Thursday, September 4, 2008

Now It Can Be Told

The news: I quit my job today. Sent in my 'resignation' (if you can resign from a job when you were never actually on staff) this morning; it's effective EOD tomorrow. Maybe with time and distance I'll feel like it's appropriate to say more, but for now, I will simply assert that this is a very good thing. Both I and the website deserved better than what we were currently getting from one another.

The rest of the news: I start a new job--a much more 'me' job--on Monday. This, too, is a very good thing: I'll be writing about science again, working for someone I respect and with whom I once worked for 6 years, as well as with someone with whom I've been friends and with whom I've worked on and off for over...gulp...almost 20 years. (That can't be possible...I must be counting wrong. No, I was right. Almost 20 years. Holy shit.)

I'll be back in an office full time, and that's going to take some adjusting to, but I'll have my nights and weekends back, which I think is a more-than-fair trade. Because, despite having been home pretty much 24/7 for more than two years, I am almost never more than an arm's reach away from my computer. I spent an unpardonable amount of time this summer yelling at N to leave me alone so I could meet a deadline or respond to emails. There was never a down time. There were no office hours. The tasks I was charged with required frequent, near-constant vigilance. It made for a summer of guilt and unhappiness. In fact, when I told the kids about my decision to go back to an office, N at first began to cry. But when I told him that it meant that when I am at home, I will be at home, his tears stopped. "You mean you'll have time to play with me?" he asked. "You mean you won't always be having to do all your work?" And he broke into a cheer. (Em understood from Second One what this would mean, and has just been thrilled for me, planning all sorts of Mother-Daughter things we're going to do together now that I'm 'free.')

I thought I'd been doing the right thing in working for home, and I meant well. But I'd lost sight of the forest for the trees. I'm thinking that I now have found the forest again.

Why I was acting so freakishly depressed: The interview process began in early July. After my second interview, I was told I would hear one way or the other within a week. A week and a half later, I started to fret; I assumed that the job had been offered to another candidate, who was taking his or her time accepting it, and that only after that happened would I hear I wasn't being given the job. A week after the "we'll let you know" date had passed, I emailed them to ask about the status, and was told that 'next phase' of the process was taking longer than expected. This merely confirmed my paranoid assumption about the job being offered to someone else.

Two days later, my boss from the website called to tell me that my hours were being cut by a third. This was actually something I'd been expecting for a number of reasons; it was part of why I was applying for other jobs. But now, with the new job seemingly not to be mine, and the only income we had coming into the house cut by a third...well, you all saw the result. It wasn't pretty. And it went on for another full week. A week during which Baroy and I became so worried that we discussed everything from what had to be done to put the house on the market before we could no longer pay our mortgage, to where exactly we'd be able to afford to relocate.

But guess what? I failed, I failed...I got an A! Turns out, all that taking-longer-than-expected stuff was the DMV, claiming my license didn't exist, and thus making it impossible for my new employer to complete my background check. Which had to be done before an offer could be made. To me, not someone else.


Despite all this, the thing that made me smile the widest today? Was N, running across the schoolyard when I came to pick him up from Day 3, waving a piece of paper. No, not just a piece of paper. A certificate. On it was printed the following:

I'm a Super Star Student!
This Certificate Celebrates: Great effort and a positive attitude by N!
Date: Sept 4, 2008
Presented At: Our School
Signed: Mrs. S

"Mama, Mama!" He tugged at me as I gaped at the paper. "I got that because I was happy about my work!"

"You mean Mrs. S was happy about the work you did today?"

"No! I was happy about my work I was doing!"

A great effort. A positive attitude. My son.

"I am so incredibly proud of you, N," I said, hugging him.

"I know it," he said, beaming up at me.

A great day.


Anonymous said...

All good, my friend, all good! And I am so glad the work situation resolved itself in a way that brings you peace and hopefully, the gift of time. Much luck! And love, from here.

Green said...

Wow! Well, mazel tov on landing the new job.

Don't let them give you a blackberry.

Soooo... what are you going to wear for your first day of work? :)

Ambre said...

You liar. You did NOT start to fret in a week and a half. You started to fret before the week was even out. By a week and a half you were frantic and convinced that the job wasn't yours.


Glad you had a good day!

Lynnbug said...

Congratulations!!! This is wonderful news! Applying for jobs, interviewing and waiting on decisions takes a long time. A lot longer than we want. But your wait was worth it. Yay!

po said...

Actually you were hardcore fretting before you even went for your interview, but hey, let's not split hairs now that everything is fine :D.

And YAY!!! for the Super Star!! :)

Green said...

Just wanted to wish you good luck on your first day tomorrow!

Meg said...

Wonderful to read this great news. Good luck on Monday and here's hoping it all continues in such a positive way. I am glad you again got the A. And good for N - I hope he stays happy about his work.

Hilary said...

Interesting parallels TC: I'm also going into a new job that seems like it's going to be a perfect fit for me - AND - I've been working from home for close to two years (as of November), and am wondering what it'll be like in an office environment again.

Anyway - congratulations!!!