Kind of a tough few days

Many problems at work. I feel like my department is a lost cause sometimes. We have little recourse when it comes to addressing our concerns. My shift might be the ideal shift to be on at this time, if only because we haven’t fully entered “hostile work environment” territory (if you can ignore Gun Guy from previous post). I have noticed that people have found it easier to succeed on my shift. Despite its many issues, we have a good crew that for the most part supports each other.

I recently began working some earlier shifts on days when I’m not the fill-in Evening supervisor–granted, it’s only two hours earlier than my norm, but it means I clock out at 10 p.m. instead of midnight. I was hoping to create a better work/life balance for myself, and now I can actually spend real time with my boyfriend. We’re looking to buy a house soon if everything works out, and we’re planning on getting engaged soon as well.

We don’t live together currently–I live with my brother, but he’s graduating from medical school soon and awaiting news of his placement. He wants to move as close as possible to wherever the place turns out to be. We’re all hoping he can stay in the same city we’re in now. He has a pet cat that is paralyzed and his hope is to be able to find a place within walking distance from his future workplace. That way, he can walk home during his break to take care of his cat. I do hope everything works out for him–he has put everything he has into caring for his cat, who is very happy and much more mobile than you’d imagine. The cat is somewhat famous on the internet and was even featured on TV this year during the Cat Bowl. I didn’t get to see it air because work always gets in the way of things.

But now I’ve started this slightly earlier shift. I was very nervous for my first day. I’m not particularly well-liked among some of the Day crew in my department, and now I’d be overlapping that shift by a couple of hours. The first one went just fine though. Leaving at 10 p.m. was amazing.

Wednesday was a tough day though. I learned that one of the Day shift supervisors was intentionally trying to “get to me” in an effort to force me off of that shift entirely. I’ve long been aware that the shift is very insular, and they’ve successfully managed to ban at least five other current or former employees from their shift since I’ve worked there. Interlopers are made to feel very unwelcome. They are currently trying to get our newest employee fired or moved to another shift. She’s a very nice woman who I don’t know much about personally since she only works part-time and during hours that I’m not there. The moment I met her, I worried that she was too nice to survive on that shift for long. They’re already working on a list of complaints against her. This is their usual tactic and so far it has worked every time. Wednesday was the day I found out that I might be the next target.

I was not prepared to also discover that my Evening shift supervisor is hoping that these tactics will work on me and that I’ll come back to my normal shift from 3:30 to midnight. Apparently he was hurt when I put in the request for a slightly earlier shift.

I’m finding it difficult right now working for two different supervisors who are both rooting for me to fail–albeit for different reasons. I guess it’s “nice” that I’m wanted back on my old shift, but I don’t actually think it’s nice to sabotage someone else’s opportunities. The reason behind it becomes irrelevant if the result is something that hurts me.

One of my favorite coworkers just got an amazing job opportunity and will most likely be leaving. He’s considering staying on part-time, but that remains to be seen. His new job sounds amazing. He gets to travel to D.C. for a month of training. The job pays a lot more and once training is completed, it will be mostly work-from-home. In this past year he has lost two immediate family members, so getting the news about this job made me very happy for him. He’s a great guy who deserves some good news for a change. And I’ll miss having him around.

Imagine being the type of person who is unable to feel happy for this guy because his absence might cause you a slight inconvenience. Or because you feel threatened by someone else’s success. Those seem to be the Top-2 reasons why people at this job sabotage each other on a frequent basis.

I’m not sure how much longer I can stick it out here. I want to stick it out and I want to show them that I’m not bothered by any of it. If you’re reading this, you’ll know that in truth I’m very much bothered by it. But they don’t have to know this and I hope to make sure it stays that way.

