Sunday, July 23, 2006

Further Ramblings About Why Work Sucks

I'm such a slack ass.

This has just been the kind of week where you wish you could ask for a do-over. I'm still struggling with the job thing. I had my 30 day review on Wednesday which went well, but I still feel as if I'm just not relating. Even if I'm making my boss happy, if the people who I'm actually working with are unhapy, than I guess it isn't working. I'm pretty seriously confused about what I want to be doing. On drunken Friday night at 2:30, I felt sure that I would go back to teaching, and use the extra time (when teaching I got off at 3 instead of 6) to pursue other things (more on those later). But today I just don't know. I know that teaching is familiar, that I won't be frightened, that I relate well to my co-workers, that I like getting off at 3...but. But where I work, I have to pay for everything: paper, pencils, workbooks, art supplies, reading books, the damned electric pencil sharpener...and I think in my haste to get out of something unfamiliar and unwelcome, I'm forgetting the incredible hassle of teaching someplace that never tells you anything, just expects you to figure it out for yourself and keep plugging along. And once I'm in, I'm stuck for a year. I've seen teachers leave mid-year, but I don't think I could do it. It's too hard on the kids.

I just miss doing something that I consider to be worthwhile. No matter how hard, how frustrating, how tiring my job was while teaching, at the end of the day--or, more importantly, at the beginning of the day, I knew why I was doing it and I felt good about it. That's the Quaker influence in me. I didn't dread work when I woke up in the morning, and when people asked me what I did, I was proud. It's hard to feel that way about filing charts in a dentist's office, particularly when your day is punctuated by people pointing out your myriad mistakes in a tone that implies that you are a total moron.

So last week I tried to brainstorm with Thomas about what I might actually like to do. Like if we threw out the last six years: forget the MFA, the teaching, parent's expectations, my own expectations, the need for health insurance, everything. Forget all that. What am I good at? What would I like to be doing? It scares me that it's so hard to answer that question. And the answers there are aren't particularly good ones. But here's the one I'm really focused on: I'm an ordained minister (as most people are in the internet age) and beyond that I have a degree in creative writing. I love weddings and I love planning and decorating and crafts and trying to help people achieve dreams on a budget. So, ok. What if I advertised myself as a minister who does custom ceremonies--catering to those who want non denominational weddings, or interfaith weddings, or gay weddings. I could write and perform them. And then maybe get into a little wedding planning.

I know this is a pipe dream; that really my choices are just to suck it up teaching or suck it up filing charts. But I really feel like I just need some hope right now. I always council people with unsatisfactory houses or roommates or whatever that you must be happy at home. You spend too much time there for it not to be a safe, good place. But why shouldn't I feel that way at work. Hell, if I'm going to spend 40 hours of my week doing something, can't I dare to hope that it would be something I like?

1 comment:

Cue Gal said...

Pipe dreams are only pipe dreams if you don't make them a reality.

Seriously, man -- I'll repeat what I said before: go for it! I think you'd be fabulous at that. I also think that you have options outside of teaching or your current job -- there are other jobs out there to be had, and likely some that wouldn't require you to use an effing headset. But outside of that, I think it's awesome that you're giving yourself time to ask the big questions about what would make you happy, and what you really want to do.

Also, I currently have 13 kids enrolled to participate in my pipe dream this fall. So, it is possible! How's that saying go -- leap, and the net will appear? I'll keep the faith for you -- I know you'll be amazing at whatever you decide to do.