Couldn't think of a cool title…

September 3, 2009

Job Lost Made for a Crummy Week

Filed under: Business, Melancholy, Personal, Talks with the Doc — me @ 10:10 pm

Kind of had an up and down week this week professionally. I applied to teach at my old high school and didn’t get the job, and I REALLY should have. I know the teachers they have there and I know what I’m capable of, and more importantly, I know how my credentials stack up by comparison. I also know that two people who left positions there specifically told him that I would be their first choice to take over their classes. So that leaves the interview as the apparent dealbreaker. I was interviewed by someone whose known me since I was 14 or so. Did that make me approach the interview too casually? Perhaps, or perhaps the fact that a LONG list of people were assuring me I would get the job so that made me complacent. (In my defense, the person interviewing me was barefoot at the time. Not exactly a cue for formality. But that’s petty I suppose.) My “spies” on the inside tell me that the only clue as to why I was not hired was a comment that I was “too vague” with my ideas. I’ve been feeling hurt, angry, frustrated, and sad about this all week. I originally made contact about the job early in the summer but the interview wasn’t until August. I did not get any notice whatsoever after the interview, only knowing I didn’t get the job because school started. I’m upset because I deserved at least the professional courtesy of notice, as there were other positions I did not apply for because I was unclear if I was still under consideration. Obviously this adds to the financial strain inherent in my starving artist lifestyle at the moment. But more than that I thought that the relationship I had with this person was such that if I didn’t get the gig and it really came down to a problem with my interview or something, that he would give me some feedback– “Look, we decided to go in a different direction, but I thought you should know…”– something.

So I’m annoyed with him because I feel strongly that he’s come to incorrect conclusions about my abilities, and I’m even more annoyed with myself– because somehow after all this time knowing me he wouldn’t think I would be good for his program. I know most of the people who encounter this blog at all will know that this isn’t a matter of my ego or something– this was a job that I was more than qualified to do, at a time when they REALLY need well-qualified people due to the particular mix of students they have  this year. So it’s all well and good for me to say “Fuck him,” — but if under these circumstances he didn’t see my potential then I really didn’t demonstrate it to him. And if someone who’s known me as long as he has doesn’t see that, how am I perceived by people who are just meeting me?

Interviewing is a skill, and maybe it’s one I need to work on. But more than that, I think I stumble a lot in putting myself  “out there.” I remember several years ago some work I did for a company got my name in the paper. And the head of the company, where I’d been working for three years, came down the stairs one day and said, “I saw that article. I didn’t know you were looking for a career in this. We should talk about that.” And it occurred to me how ridiculous that was– that I’d been working there three years, in and around this man who had a lot of connections that could be beneficial to my career– and he had NO IDEA that I had any particular aspirations of interest. There are a lot of people in my life, people I daresay have less to offer the field than I do, who would never have let something like that happen. And it’s all well and good to complain that “nobody notices me,” but what have I done lately to get noticed?

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December 31, 2008

I’m not sure I trained enough for this particular marathon…

I love Christmas. And I have loved the Christmas-ness of this Christmas. Every night for the past week has been a joyous special thing that only the glittery soul of Christmas can create. My apartment is clean and sparkly with Christmas lights and candles and I’m hopeful that this little step of having a pleasing living space is a sign of more pleasing living to come.

Twice I visited my friends in the Christmas show I had been a part of for the 6 years prior. I miss it, and I miss them, but I guess it may be better in this season of change in my life to have had less of the running around that particular gig required. I needed the time. I mourn missing out on what was special there, in the same way I have mourned my leaving the Real Job– but I’ve been better for it, I’m sure.

I was part time through December 20th, and on that day a party was held in my honor. It was an odd collection of people but a very sweet little gathering that left me feeling cared for and more hopeful/less sad than I had expected. Not everything was done that needed to be done, so the loss was dulled by the fact that I still had my keys and a few files– it wasn’t like I wouldn’t be back. But I am coming to terms that I need to face this- finally, and really– and as I was driving around yesterday I found myself repeating aloud, “I don’t work there anymore. I don’t work there anymore…” My sleep has been filled with a sort of anxious self-loathing collection of dreams, in which I’m often late for appointments, unfairly accused of wrongdoing, and consumed with feelings of guilt. Apparently there is still shit to work out…

My week overall, however, as I mentioned before have been very special (if distracting,) and gratifying– but exhausting. An overview:

CHRISTMAS EVE

  • I did my very gift bag/candy run and then saw the Christmas show. HIGHLIGHT: Playing Santa handing out candy to everyone and my friend C’s reaction to his Christmas present. LOWLIGHT: I miss them.
  •  After a quick stop over at my parents’, I went to dinner with Soon- to- be- in- the- Navy-Cousin for Christmas Eve dinner, of which I only had time to eat a little bit before running off to be late for Church. HIGHLIGHT: Hanging out with Cousin. LOWLIGHT: There’s only so much I can take of one particular relative’s arrogant talk.
  • Church. HIGHLIGHT: The music and candles made the rushing back worth it, and my Minister’s grabbing my arm on my way out to see if I was working and how I was made me feel noticed and cared for.
  • Stopped back home and said hi to my landlord’s family, and then drove BACK to my parents, tossing presents under the tree and then sleeping in the guest bedroom upstairs. HIGHLIGHT:  Landlord’s son (who used to live in my apartment) was very impressed with my apartment, which I was so proud of . LOWLIGHT: I wanted to spend more time with them but it was hard not to feel like I was intruding on a family moment.

CHRISTMAS

  • I got to sleep in and Sister, Brother-in-Law, and BestNieceEver showed up sometime in the early afternoon, better than last year. I got a cordless phone I’d been needing and knew I was getting. BestNieceEver wasn’t real interested in the whole sitting around opening presents thing but otherwise it was a fun time. My presents were well-received overall.  I had gotten BestNieceEver a magnadoodle and her first pair of jeans, both of which seemed to go over well. My dad seemed simultaneously mystified and impressed with his new iPod Shuffle and my mom has been reading the books I got her, so those seemed to have been a hit too. HIGHLIGHT: Playing Let’s-Throw-Wrapping-Paper-in-the-Air with BestNieceEver. LOWLIGHT: Brother-in-Law was freaking out about being late for the party with the other side of his family so he spent most of the time there looking at his watch.
  • I headed back to my place in the evening and enjoyed a quiet night with my Landlords, exchanging presents and eating Christmas cookies. HIGHLIGHT: Peace and quiet.

FRIDAY

  • Friday afternoon my friends J&J came over with their 3 kids and we had ice cream sundaes and played Apples to Apples. The kids seemed to enjoy the books I got for them but it was clear they weren’t as cool as the seven million other presents they’d gotten in the past few days. J&J are probably going to hate me for the Joke Book I got their middle child– she has taken to reading aloud from it nonstop and the jokes are, well, pretty bad. HIGHLIGHT: It was wonderful just to be with my friends.
  • My parents came over later that evening before heading off to see the show I had gotten tickets for them to see, and then I was off to a Christmas party with the Christmas show people. HIGHLIGHT: My dad called me later just to say he loved the play. I rule!

SATURDAY

  • The Big family party at my Dad’s Cousin’s house. HIGHLIGHT: BestNieceEver was the hit of the party. LOWLIGHT: My Great Uncle cried– he has lost 3 siblings and is so depressed… and no one really knew what to do.
  • After I got back I turned around and went back out to see Urbanblight and some of our old friends from high school. HIGHLIGHT: It was great to talk to them. LOWLIGHT: I wanted more time, and one of our friends seems particularly depressed.

SUNDAY

  • Sunday was my friends J&J’s daughter’s 13th birthday. HIGHLIGHT: The little time with them I had before running off to the next thing. LOWLIGHT: The holiday was really beginning to wear on my at this point.
  • After that party I was off to a reunion of sorts for my high school at a local bar. HIGHLIGHT: Talking to people I really haven’t talked to for ten years. LOWLIGHT: Wishing my Life’s Transition wasn’t the main story I had to tell.

MONDAY

  • Went back to the office and did a bunch of stuff I wasn’t paid for and won’t be sufficiently appreciated for. Cynical? Maybe. But it was my choice and I still feel if I hadn’t done it I’d be worried about those things.
  • Sleep deprived and barely functional I did  something truly crazy. I had the kids I used to babysit– now 12 and 15!– to sleepover. We watched THREE episodes of Quantum Leap, played Scrabble and Apples to Apples, and I somehow managed to stay awake to just past midnight. HIGHLIGHT: They fell in love with my favorite TV show.

TODAY

  • After the girls left I fell back asleep for several hours, despite really needing to tie up a bunch of loose ends at the (former) office of mine. OldBoss sent me an email officially announcing my Replacement, who had confidentially told me of their offer last week. Still sorting out how I feel about all that.
  • Went off to a Holiday Dinner for a scholarship foundation that gave me an award in high school. HIGHLIGHT: Good food. LOWLIGHT: Not really having much to talk about to anyone, except the kid I used to babysit– who’s now more than a foot taller than me and in seminary school. I feel old.
  • And now, back at my parents’, where BestNieceEver is sleeping over as well.