I no longer talk to my Evening supervisor in confidence like I used to. I don’t enjoy the idea of having to defend my request for a better shift. It should be apparent why anyone would want a better shift– it’s because it’s better. Loyalty in the workplace is a joke if it’s only meant to benefit those in positions of power. True loyalty looks like this: You get an unexpected phone call from a person because your coworker has used you as a reference during their job search. You like this coworker, and even though it means you may no longer get to work with them, you give a glowing recommendation to their potential future employer. Even if you don’t like your coworker, you keep your personal feelings out of it and give the best recommendation you’re able to based on their job performance as well as any good qualities you can hopefully emphasize about them.

Loyalty also looks like this: Your supervisor levels an accusation against you that you know isn’t true, or is perhaps embellished. You know the full story, but the full story implicates someone else you work with who might then take the brunt of your supervisor’s anger if the supervisor knew the full story. You know that you don’t have anything to gain by throwing your other coworker under the bus just to clear your own name. The issue is over a matter of hurt feelings, and nothing that would lead to anyone getting reprimanded anyway. You choose to let your supervisor think you’re “guilty”, because the alternative involves your coworker being treated as the guilty party instead. And if the supervisor knew the full story, the hurt feelings would be multiplied tenfold.

I’m trying to show some loyalty here to my coworker because he told me something in confidence. This is what happened:

I came in for one of my earlier shifts. I saw on the daily schedule that I was assigned a certain post at 3:00 p.m. that is generally unpleasant for me because it means I’ll be in the dispatch office. And at 3:00 p.m. is when certain people, my supervisor included, like to sit in that same office, turn on the TV (which I hate and is very distracting when you’re trying to listen to all the radio calls coming through) and watch the show Maury (which I find distasteful and absolutely despise, more on that later).

My supervisor has given me that 3:00 p.m. post every single day that I’ve come in. It’s normally a post reserved for the shift supervisor, it being the last dispatch post during Day shift and a time that requires the Day shift supervisor to pass on information to the Evening shift supervisor.

This supervisor knows that I never watch TV when I’m in the dispatch office. He knows that I find it distracting. He also knows how much I hate the show Maury (someone else told him as a heads-up, which this supervisor took offense to). My supervisor puts me there, hoping that I’ll be so bothered that I’ll request to move back to my old shift.

When I came in on Wednesday, a different coworker was in the dispatch office at the time. I made a comment about how I wished I didn’t have to be in there at 3:00 again. My coworker offered to cover that post for me. This is a normal occurrence–people swap posts all the time, especially in dispatch. Usually on my normal shift, those requests are made because someone wants to watch the news at 5:30 or a hockey game that night or something.

At first I said no to swapping, saying that it wasn’t that big of a deal. My coworker offered again and told me that the offer was on the table because it would get him out of having to make keys later with Jason. Jason is this supervisor.

I was only too happy to make that swap after he said that. It made me laugh. Jason is very difficult to be around, so it was like we were doing each other a favor. I wouldn’t have to be stuck in there during Maury time, and my coworker wouldn’t have to be stuck making keys with Jason.

Jason saw the change made to the schedule. He complained about me to our boss, saying that I was crossing my name off the schedule and wasn’t showing up for my posts. This happened only that once, and it was prearranged. His account made it sound like this was something I had been doing consistently and without getting my post covered.

If Jason knew the actual story, he’d feel very hurt. Unlike his feelings toward me, he actually likes and respects this other coworker of ours. Coworker may not return those exact feelings, but he always works well with everyone and has never shown any disrespect toward Jason.

Jason is pursuing this “action” against me, and I really hope it stops. I don’t want to tell him the full story. I hope it resolves itself, and I hope I get to keep this new shift that I’m on.

I’m pretty sure there will be a Part 2 to this post, because I haven’t addressed the “hostile work environment” comment from earlier. In case you thought I was including my situation underneath that umbrella–I’m not. I found out yesterday, my day off, that one of my coworkers on Midnight shift has put in a request to leave our Security department in order to return to the Gallery department (where he first started out). I suspect it’s because of how poorly he’s been treated by his coworkers on the Midnight shift. So I might return to this subject in a future post in order to provide some context. I don’t want to lump that in with my problems in this post because the treatment he has received is far worse than anything I’ve ever experienced at any job I’ve had.

