jobs

changes

green house

[image source]

My life is full of change right now.  When I stumbled across the image above, I identified with it.  Here is a little homemade green house with lots happening on the inside, and it looks like it’s kind of messy.  But good things are happening in there.

I don’t know why I feel compelled to explain my absence from this space in the coming weeks; but maybe it’s for the record.  I’ll look back and wonder… why did I back off of regular posting for a while?  Well, to answer my future self’s question here’s why:

Graduation is upon us… family and friends are headed our way; I’m moving to Houston full-time in two weeks; therefore, I’m in the process of wrapping up my final two weeks at a job that I love and has been the perfect solution to our time while B was in school; I’m planning a vacation (and having a subsequent meltdown about said vacation); I’m starting my own business soon; I leave in two weeks for certification for said business; oh, and it’ll be the first time the hubs and I have lived together full-time (just the two of us) in nearly 4 years!

It’s a lot to process and to take in… and I’d like to be present for it.  So… something’s got to give… and this space may be it.  I may just post pictures… or just words… I’m not sure.  But I know that by June 16, my life should be back to “normal,” albeit, completely new.

creative answers to the big question

The hubs and I have recently removed ourselves from our comfort zone and begun to put ourselves in some new social situations.   Because we seem to be nomads by nature, meeting new people is no problem for us.  But I’ve noticed over the last few years that I’ve learned to adapt how I like to identify myself, i.e., not by my vocation.

It’s the dreaded standard question that is the follow-up after exchanging names, “So, what do you do?”  And since I am someone who does not like define who I am by my 9-5, I’ve had to come up with some creative answers.  (Who am I kidding, I’m totally that obnoxious lady who won’t give you a straight answer!)

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*le sigh*

There is nothing that can make me feel worse about myself than job hunting.  Wait, wait…wait.  Hold on just a minute.  That’s not entirely true.  I usually have to get talked off the ledge after swimsuit shopping.  But when job hunting you’re forced to hold up this mirror and try to see only the marketable assets and then cleverly describe them on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.   And usually what ensues is a spiral of despair ending with me on the floor lamenting the fact that I’m over-educated, under-qualified and lacking the copious amounts of experience necessary to attain whichever job description has caught my fancy.  I think the largest hurdle to overcome is the feeling that you are casting a tiny net into such a large ocean.  I completely understand that the best way to get a job is to know someone.  And I’ll admit, I’m terrible at networking.  Not because I’m bad at it mind you, but because I hate it.  I hate keeping acquaintances for the sole purpose of networking.  I’m much more into intentional communication and authentic relationships.  I don’t do facebook or twitter or linked in anything like that.  (This place is the closest I’ve come to anything remotely related to “social networking,” which is a whole other can a worms for me.)  But when you’re moving to a new city and you’ve not got someone who can vouch for you, what do you do?  How do you stand out from the pack?

Really all of it seems moot when faced with the fact that I still have no idea what it is that I want “to do” with my life.  I’m envious of those people who just know and then go do.  I’ve got a little know-how on a lot of subjects and that makes me qualified for jack-sh*t.  I’ve applied for several jobs that I know I would be good at…and one of them I kind of really want.  But really, just how in the world are you supposed to stand out when your only option for getting a resume out is to upload a .txt version?  I hate not being able to wow them with my creative wiles of clever font choice, layout design and paper selection.  And just how exactly do you say, “I know I don’t have the necessary experience, but I can promise that I will not fail you.  I work hard and I’m a fast learner and I know I can do it!”  Well my resume is out there, plain txt and all, and I’m just going to continue to cast a wider net and maybe my “to do” will find me.  I’m not opposed to that.

{photo: google LIFE image archive}

you know you should quit your job when… (pt. 4)

…your boss’ wife manipulates him right in front of you.

Upon first agreeing with you the wife then growls, “no, honey don’t you remember that you and I already talked about this and we already agreed that I was right!”  Your tail-between-his-legs-boss then says, “oh yeah, I guess you’re right honey.”

(Really!?  How is this possible when over half the office heard the original conversation and it was as you remembered it!?)

You know you should quit your job when… (pt. 1)

…your boss walks by your desk, pauses, looks you up and down to take in your well accessorized outfit and then duplicitously says, “Do you have something special today or did you wear that just for us?”  As the question of course baffles you, you then respond confused, “no… I… don’t…?”  She then retorts condescending, “Hm! Lucky Us.”

(THROW IN THE TOWEL TODAY!  IT’S NOT WORTH IT!)

Oh The Possibilities

I love new beginnings.  Hope.  A chance for a clean slate.  Something new.  And the start of 2009 is definitely something new and unfamiliar.

I’m no longer working for someone else.  After a series of events, I finally found it necessary for me to end my time with my previous company.  And I’ve never been happier.  In the weeks following my resignation I’ve reflected on the whole experience and I know beyond a shadow of doubt that I have made the right decision.