 

So yeah. Kinda tired. Somehow supposed to go to two parties TOMORROW too. We’ll see if the weather– and my stamina– cooperates.

December 29, 2008

Stage 3

Filed under: Business, Melancholy, Personal, Workaholism — me @ 2:01 pm

I seriously just had an epiphany. This thing I’ve been doing? It’s bargaining.

December 4, 2008

And what will become of the NonProfits?

Filed under: Business, Causes Worth Supporting, Poverty, Rants — me @ 4:22 am

I am in my last “official” real weeks of being an employee of our favorite NonProfit, and the talk of the day is the economic mess. To be broke in a nonprofit isn’t really news, but what’s different is that the places out there– the For Profits and the Foundations– are all freaking out at once with financial woes of their own. Big news in our little circle is always whose gala had who at it and what auction items sold. Nonprofit groups host gala fundraisers with fancy food for exorbitantly priced tickets and then entertain their guests with silent auctions, live auctions, and (usually) a cash bar. Except who’s going to pay for $125-$200+ tickets these days? And no one can afford to spend money on an auction after they’ve put all that money down for a ticket, which basically just covers the chicken and the rented sound equipment.There are, of course, individuals who will pay exorbitant amounts of money out of loyalty to a particular cause, or in my observation, a particular individual who cares about a particular cause. Somehow spending money on an event seems to be a more personal way of supporting a friend than a straight donation to their organization. For instance, I have a friend who is Artistic Director of a theatre around here. They recently had a gala. It is unlikely, were I to receive an annual appeal letter in the mail, that I would write a couple hundred dollar check for this theatre (or honestly, any organization). But my buddy came to OUR gala last spring, and he’s really freaking awesome, and I actually do believe in the work he does– so I bought a ticket and attended, unable to bid much at all on auction items for fear I’d never make rent this month. It meant something to him, and I wanted to “help”– but I don’t think ultimately my type of loyal attendance-ship is what these type of events are really supposed to target. It would be better for me to send the $150 check directly and let them save the money on my pasta dinner…

These kinds of events are traditionally held together by corporate sponsors, who buy up tables and fill them with their employees and friends who happily consider getting drunk for a cause as a perk of their employment and bid up signed photographs of ball players “for the kids,” in many cases for organizations they have had little to no personal contact with themselves. But when times are tight– and scary– as they are now, the corporations don’t want to spend money on a party. They don’t have the ability to budget for additional charitable giving when they’re contemplating layoffs. So the funding stream runs dry here, as it already has in earned income categories as well as other kinds of foundation support.

So the question is, if the NonProfits’ business plans are all driven on the assumption that they will just get by (as many of them could only “just” do when times were supposedly good) through these types of funding that simply won’t be there now: what happens to all the social services they provide? What happens to the PEOPLE who depend on those services for support, enrichment, and basic livelihood?

But really, what can be done then?

October 12, 2008

Moving into Stage 2, I think

Filed under: Business, Melancholy, Personal, Spirituality, Workaholism — me @ 9:38 pm

Looking back on this past week through the lens of the grieving process, I realized that I denial was a huge part of my experience. I couldn’t handle talking about the situation, and I certainly wasn’t making preparations for the future, or experiencing any kind of relief. Mainly I was (and in many ways still am) just kind of mortified to be here right now. In the midst of all this sadness and impending displacement, I mean.

But something new has been popping up, which I suppose confirms that this really is a journey in mourning. I’m angry. It hadn’t really occurred to me that I was angry at first. Around Thursday I stopped in at my church and talked to one of the ministers there. I felt like I wanted to talk to someone totally objective who might be able to help. I talk to my friends but I worry a lot about boring/annoying them. I feel a lot of the time that they can’t possibly grasp what has happened for me. I want to be a champion of my own courage, to brag about this move and its symbolic power in closing a chapter of my life that included a lot of distress. But instead I have felt distracted, foggy, at times miserably sad. Underwater even. I know from experience that you can’t float up out of the lower limits of depression on your own, so I reached out. He is the one who brought up that I was probably angry.