So I’ll just end this post by talking about why I hate Maury. I don’t care what Maury Povich has said in defence of his own show (I’m thinking back to an interview with him on The Breakfast Club). Maury is a show that encourages its viewers to laugh at black people. Most of the guests on Maury are black. Half of its home-viewing audience is black, per demographic reports. While I was trying to look up hard stats on Maury guest demographics, I came across this article on The Root. Read if you want, it addresses some of my concerns.

My coworkers who delight in the Maury show, who mock and belittle its guests, are white. They enjoy imitating loudly any perceived laughable thing that is said on the show. When Maury is on at work, the dispatch office turns into a circus. Few seem to question whether this is appropriate behavior to be engaging in at work.

White people also love Cops. I presume that this show is still on the air because there’s no limit to how much we’re willing to laugh at poor people going through difficult situations. Some may claim to watch Cops because they like watching criminals being taken off the street. Call me when they decide to tackle criminals who are in actual positions of power. I might consider joining in on the laughter if I ever got to see Donald Trump being led away in handcuffs.

Maury viewers of all races and backgrounds are given an opportunity to feel superior to the people on screen. You’re not supposed to come out of it with a greater sense of understanding or empathy for its guests. If Maury makes you feel good, it’s because that good feeling is one of superiority. Cops does the same thing through the way they focus on people considered “lower class”. At least you didn’t just get busted smoking meth in your trailer, right? You might verbally abuse your own girlfriend, but at least Cops will present to you as entertainment some other domestic abuser who seems a little worse than yourself because he lives in undesirable conditions. Poverty in this country is equated with a lack of dignity. We’re encouraged to make only the worst assumptions about people experiencing financial hardship.

I feel like conversations involving issues of morality often fail to address basic human dignity. Instead we use morality as an excuse to legislate people’s intimate lives. Here’s something I don’t care about: who you’re having sex with and how often, whether you’re married or not, how many sexual partners you have, what this or that church says about sexual morality– it’s all bogus and irrelevant. It’s a titillating distraction from the ways in which society is actually morally bankrupt. Consider how we treat the poorest members of society before you ask me to care about someone’s sexual orientation, or how many “baby daddies” someone has.

I find a lot of behaviors at work to be highly immoral, but addressing that at work is not acceptable. I can’t ask someone to turn off Maury because the show is morally offensive and mean-spirited. I can say it’s annoying, maybe. I can say I don’t like having the TV on. I might be able to say that it’s inappropriate for the workplace, but I’d love to be able to say that it’s degrading.

We all think we’re smarter than the media we consume. We tell ourselves we’re not influenced by advertisements and commercials. We defend the garbage we watch on TV as “entertainment”.

Garbage in, garbage out.

The culture of tolerating gun violence

Something has been happening at work recently that is, shall we say, very upsetting to many people.

A person I work with (same department, same shift) threatened another coworker. They had gotten into a fight. The person who is the subject of this post then threatened to retrieve his gun from his car.

This incident happened three weeks ago. We have an HR department, but their only response was to slightly alter Gun Guy’s schedule so that his shift didn’t overlap with the other person’s. In the time since then, Gun Guy was caught stealing a piece of equipment belonging to another person in our department. Although the theft was caught on a workplace security camera, he categorically denied any involvement, and once again, nothing was done.

some comic relief before things get REAL real

Perhaps this is finally the time to talk about my job. I’m a security officer at an art museum, as are all the people involved in this story so far.

I’ve always been bothered by the pro-gun rhetoric within my department. As security officers, we do not carry firearms, unlike many security officers working at other places. Our museum has a policy against firearms and I’m glad that our department is no exception to that rule. Long before I started working here, the security officers did carry firearms. If it is ever decided that we’ll begin carrying again, I will quit.

Back to the story: Gun Guy was a no-call no-show for one of his shifts recently. Finally, we thought, this could be the event that leads to him being let go. I came into work the next day so full of relief that this guy would be gone for good. Security had even disabled his employee badge so he wouldn’t be able to get back into the museum.

