Missed the Mark

It’s been a few days since I last wrote, well, nearly a week.  As you might recall from previous posts on the job interview and the waiting, I was very excited and nervous all last week.  Until Friday when I got the email saying nicely that they offered the job to someone else and it was accepted.  So, I was heartbroken on Friday.  I thought I had done everything right.  I thought it was the right school.  But apparently not.  It’s taken me a few days to lick my wounds.

I’ve got one more shot at teaching for the fall semester- I got a phone call from one of the schools where I applied for a lectureship. I have a phone interview on Monday. I don’t have high hopes, I didn’t have high hopes for it when I sent the applications in, but it’s a shot at least.  Take what you can get, right?  I have to go back and find out what research they do at the school because apparently that’s a high component these days.  Really?  I wanted to give up on research (for the most part) for teaching.  Maybe I need to be looking at high school.  I don’t know anymore.  Still in career crisis here.

I’m really running out of options.  I don’t even know how to find appropriate jobs at this point.  It’s too late for the school year, and the thought of working for another company turns my stomach, even if the pay would be good.  I don’t want to leave my friends here but I know that as a professional scientist, I will probably have to move again.  It’s the bane of the highly educated.  You can’t find a job in your field just anywhere.  If I lived in a larger city, then there might be more opportunities for me, but I’ve found in the past that isn’t necessarily true.  You just have to go where you have to go.

That’s where things stand at the moment.  I’m still indecisive about my occupation, and I’m still indecisive about future, and I’m still unemployed.  One more shot left on the horizon before the sunset of university options.  (Not entirely, there’s a couple possibilities for spring semester.) At least I’ve got something to look forward to next week.

PS: I will reply to your comments soon.  Thanks for reading. 🙂

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

Chapter Read and Lesson Learned

The title of this post was actually snagged from a line in the Barenaked Ladies song, “Who Needs Sleep?”  It’s just one line, but a very powerful line that takes on a different context in the song than how I am using it.  For me, this marks the end of my dalliance with a high-paying job.

It’s been a week since I last wrote.  I couldn’t bring myself to write about work and unemployment last week.  Things were still too raw.  At times, I am still stumped about the whole thing.  I feel like I should be more angry or sad than I am.  I simply feel resigned to my fate.  Mix in a little terror and self-deprecation when I think of my situation and the lack of funds that will be coming in.  Basically, I’ve been spoiled while out on medical leave.  Sure I had a lot of healing to do, but I didn’t worry about not being able to pay my bills.

Chapter Read refers to an ending, the ending of my employment.  Part of me is dying to work, to earn money, to be useful.  Another part of me never wants to work again.  Mostly, I just don’t know what I want to do with my life.  It was pointed out to me once that my resume looks like someone who spends a lot of time running away from things.  Is that true?  I am an expert in one specific field, a high-paying field, if you can get the work.  If the job isn’t taken over by a bachelor’s degree technician.  How could they possibly know what I know?  Probably fairly easily. (Or am I being self-deprecating again?) I’ve been overeducated and probably forgotten more than I ever knew in the first place.  You hire a PhD to run the lab, to take care of the helium tanks, track the standards and chemicals… yuck.  All the things I hate about working in a lab.  But all my experience puts me in a lab with a (hopefully high-paying) yet utterly boring job containing droplets of excitement when you happen to work in collaboration on something that is patentable or publishable.  That is, if your work isn’t being questioned or stolen.  What’s the point of being good at something if everyone thinks you suck?  Or thinks your opinion is worthless?  Or questions your conclusions?  Maybe I am better off with this chapter closed, but what will the next one bring?

Lesson Learned refers to what I’ve learned from this job.  Money is awesome but it’s not everything.  Right now, I am unemployed with limited funds, thus once again, I must take what I can find, be it industry or academia.  What I learned from this job is that after the original “honeymoon phase” where I am learning and being challenged, this job is downright boring.  And when I get bored, I get lazy or I watch how others work, and some part of my brain thinks it’s OK to do X or not do Y if other people are doing X or not doing Y.

For example, I watched as lazy Dr. B (short for Dr. Bastard) get away with everything.  He swears he has something in his personnel file that says he shalt not be fired.  Who knows? Maybe he does.  He must have done something valuable for the company at some point because they let him get away with all sorts of things that no one else can.  He would stroll in at 10am. He would leave at 6pm.  (Core hours are 9am-3pm.)  Sure we are salaried and have flex time, but you were expected to be on site for 8.5 hrs a day, excluding lunch. He would ramble all day long to anyone who would listen – not getting an ounce of work done.  He brags about how great he is and how the company has wronged him.  His stories are 20 years old, yet he tells them like it happened yesterday.  He brags about how he got his revenge on people by getting them fired.  (And now I am one of them.)  He is mean to people who report to him or work with him if they don’t do exactly as he wants.  He is insulting to anyone he doesn’t like.  He is bigoted and reeks of harassment.  But the company thinks he is some sort of god in the field and that they can’t part with him.  Not everyone does, but enough people to keep him around.  Some people see him for what he truly is:  a narcissistic ass who is not always right (scientifically) even though he is trying to BS you into thinking that he is.