There’s something about my upbringing that makes me apologetic at the notion of being angry. At any rate, when he said it, and I thought about it, it was clear that it was true– if hiding deep below the surface of all the wanting-to-hide-under-the-covers-ness, it was definitely there. I’m angry at the ways I feel I was badly treated. I’m angry at feeling “forced” to leave a job that I in some ways felt born to do. I’m angry at the misinformation already spreading about, regarding my reasons for leaving and my abilities in my position.

Minister said I should read some Psalms. In my denial/anger state I didn’t take the suggestion very seriously, but really I don’t know what I was expecting. Of course that is what Minister would say. And it certainly can’t hurt. He said what’s great about the Psalms is that they’re filled with the voices of people who’ve felt let down or abandoned, people who often aren’t necessarily thrilled with God. I have clung to God throughout the process of getting to this point– first trying to discern what it was I ought to do, and then praying–begging really– that I might have the courage to go through with it. My spirituality has always been a friend to me when there was no one else to make something happen but me. It definitely got to a point where there were no more conversations with friends to be had, no pros and cons lists– just action needing to be taken. But while His voice was there for me as I made the decision I guess I haven’t really been able to key into that yet since the decision has been made. I know I’m not alone, and I know making it through this journey will certainly be easier with a faith that I’m taken care of and going where I need to go. But I guess I just haven’t been ready to really… be spiritual… in all this unhappiness. It doesn’t frighten me, I know my religious connection will be there for me when I am ready for it, but I guess sorting out my feelings has been a bigger priority thus far.

There have been times in depression that I feel alone with my God, in some ways closer to Him than ever– underwater and yet with a witness at least. Other times are like this, when I know He is there and will be there, but I kind of ignore– almost avoid– that part of myself because I feel like I need to re-align. I’ve always said I would be a mess without my believe in God. But sometimes WHEN I’m a mess my belief in God, for better or worse, becomes a bit of an afterthought. Maybe, like those Psalmists, as I see myself moving away from denial and into more anger, if nothing else I’ll have more to say to Him.

October 10, 2008

So What’s It Like?

Filed under: Business, Personal, Workaholism — me @ 3:37 am

Well. It kind of sucks. Since giving my notice of course I’ve been increasingly aware of the thousands of things I have to do for my job, in addition to the inordinate things I was already doing, to somehow magically make it possible for someone else to step in. This has been made far more difficult than necessary due to the fact that I am distracted, depressed, regretful, resentful, and/or just generally out-of-sorts 95% of the time. In short, I am in shock.

It’s as though something has happened TO me. Except it’s something I made happen. It seems ridiculous, but I’ve honestly been thinking, this is something of what it must feel like to get a divorce. I can barely speak of my resignation yet without crying. I have a hard time looking at a calendar because my “end date” jumps out at me and I can’t wrap my head around the concept– I’m leaving? Where will I go, where’s my identity, when this is all behind me?

Resignation. A workaholic’s nightmare.

October 8, 2008

i did it

Filed under: Business, Personal, Workaholism — me @ 2:27 am

i resigned. nervous breakdown commencing… now.

March 5, 2008

Mercury must be out of retrograde…

Filed under: Business, Good Moodiness, Personal — me @ 3:14 am

Ucellina had her babies yesterday. A little boy and a little girl. I think I’m slightly jealous. On the other hand, I’m sure if I’m ever faced with the prospect of recovering from a C-section and setting about to raise twin infants I would probably call such envy crazy.

Things are doing okay. I’ve actually had a really productive couple of days at work lately and its kind of been nice after a long stretch of the frustrating-sort-of-busyness and a lot of tension in the office. The tension is still there but I work around it and get left alone enough to breathe a little. It is not perfect, but it is manageable and that’s a lot.

The repair people broke my office phone (well actually the rats from days gone by had chewed through my telephone cord almost to breaking and the man was silly enough to pull too hard and make it official…), which I have LOVED because the thing that makes me craziest in my office is a constantly ringing phone. Newest Office Manager sends a lot of phone calls my way that her predecessors would have fielded themselves, and the interruptions make me crazy. As I’ve probably said before I think I have a short term memory problem– or at least an insufficient short term memory as compared to my stellar long term memory. So little interruptions like ringing phones seem to put me into a disarray at times, constantly trying to remember what it was I was doing before the phone rang. That somewhat valid excuse aside, however, I do have a sneaking suspicion that my lack of interest in the phone lately has a bit of social inhibition  at play too though. After years of being anti-texting I’ve now become a full fledged textaholic, and I’m sure it has as much to do with an unwillingness to connect with people in so intimate a manner as real-time talking, as with any actual usefulness I find with the technology. I’m a little cautious, a little more into myself these days I suppose.

