Looking into the black hole, and I can’t see the safety net.

In essence, my future is a black hole. I suppose that’s true for most of us, but I’m really in a strange state regarding my job right now.

My boss is leaving the job after next week, and I’m really bummed out about it. I wondered what would happen to the place if she were to leave, and always figured we’d be totally screwed (but dammit, she needs the change, if only for the sake of her kids and her health). I can already tell that the next few months are gonna be huge in terms of changes… and we’re still settling down in our new, mini-sized location.

That’s one thing that’s been hard to handle. I had some great ideas to keep the students we help occupied during breaks, and they loved the reading area with pillows and blankets. Now we definitely don’t have any room for that, which is a bit upsetting. I mean, it’d mean I have a great start to the best damn pillow fight ever in the making, and a few more nice blankets… but that’s about it. The books, at least, can stay, and I’ll be swapping them out occasionally like I planned. Even without the setup area, I was pleased to see the kids still grabbing books to read, or to look through until I offered to read with them (that was fun).

But I don’t have much of a chance to exercise my creativity like before. My current-almost-former boss seemed to appreciate and like my weirdness, and the parents seem to like me, too (I still find that weird most of the time). What’s tricky is the sheer stickler for cleanliness the owner is and that’s going to make things harsh. I’m always a bit intimidated by authority figures, especially those who stick their heads in at odd times to see how we’re doing (and we’re rarely at our best in those odd moments–ick).

I don’t know what the future’s going to bring, because not a day after everybody was informed our boss was leaving, a few were debating whether or not to work elsewhere. I have to admit, that same thought crossed my mind.

Except this would be like jumping without any clue there’s a safety net down there, and would that be a net that could catch me instead of letting me fall through it and crash? I don’t know.

I’ve let so many dreams go by the wayside that my options have been limited. I’m over-educated and perpetually under-employed. I’m trained as a teacher, but I let my certification lapse because I couldn’t afford the hundreds of hours of professional development and days off work anymore, and because I have become too cynical about teaching in a big classroom of my own. That was all I wanted for years, but I wanted the opportunity when I was young, naive, and stupid enough to try anything and not let others’ cynicism get me down.

Well, I’m sort of a wacky cynic in some respects, and it’s frustrating when people tell me to go apply for a teaching job at blah-blah district.

I don’t want that classroom anymore. It was snatched away from me so many times I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. I was so disillusioned by offers coming and going that if a genuine one slapped me across the face, I still doubt I would recognize it.

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I am tapped out in my current position, maxed out as far as raises go as an hourly employee. Inflation will turn this into a dead end job really quick, so I’ve had to really think about other things I need to do, or could at my age.

I may well have a nice long life and die at 100 or something. That gives me a helluva lot to fill up… and I can’t imagine myself doing this job for the next several decades.

I grew complacent. That’s the big problem, the one that’s stopped me from reaching for more or thinking further. I mean, I don’t mind the job most of the time (sometimes it’s a total pain), and I’ve got co-workers I enjoy seeing and we really get along well and help each other out. I like the team aspect of things where I’m at, that (most of the time) you’ll have somebody willing to help pick up the slack or reach when there’s an issue to deal with, or bounce ideas… things like that.

Now I’ve been there so long, and gotten so complacent, I don’t even have a clue as to what other job I would pick. I don’t think I’d want to work for a competitor; it seems like it would be more boring and just as dead-end in the long run.

My job is tricky to describe because I do all kinds of things. I work off-site as a reading teacher for some kids clubs at different times a year. At least that’s in the evening, often even in the same morning I’m a receptionist. I’m a teacher (when needed), and do other jobs at the front desk for clients who walk in to do background checks. I do a lot of tasks, but how to boil that down on a resume and try to explain it to an employer? And what employer?

Sheesh, the type of job to go for would be tricky enough.

But even if I figured that out today, I couldn’t leave yet. We have a few off-site teaching opportunities that need to be taken care of in the next few months and I’m the only one that can do all the locations when asked. The locations have already confirmed with us, so this isn’t a surprise. I’d have to help train somebody else to take over for me, and that will only get harder as time goes on, as far as finding the people.

Besides, I promised myself I’d give the promoted co-worker a chance and see how the training takes or what all the changes are. We’re still smack in the middle of the end of the renovations, so our standing is not very secure, at least until the workers come and finish everything. The holidays really screw things up for everybody.

I was pretty much told I was indispensable by the boss. That’s a blessing and a curse, because my initial reaction to the job was “who’s gonna take care of all the offsite stuff if I were to say ‘okay’ to this opportunity?” I backed myself into a corner on that one, but if it were to come up as a possibility again, I told a few others who wanted me to take the job (instead of the newer lady) that I’d throw my name in the hat for consideration.

I suppose I could give myself three months. One of my part-time jobs is quickly kaput now because the location is shutting down, and frankly I hadn’t been there in forever because of this job. But now this job is going to change so much. I hope I can adapt and I’m so busy with the kiddos, parents, etc. that I don’t even notice the change in personnel all that much.

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It feels like wishful thinking, too, that I’m stalling. Honestly, I need the time. Time to figure out what all I can do and make it work for me as I begin the search for a new job.

Sure hope I can keep going to my favorite appointments, though. It’d suck if I had to restructure everything (and haggle for permission to be off for kickboxing and music lessons, just when I was getting back into it).

 

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