He showed up for work that day. He was promptly escorted downstairs to the HR office. My boss and my immediate supervisor were with him. I don’t know what happened in the course of this meeting, but my boss went to it with the intention of firing him.

They came back upstairs not long afterward. Gun Guy left the building. Everyone assumed this was it for him. He was done. I don’t normally root for team Fire That Employee, but I was very much in that camp this time.

Except he wasn’t let go. HR blocked the move. Gun Guy only left because he decided to take a PTO day to “cool off.” He would be back as scheduled the next day.

I don’t know what more has to happen before we start taking gun violence seriously. This includes threats. We’re always told to look for the warning signs. What are they, then, if this doesn’t qualify?

I want to be able to enjoy or at least be content with being at work. It can be difficult even with just the normal everyday conflicts that arise in any workplace. I thought I was reaching a point where I almost felt at peace with my job. Things were looking up, and it’s because I tried working on the way I saw things and interpreted them. I was trying to make an “inner change” because the outward change I was hoping for wasn’t happening.

My stance on guns, “gun rights,” and gun culture at large is one that I doubt will change at any time in the future. I base my views on collected evidence and my personal sense of right vs. wrong. In terms of collected evidence, I will point to some resources with information that I consider to be highly disturbing.

Police Family Violence Fact Sheet

Statistic on Guns in the Home & Safe Storage

Gun Violence in America

A few years ago, I was attacked on the street by a man who then stole my phone. I had just left a friend’s art show at around 9 p.m. and I was walking to my car which was parked up the block. It was so close that it never occurred to me to be concerned for my safety. I’m lucky that the man did not have a gun, given that I learned afterward he was most likely on drugs. The perpetrator was later apprehended in a drug house after a string of similar reported incidents. The day the cops came to my house to have me identify him in a photo lineup was the same day I interviewed for the job I currently have. That’s the last time I was told anything relating to my “case,” as it were.

The attack involved him putting his hand over my face and beating my head against the brick wall of a building. It lasted only a few seconds–he did this three times until he was able to grab my phone out of my hand. I had been on the phone with my mom at the time it happened.

I’m very lucky to have escaped with only the most minor of injuries, totally invisible to everyone but myself. Honestly, my nose hurt worse than my head did. Since it was the back of my head that made contact with the bricks, and I was rocking a pretty fly ponytail at the time, I figure it helped soften the impact.

Not everyone responds to these situations in the same way. I was angry at first, but the anger subsided pretty quickly and was replaced by fear. I was terrified of walking alone at night. This had a considerable impact on my participation in the kind of normal activities people in their mid-twenties typically participate in. I remember a couple of weeks after the incident, I was invited to a friend’s birthday party, which was fine at first, but the planned events for the night involved driving around the city to multiple different locations for food and drinks and dessert. At one point in the night I was going to have to drive to yet another place, this one being pretty popular for ice cream and drinks. It was a weekend night on a strip that is usually pretty crowded at night. I was unable to find any place to park that wasn’t multiple blocks from the location. After driving around and around, hoping that a spot would become available, I gave up and drove home. I texted my friend that I was sorry, but I couldn’t find a nearby parking spot and I wasn’t comfortable walking alone. She was less than pleased. For a number of reasons, we are no longer friends, but the coldness of her response during a time that I could have used some amount of understanding hurt me pretty badly, especially given that I had made the effort to attend all the other events she had planned that evening despite my reservations.

By this point, only weeks after the incident, I felt almost no anger toward the person who attacked me. I couldn’t work up the energy to hate someone who I didn’t even know and who didn’t know me either. It was a random attack and I just happened to be a convenient target. After all was said and done, the only thing I really hated about it was how it made me scared to do normal things.

At the time, I was working at a different art museum on the campus of a Top-20 university. I was a pretty low-level employee at the museum, which meant that I didn’t have access to the closer parking lots reserved for students with parking passes or higher-level employees with their parking passes. The closest parking available was on the street, blocks away from the museum. Walking to my car at night after work was something I just had to deal with. My heart would start racing every time and I dreamt of getting a different job even though I loved that job.