I realized the past day or two what it really is that has been bothering me about my job and about the question of whether or not to leave it (and if so, how soon). Having poured myself into something that had value, something that I ultimately believed in– it’s extremely difficult to see it trivialized by people I respect. And people I respect have continually looked at this particular NonProfit and found it just a little fucked up. We have our good days and our bad days, and we certainly have our fans and supporters. But for quite a long time, on an organizational level, there has been a disconnect between what we profess to be and what our reputation is. I knew this going in, but I wanted to be part of a turn-around in that department– and maybe part of what I’ve been struggling with is a sense of failure that I didn’t make enough of an impact to change this Place into something respectable, even admirable.

So I’ve renewed the ArtSEARCH subscription, and investigated various Ed.D. programs, and tossed the Peace Corps ideas again. I don’t know where I’m going or what is next, but it’s becoming more clear that a change will need to be made.  In the mean time, time to start planning a road trip to see someone’s Babies of Awesomeness.

November 6, 2007

This post should have been about my so-exciting cruise

Filed under: Business, Melancholy, Rants, Workaholism — me @ 8:54 am

And I will have to remember to fill you in on all those details because really. It.Was.Wonderful. — but instead it’s 20 of 4 on the morning I have to return to work and I just found out something this past evening that is going to make tomorrow, er, today– even more depressing than I was kind of already anticipating it would be. Phooey.

Suffice it to say I think I’ve finally come around to truly question the viability of the NonProfit I work for. Economic viability, programmatic viability, everything. Things have always been rocky here, and I often say the great miracle is the fact that we’re still here. I have tried so hard to fix so much, and certainly it’s fair to say that my identity has gotten quite mixed up in my place here. And for the first time I think I will be truly in a place where I can will myself to consider whether I should stay. It makes me ill to even think of leaving. But until tonight people would say “How can you stay there? Don’t you know there are places where you could be paid more? Appreciated more?” Maybe I haven’t known. Maybe I still don’t. But tonight’s the first night that I haven’t been able to brush those questions off easily with a “well maybe someday I’ll come to my senses…” or a “it’s working as a job for me for the moment” or a “there’s a lot of benefits in this job that I couldn’t get somewhere else.” Tonight’s the first night that I’ve hesitated at all, even let myself grapple with the question for real.

Damn it. And I was so rested.

October 27, 2007

Is this a light I see at the end of this tunnel?

Filed under: Business, Uncategorized, Vacation Adventures, Workaholism — me @ 4:40 am

What a week. I go on a cruise next week and by golly I’ve earned it. As my last post indicated, there was a major crisis at work this week involving some kids. It’s been one of those miracle weeks where emotions are high, and I have often felt that I am navigating through a maze, but not on my own power– I am doing things and watching myself doing them at the same time. There is a sense of right-ness, a sense of I’m doing what I’m called to be doing. A sense that I’m a passenger in my life but I know the way. And yet– it’s peculiar because it’s exactly how I shouldn’t feel. In a crisis like this I think I should be backpedaling and unsure– isn’t that how everyone is? But for all the moments of wringing my hands before summoning up my courage– I’ve felt sure this week about what is right and a… comfort with taking on the courage to do what needed doing. I wouldn’t want to go through this again, and I would do anything to take away some of the suffering here. But there are so many times in life when things are foggy and there’s something… clarifying… in coming to a crossroads where the choices come down to moral courage.

For all that I am afraid of, and there is much– one thing I am proud of, one thing I like about myself, is that I think I am a courageous person. More than once now I have faced hard choices and gone along a path that could have been easier– and I’ve always found I sleep better at night after. Even seemingly trivial choices like whether to give a toast at my sister’s wedding– I knew I needed to say what needed saying, and I was chicken for so long I couldn’t write it or guarantee it would happen for the longest time. But when I read the speech it was almost an auto-pilot thing– I think it’s that I feel free-est when my heart is open and sharing.

So. Miracles happen amidst madness. It is nice to be at the end of a lot of difficult decisions and have survived in one piece. It’s nice to actually now be thinking of my vacation. For a long time this week I didn’t think I could enjoy my vacation– I kept thinking of the many work items tabled in the name of crisis and stressing that it would be the center of my thoughts next week– and THEN all the worse to return. But something in me is shifting this past day or so. It’s not just the “I need a vacation” cliche’ of every week– it’s somehow I think I’m ready for it.

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