Come On, Friday!

July 2, 2010

I have become the kind of person that counts down until the weekend.  Each day I count the hours left until I can leave.  That’s not a good sign, is it?

There is someone who works here who has license plates that read “C’mon Fri,” which I always find a bit pathetic when I see.  I mean, this person is clearly dissatisfied in his job and only clocking hours until he can go home.  Or, she.  Either way, that’s not a way to live one’s life, is it?

And now I’ve become that person.  I just sit here with nothing to do these days, waiting until someone needs me.  I can’t leave because I work hourly despite the fact that I have a master’s degree in my field.  I can’t work from home either.  Other people can, but I haven’t achieved that status level yet. 

Nor do I expect to at the rate things are going here. 

To top it off, I’m pregnant with our third child so I tire more easily these days.  I’m not as tired as I was during the 1st trimester, but I am definitely dragging.  My 250 mg of caffeine I’m allowed wouldn’t do anything to energize me even if I took advantage of it.  Somehow caffeine just feels gross to me.  Which is a good thing and probably better for the baby.  Still, how I long for a good cup of coffee!

Only two hours left until I can go home.  Or, rather pick up my girls from summer camp and then go home.

Tick, tick, tick.

What’s pathetic is that I don’t feel like doing anything but complaining about it.  I can’t really go looking for another job right now.  Who’d hire me?  Also, I don’t know what I want to do.  The jobs in my field would require extensive travel, and that’s something I’m not willing to do at this point in my career. 

I want to just quit, but I find myself afraid of quitting.  For one, there’s still a chance I could get a federal job.  Not that the federal job will pay enough for me to afford to put all three of my kids in some kind of after school or day care. 

And this isn’t really material anybody wants to read anyhow.  It’s not uplifting in any way whatsoever.  Nor is it informative.  But I still need to vent about it.  Probably because I’m narcissistic like everyone else in my generation. 

Why do I sit here waiting for a hand out?  Why do I expect great things to happen to me when I’m clearly not doing anything great with myself?  Either I should get motivated and inspired (which I’m not) or accept that I’m mediocre and that’s okay.

Mediocre it is.  Okay, I’m not.  But I’ll try to be.  At least for the next two hours.

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Desk Job!

November 25, 2009

I have a desk!  I have a phone!  I have a computer!  The computer needs a little tweaking in order for me to be the primary user, but — hey — I’m on the right track here.

I have a little nook where I can place my stuff.

I already hung pictures my kids drew on the cubicle walls.  Stacks of paper are piling up in safe corners.  It’s official.  I am now a Little Soul with a Desk!

Or, is that an oxymoron?

The Big Cheese is a Lady

November 4, 2009

Last week, I’m pretty sure I walked into the building behind the New Big Cheese.  I didn’t know it at the time because I have never met her.  When I logged on and went to the agency’s homepage I saw her picture staring right at me.

‘Woah,’ I thought. ‘I just saw her in the parking lot.’

She was wearing a gray pants suit and matching suede heels.  She is not much taller than me and similarly thin.  She walks fast.  Maybe that’s how she’s gotten ahead in this world.

I’m kidding.

Anyway, I didn’t know I would be so inspired by the new Director.  I wouldn’t have said that I cared that much, but maybe the fact that she is a woman and so accomplished spoke to me.  I don’t know how she has achieved as much as she has in her career.  Truly, it is awe inspring. 

I don’t know about her family life, though, because she hasn’t mentioned it.  Is she a mother?  How many children does she have?  What are her children like?  How did she manage to accomplish so much while balancing her role as a parent?

These are the questions I want answered. 

Why?  Well, the fact that she has a stellar career is inconsequential to me if she is not also a mother.  I know I shouldn’t say that, but I would view her success differently.  I would still admire her and be inspired by her, but I wouldn’t attempt to emulate her. 

As a mother, I have constraints that working non-mothers don’t.  Rather, I choose to have constraints.  After all, I could schlep my kids off on a full-time live-in nanny or send them to a boarding school (when they reach school age, that is), but I didn’t have children for no reason.  I had children because I wanted them and I believe it is my responsibility to raise them, to instill in them the best values my husband and I deem appropriate.

The workforce needs stars and I’m glad that there are female stars.  Not every woman wants to have children.  Those women should be allowed to forge ahead, to perform at the same level as their male counterparts.  They should be able to get ahead of them, too. 

At the same time, I long for a work environment where our children are considered assets instead of hinderances.  I long for a time when being a mother doesn’t hold a woman back.  Not because she is overcompensating and scrimping on sleep and quality time, but because she is living in a society where the standards are congruent with a realistic world view.

Then … THEN, I might feel like I belong here.

I have been temporarily moved to an office since returning to work, but the move has been interrupted several times by requests to vacate the temporary space for painting and installation of a new carpet.  I get it.  It’s not my office.  It’s just such a hassle to keep moving all my things all the time.  Plus, I have a nanny at home watching the kids and I invariably forget to tell her which number to use in case of an emergency because I don’t always know where I’ll be during the day.  She can call me on my cell phone as long as I’m not in some inner sanctum of the building.

Yesterday, I was told that I would have to move out of the current office, but there is no consensus yet on where I am to go.  Not that I had really moved in, but – yeah – I did set up the laptop and bring some papers I need to read in. 

So, I was a bit annoyed at the news.  (Yes, there are more important things in the world, I know.  Still, I would just like to know where I’m going to hang my hat if I’m going to be here for awhile (which is also still questionable)).  The AO referred to me as the “Little Lost Soul Without a Desk.” 

The office she keeps trying to put me in is waaaay down several dark hallways, fairly far away from the rest of my team.  In addition, I’d share it with a man who seems nice, but our exchanges have been slightly awkward.  Plus, he had taken over the whole office during his time alone there (which I can understand).  I can’t quite figure out if the AO wants to stick me there because it’s the only room she has readily available or if she wants me there because she doesn’t like me.

Anyway, I arrived late to work today because I had to volunteer at my daughter’s preschool as a teacher.  I packed a lunch at home to save money and also to reassure the girls that I’d be home soon, just after nap time.  When I opened my lunch bag, out flew a fruit fly, which I am pretty sure I picked up at home since I noticed some of them flying around our compost bin recently.

‘Uh-oh,’ I thought.  ‘I’ve brought this little bugger in with me.  There’s going to be an infestation in this office.’

Then, I paused and thought, ‘Huh.  Well, I guess that’s one way to express my unhappiness with the situation.  I kind of feel bad for the person who will be taking this office on the one hand, but on the other, I don’t.’

Small and petty of me, I know.  But, really, it’s only one fruit fly.  And, they can’t reproduce without another one around, can they?  Besides, the damn thing is flying around my head and bothering me at the moment.  So, maybe it’s just one more instance of “life passing by,” as my mother always says.