ll invariably hear “beef.”
- “Lunchy” is a good word to describe that feeling from 12:30 PM till the time you leave for the day.
- People who don’t talk to their spouses and kids on the phone during the workday are few & far between. I’m not saying I object to others talking to their family members from the workplace. I’m just saying I don’t have any desire to talk to my husband while I’m at work. I saw him this morning and I’ll see him tonight.
- And I’m surprised about the depth of conversation people have with their family members, while they’re at work. Don’t they see each other at home?
- “Dear Prudence” on Slate.com is a great source of entertainment on Thursdays (the actual column) and Mondays (the live chat).
- I still don’t know why I need a Smartphone or Blackberry, but I suppose I would need them if I started using them.
- You can’t escape your own personality.
- Not everyone likes cats.
- If your keyboard sits up too high, your shoulders will ache and burn for months until your employer agrees to buy you a drawer for your keyboard.
- If you have bad knees, don’t ask your employer to buy you a footrest after they already bought you a computer drawer. Just buy a footrest yourself, and then you’ll already have one to take to your next job, where you will also inevitably need a footrest.
- There’s no such thing a job I would love, and I’m trying to be OK with that. At least I’m no longer searching for whatever it is. I realize I have to find something I’m not unhappy at, and do that.
- It’s hard to let go of old ideals like finding a job you would love. Oh well. (shrug)