Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Like a Hippo in the Desert

The usual complaint: I don't like my job.

The surprise: I don't HATE it like I did my last job.

The unfortunate truth: I can't seem to settle into a comfortable loathing.

I didn't like my job when I lived in the North Bay. Just scroll through, oh, just about every post I wrote from September 2005 through September 2010 and you'll see how much I didn't like the job. With the exception of the time they forced us into using a horrible, horrible computer program (seriously it was "paperless," but my office used twice as much paper after we started to use it and even though the page for a person had their address it neglected to show their zip-code, to find the zip-code you had to click five different links), I didn't hate where I was. Eventually I settled into a comfortable loathing of the situation and my biggest frustration was that there was no where for me to promote to.

So, I moved to the physical location I'm at now. I thought that if I came here there'd be opportunity. I'd work hard and do a good job and when a position for a promotion came up I'd get a good shot at it because I'd have an in. Except that since I got here there have only been two openings for the next step up. One I didn't interview for because I could be closer to the asshole boss I had at the time and the other one I really wasn't qualified for. And so for the next six months I tossed out applications to other places with no response.

Eventually I had two interviews. Both at my current location. Both in the same class that I'm in now. I was offered both jobs and jumped at one of them because I had to get away from the job that was giving me stress dreams. And it is so much less stressful. (I haven't had any dreams about having babies forced on me for months.)

The biggest problem with this current job is that there isn't enough work for me. I know that sound's crazy, but it's the way it is. There are three other people in my classification in this group and we all do the same work. One of us has her own special location, so her work isn't horned in on. The other two and I all deal with the same pile of work and it isn't enough for three people. I think it's just the right amount for two people though. When one of us is on vacation there's plenty of work to do, but not so much that anyone becomes overwhelmed and we're only occasionally bored.

And I've been continually sending out applications for a promotion. Since I got this job I think I've been on six interviews that would be a promotion. Obviously I haven't gotten any offers. I have another one on Friday, but I'm not going to get the job. (I'm not just being negative. There's been a woman filling in for the past three months. She's going to get the job because she's been doing the job.) Part of me doesn't want to go to the interview, but I need to for the exposure, if for no other reason.

I'm hoping that I'll be good enough in the interview that maybe the next time an out-of-class appointment comes up I'll be thought of because I don't know how else to do it. There's some sort of game to the situation, I know that much. The problem is that I don't know what the board looks like, let alone know any of the rules. How can I play the game? Do I even want to play the game? If it has to do with schmoozing can I play it? Maybe there's some way around the game. Maybe if I am good enough at my job someone will take notice and give me a shot.

That's why tomorrow I'm mailing out an application for my current level at a place that's even bigger than where I am. I hope, but don't really believe, that if I get in I can dazzle through my work ethic and when I get an interview I'll finally have been able to help myself. Is it possible to get people to notice you by doing what you're supposed to do really, really well?

I hope so.

I wished I believed so.