I’m relieved my bestie didn’t freak on me and go “what the crap is wrong with you?” when I decided that me and this opportunity are gonna have to go our separate ways.
Because of privacy, I’m not divulging much about my work or the company. The big thing is I was in the running for some kind of promotion. At first, a month ago, there was the possibility of an assistant position they’d have to create. Emphasis on ‘could be”, since this was just something we were hoping for that would ease the transition for our new boss, who will have to really rely on the receptionist staff big time if they can’t get a co-director.
Our numbers of clients and sales didn’t justify another salaried position, but I was wanting to help out any way I could and maybe get a raise in the process (I hit the hourly pay cap for my position over a year ago, which means I’m officially working a dead-end job unless I go salaried rather than part time).
Well, Friday I was called into the office in between clients and other duties and the acting director brought up the possibility of an assistant director position. We hadn’t had one of those in over a year, which is what led to my poor previous director burning out and having health issues out the wazoo (and the major reason I didn’t even consider taking her job). I had a bunch of questions and was assured there would be a bunch of training, a need to be able to take direction from our new director, and basically working with all the staff more than the clients while the director focused on the clients.
I was waffling back and forth, and she told me to take a few days to think about it because if I’m interested, we’ll have to get started on training right away.
Yesterday I wasn’t so enthused about taking the job.
Today I decided I’m not going to after all.
I’m sure my co-workers will be wondering why the hell not, but I got to thinking what it is I want. The first thing she asked me is “what do you see yourself doing in two years?” In all honesty, I answered “I have no idea.”
That’s the problem–I know I can’t do what I’ve been doing for years and years more. I know I can’t keep this current pay scale without consequences when inflation comes in (because our owner is cheap as hell and would probably have to be forced to give us all raises). I know that I have the potential to double my paycheck at minimum and I’m throwing that away.
But I have to honestly ask myself the question. “Where do I see myself?” If I took this position, out of the feeling others need me to step up or a sense of guilt that the newbie needs help or whatever, then I’d be that gorram people-pleaser I’ve been trying to smother the past several years.
Where would I be in two years? Chained to that damned desk because I’ll be an inverse latch-key kid, going to work and home, work and home, work and home forever.
And I realized that my time is far more important to me than any paycheck.
It sucks the way I’ve been using what little I’ve gotten, but I’m working on improvements. The acting boss said that I’d definitely get more hours… and honestly, that made me have doubts.
I don’t even have the time to do what I need to do for myself away from work. I finally finished a book this week only because I had to get my car worked on and had some appointments, which meant lots of waiting and reading time. I have barely been to my kickboxing classes, and I’m paying quite a bit for them. I have had to re-schedule music lessons or turn them into make-up classes because of last-minute craziness.
I’ve become the mortar that’s needed to fill the cracks in the schedule. I’m there if we need front desk staff, I’m there if we need someone to fill in for a teacher, test proctor, or trainer of newbies. I’m always there as it is, and if somebody’s sick last minute, well, the first call is always to me. It gets a bit annoying when it happens over and over, but because this is my only job now, it’s my schtick.
And what’s to say that I wouldn’t fall on my habits, find a hole that needs filling since “i’m already right there” and end up neglecting the things I should be taking care of instead (even if they feel mundane, like paperwork)?
But what’s really making me say “no” to this opportunity? I hate to say it but the acting director and the director to be are about a decade younger than me. They both have fiancees and families of a sort, and friends and lives outside of the job.
I’m quite a bit older than them and I haven’t even started my life, and having one away from work or school, despite the fact that I’d told myself for…well…about a decade that it’s freaking time to get one.
But if I’m at work all day and putting out fires and changing my schedule all willy-nilly (up to 50 hours a week as opposed to 30ish max), when the hell will I get time to do things for myself? I mean, when I had to do open to close shifts all those days in a row, I was exhausted. Dishes piled up and laundry wasn’t done, my pet cages and tanks needed cleaning, and a thousand other things I couldn’t do because of covering so many people. This training would have me work open to close day after day after day. So, buh-bye exercise (and I weigh more than I’ve ever weighed in my life right now), sleep, piano, guitar, a clean house, and the spirits of my pets, who just want me to be around to love them (and play once in a while).
I barely have time for what I want and need to do for myself. I tried the “bigger paycheck” thing before when I got my janitorial job… and I had so much less good to show for it and a thousand headaches from the stress, harassment, and strain.
I’m not falling for that again.
Besides, I need the time more than ever to figure out what I really can and want to do.
If money was no problem, I’d love to open up two stores: a bookstore/cafe and a musical instrument and repair shop. We definitely need both about where I’m at, because the closest locations to me that have books or musical instruments are at least an hour away. There’s a small city that’s much closer that has too much of the same crap you find everywhere else, and yet no music or books.
No place to hang out and try new things.
No real place to make new friends, or find old ones.
And no place for students to get their band or orchestral instruments serviced that’s MUCH closer to home. Seriously, it would be a much needed service where I’m at, and a relief to parents that can’t just run Janie Doe’s clarinet an hour away for fixing… not when it could be only 20 minutes away.
That’s what I’d love to do. The musical instrument store would definitely be the most useful, but I’d love to do both and have ’em right next to each other.
That’s what sucks about where I live: other than Starbucks, diners, or a country music bar, there’s no place for younger people to hang out… or anybody, for that matter. This is a small city that’s all commercial without a feeling of community. And I hate that.
Said changes will take a helluva lot of education and work to learn how to get started, let alone do anything like that. It’s so far beyond anything any of my family (other than the family that won’t talk to me) has ever done.
But I’m going to look through my books (naturally), probably sign up for some online classes to fill in the gaps (or at least give me an idea about what to ask or do), and talk to others that were in my position.
Sleep will bring a bit of clarity, so I’ll be tackling that list tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll see if I can dream up some dreams again, to remind myself what it is I really want to accomplish in my life (in the here and now).
I haven’t tackled my stories in several years now, and that’s a frozen muscle that needs flexing. I’ve gotta think how to get started again and work work work at it.
Because if I can become a successful author and still keep my current job, I’d be okay with that. Til then, I’d better explore every option I can get my hands (and head) around, and dare to go bigger.