Do you want to know what was more hurtful than the attack and more hurtful than my friend’s lack of understanding? Because the most hurtful thing, without a doubt, was something that first occurred months after the attack. A friend of my parents’, someone I’ve known my entire life and who is one of their closest friends, told me in an accusing, victim-blaming way: “I bet you wish you’d had a gun, huh?”

No, I don’t wish. I didn’t wish then and I certainly don’t wish now. If you’re the type of person who thinks a mugging is sufficient cause to shoot someone, you can stop reading right here, because I promise it won’t get any better for you. 

Not only do I not wish I’d been able to shoot the guy–far from it–I do not wish any harm on him whatsoever. I don’t even know if I think he should be in jail. He needs, or needed, a lot more help than any prison could provide. Whether he deserves to be in prison is another question I’m unqualified to answer. It does not make me happy thinking that he might be in prison right now. Why would that make me happy? Besides, these days I hardly ever think of what happened, and I’m only thinking about it now because what I’m actually pissed about is this fawning, taint-licking attitude toward guns and gun culture that I feel immersed in and unable to escape from due to the nature of my job and the people it puts me in close contact with. 

The comment my parents’ friend made was only the first of many similar comments I was supposed to just sit there and take. None of these people were speaking from their own experience as victims of violent attacks. It’s easy for them to project their insecurities onto me, because they all live safely away from the city and in very well-to-do communities.

Here’s my wish: that the person who mugged me is living his best life. I harbor no ill feelings toward him. Part of me is glad that I never learned his name because it would cause me a lot of pain if I ever searched for him online and found out he was still in trouble in some way. I hope that none of the incidents he involved himself in were any worse than my own. If you get to the point in your life where you’re attacking people and stealing stuff for drug money, I automatically assume you’re doing it out of desperation. Drugs make people do crazy things. I hope he’s clean now and I hope he has a support system. The alternative is too depressing to think about.

Here’s my other wish: that we stop acting like guns are a solution to any problem, real or perceived. I was watching a movie a few months ago, and I guess because it was of Indian origin and production, they go about their ratings/warnings system in a different way than in the U.S. Throughout the film, the main character is shown smoking cigarettes. Any time this occurred, a warning appeared on the bottom of the screen that read “Tobacco/Smoking Kills.” This was the first time I’d experienced in-movie warnings, and while it did “take me out of the movie” so to speak, it got me thinking: I would cut off my pinkie finger right here and right now (to satisfy their bloodlust) if the American film industry was forced to do this, but with guns. I would love to see the glorification of gun violence in film come to an end. No director would want their movie to have warnings contained within their film, so it would force their hand in respect to the message they’re attempting to send about gun violence. Any movie that has a script that condescends to its audience in such a way to make them believe that the use of a gun was a good thing rather than a bad thing would be slapped with an in-movie warning.

Here’s my other other wish: that my coworker gets fired sooner rather than later, and hopefully not “too late.”

Suck on that, NRA.

P.S. The film I watched was Crossing Bridges, directed by Sange Dorjee Thongdok and starring Phuntsu Khrime. Available for free on Amazon Prime.

Cynicism and judgment, pt. 2

This is a follow-up to my previous post. In this one, I hope to reflect on some of my past missteps. Read or skim the previous post for context if you choose.

A sense of superiority can manifest itself in many ways:

I’m too good for that job. I’m too good for that position. I’m too good for that program. I’m too good for that school.

I’m too good for that wage. I’m too proud to accept your help. I think too highly of myself to accept or entertain your advice.

I’m above your criticism of me. I can’t and won’t accept constructive criticism from a person who I consider to be beneath me.

I’m smarter than my parents. I’m smarter than my teachers. They can’t teach me anything. I don’t respect them, and I can’t learn from someone I don’t respect.

I want to address and refute these feelings, or variations of them, as they began to develop within the environment of school. If you’re currently a young person enrolled in school, please read this so you can avoid making some of the mistakes I made.