That place was crazy.  I worked for a married couple, who to say the least, had a few problems.  It wasn’t that they fought at work or anything, but they have deep-rooted bitterness towards one another that manifested itself in unique ways.  But when push came to shove, they were the ones that had to sleep together at night and therefore you could never point out that the other had done something wrong or said something differently.  I guess I knew going into it that it was a potentially hazardous situation, but I can’t believe that things got as bad as they did.  I, being the new kid, was the easy target.  But I also pushed back more than the other employees and I wouldn’t take as much crap. (At least from my perspective.)

The heart of the problem was that I had two bosses.  And one of them liked me and the other didn’t.  It was a strange experience to not be an invaluable asset to the company I was working for.  I’ve always been such a hard worker and contributor to my place of employment.  Included in my work ethic are a few principles like: leave your personal shit at home & smile and be pleasant to your co-workers.  I thought these things would be understood, but not when you’re working for the Godfather.

The husband-boss loved me…the wife-boss on the other hand…well, she makes Cruella DeVille seem friendly.  Seriously, Meryl Streep (in The Devil Wears Prada) ain’t got nothing on this lady.  If she wasn’t commenting on how I looked, she was trying to make me feel like an idiot and micromanage everything from my business letter writing to client relationships.  She was really just a big bully.  I always felt so bad for her assistant too because she really did get the worst of it…until she realized that I was fresh meat.  I really think I drove her personally nuts, everything about me.  I also think she has a bad spirit.  My co-workers tried to tell me that she was an o.k. person outside of work and that she could be compassionate, but I guess I never saw it.  Even the one day she took me to lunch (during my first week) she was trying to manipulate the hell out of me and I realized it, all the while talking bad about the gal that had been working for her for the last 6 years!  I mean really, my boss talking bad about another co-worker.  Really?!

I guess I wanted to continue to give her the benefit of the doubt.  I tried justifying her actions every way possible.  “It’s the fourth quarter and everyone’s tense.”  “She’s just really busy.”  “She’s …”  Well, she’s just a bad person.  And really, she’s a terrible office manager all together.  Things got so bad that the heat got shut off because either A. she forgot to pay the bill or B. because she didn’t have the money to pay the bill.  Even one of my co-workers checks bounced.

Despite all of that I feel like the stinker is that I liked what I did and most of my co-workers.  It was fun and interesting and something different everyday.  But I’m too old to be treated like an idiot.  Unlike most of my other former co-workers, that was not my first job and I know better.  So, I ended it.  And boy did she cut her nose off to spite her face.  I never even got to see or talk to my actual boss, her husband.  As soon as I told her that I had made my decision, she sent me packing.   And I’m so glad that I did.

Now my days are spent doing exactly what I want to be doing.  I had a momentary freak out there for a little bit, but you know, God provides.  Just when I started to hyperventilate about the fact that I have quit my job in the toughest economic times since the great depression, we got a phone call that a friend’s basement had flooded and they wanted to hire B to fix it.  Hallelujah!  And he’s starting an attic remodel in two weeks!  And now I’m free to do what I want…and that is to be in control of my time.  I value my time more than anything else.  And now I am free to write, craft, clean, search, relax and do just what it is that I want to do.

Ahhh, Peace.

The Year In Review

It’s been a big year…the biggest in fact.

1. January – we put our house on the market (it didn’t sell)
2. March – I was approached by a customer to change careers
3. May – I interviewed for aforementioned job.
4. June – Celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary
5. July – I turned 30!! (finally).  I testified in a murder trial.  I quit my job (of 3 years).  I got offered (officially) a new job.  I went to England on pilgrimage.  I met the Archbishop of Canterbury.
6. August – Started the new gig.
7. September – Rode on a 6 million dollar sailboat
8. October – Experienced the worst day of work in my vocational history
9. November – Went to China: walked The Great Wall, saw the Terra Cotta Soldiers, visited Olympic Park
10. December – my Mamaw died.  And finally I quit my new job.  Found contentment.

What in the world does 2009 hold…?

a beautiful thought

It’s finally here. My last day of work. Tomorrow will end. I will grow. My sweet friend sent me a card this week with a great thought. She wrote me about a story she had recently heard that made her think of me. The quote was:

“Buddhists believe that sometimes when everything is in turmoil, it’s because something wonderful is ready to be born and that thing is distracting you so it can have some privacy during the birthing process.”

What a lovely idea. Although I do not have children, I know the birthing process is not only painful, stressful & glorious, but it can also seem down right indignant. At least that is, from my modest perspective. I love the idea that while I had so much of my energy purposefully, or not, focused on the immediate in front of my eyes, there was something wonderful & new being birthed behind closed doors without me having to participate in the messy details.

My wonderful something has been born and I can’t wait to embrace it upon my return.

(before)