My other lesson learned is that I need to admit when I need help.  I needed to have this surgery a year earlier.  I needed mental health help a year earlier.  I went through hell because I didn’t seek the help I needed.  I thought I could control my bipolar, my OCD, my PTSD all through sheer willpower.  It’s taking me 5 prescription drugs a day to control all that and still I have to contend with symptoms from my mental health problems.  I need to have a psychiatrist.  I need to have a therapist.  I need healthcare coverage.  I am jealous of people who can get away without coverage or who just need the bare minimum or people who only have to take two or three pills a day.  I have in total 11 prescription medications per day and I am barely into my forties.  I have to learn to admit that sometimes I need help.  I am too damn stubborn for my own good.

So where do I go from here?  Without my six figure income, how do I live?  How do I get to travel?  Take my photographs?  Do the things I enjoy?  How did I ever survive on $40k/year?  For starters, I didn’t have a 4 bedroom home with a formal dining room.  I didn’t get to travel.  I didn’t have an iPhone, an iPad and an iMac.  I didn’t eat out that much.  I thought a little bit more about what I spent money on.  I didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on steel swords for renaissance costumes.  We didn’t have an Xbox or a Wii or a flat screen TV.  I certainly didn’t have this many pairs of shoes.  We never remodeled the house and I didn’t have nearly  the wardrobe I have now.  (Some of which I no longer fit into – thank you meds.)  Still, I am at a loss.  I don’t know where to go from here.  My mortgage is too high.  I have too much junk.  This house is turning into a money pit.

Some days I am good – I can handle the stress, focus on the tasks ahead, and move forward.  But always in the back in of my mind is: Where are you going?  You aren’t going anywhere.  You spin your wheels wandering from job to job.  Sometimes making money, sometimes not.  Always banging your head on some wall.  Always allowing your illness(es) to encroach on your life.  Mania or depression coloring your view, affecting your productivity. Like a hamster on a wheel, I am forced into running through these cycles, never getting anywhere.  I never get a productive hypomania like other people do.  I’m either constantly distracted, fidgety, talkative and flighty, or touchy, angry, and easily set-off.  My depressions are laden with anxiety, sadness, and a lack of energy and focus.  How the hell did I get through school???

Well, there’s my emotional core dump.  (For now.)  Where do I go from here?  That is the biggest question on my mind.  Everything else is details.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Taking a “Day Off”

Technically, one could say I’ve been taking a day off for the past 10 months.  But today, it’s from the job hunt.  I just don’t have it in me today.  DH just tells me to do one thing each day (usually I do more) but today I feel drained and depressed.  My chances of getting an internal job at this point are almost zero.  I sent my resume to my former manager (now retired) who liked me very much and is going to check around for me (inside and outside my company).  My career really went downhill once she retired.  How is it that I do so poorly with changes in management?

I’m sliding into depression again, and I don’t think medication is going to help me this time.  I’m sleeping long hours, but they aren’t restful.  I fall asleep on the couch at least once a week.  I don’t go to bed until midnight, but then we haven’t been eating dinner until 8 or even 9pm.  (Damn time change!)  I need my meds to kick in order to sleep.  I feel stressed out all the time.  I play way too many video games.  (Arm is fixed, I can play on my own now.)  DH is still having health problems, but he’s not telling me about them.  I worry about him but I don’t know what to do.  He’s a grown man, I can’t force him to go to a doctor.

Back to the job hunt topic… I don’t know where to begin.  I’ve been thinking of a career change, maybe something that doesn’t include a lab.  But who is going to hire me?  Everyone wants an experienced person unless you’re working in Walmart. (No way is that happening!)  Besides, Walmart doesn’t hire people like me.  I would be considered “overqualified” and not willing to stay with the company. Imagine that!

Went to Lowes and returned the excess tile and other parts we didn’t use from the remodel. I got $172 back.  That’s a couple weeks worth of groceries.  I can’t believe we have to pinch pennies again, and gas is upwards of $3.50 a gallon.  Which means, fewer trips to ‘the city’ and around town even though my car gets 30mpg.  I don’t know what to do anymore.  Unemployment is going to drive me insane.

Ah well, I wish I had something better to talk about so I don’t just bore and depress you all.  I’ll think of something good soon.  I have my 100th post coming up!  I have to write something special for that.  Let me put my thinking cap on…

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.