I love my teachers. I remember every single one I’ve ever had, for better or for worse. I am still being taught by them to this day. Even the “bad” ones–but believe me, they weren’t that bad.

The further I advanced in school, the more baggage I carried with me; the more judgments I inflicted on my teachers and professors. As soon as I began to struggle in a class, I always blamed the instructor, rather than myself. I look back and I am embarrassed and ashamed of myself.

I leveled unwarranted criticism at classmates, especially in group critiques. I didn’t care how it made them feel. My own work was certainly not good enough to warrant such confidence. I was too full of myself. It was easier to criticize others than it was to work on and improve upon my own weaknesses.

My instructors fared no better. Of course, I always had teachers I loved so much and who could do no wrong in my eyes. Then there were others. I can’t even easily categorize them–the ones I didn’t like and therefore did not give my respect to. They were all very different, but my response in each situation was usually to act out by doing everything I wasn’t supposed to do while in their class. I would read or draw openly in front of them, basically daring them to make me stop. I put very little effort into my coursework for those classes. This behavior typifies my high school experience. If I liked my teacher, I excelled in their subject. If I disliked them, I didn’t try at all.

Did I think I was punishing them? Probably. It’s not easy trying to teach a smart-ass kid who has written you off completely. They may have felt hurt, insulted, disrespected–you name it. They were grown adults though, and most did an excellent job tempering their responses to difficult situations.

College began in a similar way, but it got better, or at least my attitude improved slightly. This time, I used my dislike for certain professors as fuel for doing well in their classes. I think some of the best marks I received were in classes taught by people I personally detested. All I had learned at this point was how not to torpedo my grades out of spite. I did very well in the classes taught by professors I liked, so there was really no difference in my performance anymore, and I graduated with a fairly high GPA.

If I hadn’t at least made a partial turnaround between high school and college, I wouldn’t have fared very well in the workforce. Just like anyone else, I struggle to work with people who have difficult personalities. I have coworkers who I care for deeply even though they might drive me crazy from time to time. I have other coworkers who I do my best to avoid. I don’t like to initiate conflicts at work–it makes it even more difficult to keep going back day after day. And I need to have a job.

Jobs can be disappointing. I think of school as an opportunity to learn how to function in a workplace. If you don’t learn healthy coping skills, you might end up job-hopping more than you want to. I don’t know of any job that is free of bad bosses or [insert negative adjective of your choice] coworkers. If you hear of one, hit me up!

But I don’t want to stay on the “jobs” subject…that can be saved for yet another post.

I want to talk about school, and how if that’s where you are in life, please remember how lucky you are. Please remember that you’ve made a choice that you didn’t have to make, and you’re paying to be there–with your time and possibly your money. This is not where I’m going to tell you that you are therefore entitled to your criticisms of that school and its teachers; rather, if you’re currently in school and behaving as I did, remember that you’re wasting your time and money until you decide to commit yourself totally in pursuit of your education. You also might be making your professors’ lives hell. Is it worth it? They’ll get over your crappy attitude–there’s always going to be a new kid with an even crappier attitude to deal with. They aren’t going to get hung up on you.

But you will be hung up on them. And your crappy attitude, if left unfixed, will infect everything you do. You might graduate, you might not. You’ll take that crappy attitude into the workplace, like I did, and it’s only going to get worse from there. You’ll be saying to yourself, “I’m too good for this place, I need to get out of here. This isn’t my passion. I deserve something better.”

And maybe you’ll find something better, or at least something different from your last crappy job. But the cycle will keep repeating. Even if you find your dream job, I guarantee there’s going to be aspects of it that will make you look back on all those low-paying part-time jobs you juggled for years and desperately wanted to get out of–and you’ll be longing for those days of less stress and fewer responsibilities and a job you didn’t have to take home with you.

Make a decision now to live in this moment and appreciate it for what it has the potential to teach you. This is a reminder to myself.

I just want to bang on the drum all day

Embarrassing factoid about this blog: what got me started writing was a recent job interview in which my performance was something less than stellar. I blundered my way through nearly every answer. It didn’t do much good for my self-esteem. I was beating myself up about it for days afterward.

I opened the “Memo” app on my phone and began typing. All of my horrible thoughts and frustrations spewed forth in what became memo after memo (thanks to the word limit on each). I don’t know what I intended to do with all the garbage I wrote that day, but after sitting with it for a while I decided to start a blog. I’d had time to cool off, but writing about it all brought a lot of other thoughts to the surface that I needed some kind of outlet for. I still haven’t told anyone in my life about what I’m doing here. So far I’m enjoying the idea of writing for no one. I received a few e-mails notifying me that a handful of people have liked one of my posts, but for now this blog still retains that anonymous quality that makes me feel like I can say whatever I want without worrying about alienating people I know personally.

For instance, I think about God a lot, but I don’t feel comfortable inflicting my views on my friends or family.

Perhaps someday when I’ve built up some confidence, I’ll share this with people I know. The secrecy has allowed me to be more open than I probably would’ve been otherwise. I feel like it was good for me to begin that way. In real life, I have one major social media account that I use to connect with my friends and my family, and I don’t like for it to center around my problems. In that world, no one knows that I failed to get a job that I thought I wanted, or that my car hasn’t been running for a week now, or that I’m having problems at work. I don’t like focusing on stuff that might make people feel bad because I’m demanding that they feel bad for me.

Because I still feel lucky. I have a full-time job with benefits. I love my boyfriend and he loves me. I don’t make a lot of money, but I get by. The nature of my job allows me time to pursue many of my interests. To briefly digress, those things include but are not limited to: books, movies, art, crafting, music, Russia, Russia, Russia. Russian literature and Soviet-era films give me life right now. I’ve started trying to teach myself Russian. One reason I began looking for a new job was because my hours here are terrible and the only Russian language classes I’ve found in the area happen at night when I’m working. There was a class I was hoping I could get into that started in January; unfortunately my work schedule would not allow for that. I began using my desire to learn Russian in a structured environment as motivation for applying to new jobs. And I got an interview.

And I blew it! But it’s okay. A strange thing happened afterward: I received a very polite e-mail informing me that I did not get the job. That’s not the strange part–it was very much expected. A few days later, they e-mailed me asking if I would be willing to come in and help them complete a big job. I went in, and it was fine, and I’m supposed to go in again tomorrow. Now I’m on their payroll as a part-time employee. The thing is, I have no desire for a part-time job. I did the “juggling multiple part-time jobs” thing for a while, but gave it up soon after getting a full-time job. It simply was not worth it to me anymore. I was intrigued by this new opportunity though–it seemed to me like a risk-free paid trial at a job I thought I wanted, but didn’t get. Kind of like a look at what could’ve been. And it was only just fine. I do realize that my current struggle to find transportation to both of these jobs is having a slight impact on my potential enjoyment of the new one, but it seemed worth the trouble to find out what I had missed out on. I liked the work well enough. It’s not exactly personally enriching, but the day went by very quickly and it’s the kind of job where you work with your hands using a variety of materials not unlike those found in an art studio. My background and my degree is in studio art, so this was appealing.

But aside from the better hours and the tasks that are suited to my skill set, I didn’t exactly make a love connection with the new job. I also didn’t get a single break, so…YEAH.

I am going to try to enjoy the freedom I have at my current full-time job while I still have it. Maybe I’ll get into specifics in the future, like what it is that I actually do, but for now I am trying to retain this veneer of anonymity. For this post, it doesn’t matter what it is that I do. For future posts, it might be necessary to talk about it in depth in order for any of this to make sense. All I will say right now is that my job is just about the furthest thing from a passion project as I could possibly get.

On a scale of things I like to things I don’t like, my job ($) looks like this:

Things I like……Things I don’t care about….$…Things I actively hate

The dollar sign represents that I’m only in it to get paid.