If you look at my blogs over the last year, you’ll see I’ve mostly bitched about waiting. I’ve had a bunch of good bursts of artistic inspiration (as the muse was never far away), but I’ve written on waiting, on temperance, on wishing, wanting and whittling away. I’ve reflected, renewed, reminisced, reconnoitered, and reconciled with personal demons. I’ve resurrected old articles and posted them anew. I’ve done everything accept stand on my head and whistle dixie from my arse, and yet seven months later I’m waiting still.
I know. It seems impossible that a company this big could take this long to organize key services, but after day one of the merger, it came to a screeching halt and the waiting started. What followed was the steady disassembling of our positions, the paranoia, the fear, and the attacks on our confidence. I overcame that. There was the vacuum vortex of conspiracy that threatened my peers and I, and we were almost turned into zombies by the utter and almost viral paralysis of one individual in authority. That situation didn't change until that individual found out she was being let go and sort of faded into the background of what was already hulking shadows and threatening questions. We were completely cut off from what was happening by that. There were rude associates from the other side, people we had to work with but who made our lives miserable with undermining insults. Disagreeing with this unprofessional treatment and lack of common respect implied not getting along with the team and was frowned upon. This was followed quickly by the big projects that found me complying for the sake of the work. It was either that or sabotage their efforts, and I don’t do that. In between those happy jaunts, during which we won’t even go into what happened to my ego, there were days and days of soul sucking boredom when nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, happened in the office. I’ll take a good, difficult project any day. I'll work hours on end if it means my mind is engaged. But the boring day to day makes me weary. Having nothing to do at work makes me want to throw my computer out a window and jump after it.
I’ve tried very hard to be a trooper. I have one friend who tells me they are sizing me up, wanting to see what I’m made of so they can promote me. Another one tells me she’d be absolutely floored if I’m not layed off. I’ve observed one lay-off after another, actually had to separate six of my own secretaries at one point, and have watched people be picked off from the sidelines as though by a sniper while everyone else worked harder to avoid be targetted. I have friends that I know I’m driving crazy with my ceaseless whining, and I’m wagering they think I should shut up and be thankful I have a job. So, I suppose every day I’m employed should be a good day … but does it count if my brain is fried and my attitude sucks?
What do I have to show for all this downtime? I can tell you that on Facebook Lady Bunny has so many pictures on her wall, it takes more than 5 minutes to scroll down them all. I’ve stared at Facebook so much, I actually go home to look at it again. I used up all my vacation time and much of my limitless sick time before January 1, and that was in self-defense. I’ve cleaned out our garage more than three times, and we’ve had no less than five garage sales as a result. The extra cash was cool.
I’ve done a lot of art over the last year. That much is true and good. I haven’t sold one piece, but I’ve given away much of it to people who were touched by the gesture. I believe it should be spread around regardless.
If this was happening ten or even just five years ago, I could tell these people to take their job and shove it and find something else with little effort. Now, it’s like trudging up hill in sewage. I’ve applied for more than 15 good looking positions since November 1, and have had few nibbles. Most of the time I’m overqualified or they won’t pay what I’m looking for, but the majority of the jobs out there are in high tech or health care, anyhow, so ... As much as I’d like to, I can’t walk away from this mess given the economy and the job market. This feeling of confinement, of being trapped, is a big part of why I'm so aggravated. I think I’m in a rut. If I wasn’t, I’d feel like I was using this time more effectively, wouldn’t I? Why aren’t I walking more or loosing more weight? Instead, it feels like it’s sucking the energy right out of me.
A year ago at this time, I was leading an integration sub-team of members from Paris, Mexico City, London, and New York, and leading conference calls across geographies at 6:00 a.m. in the morning. We were making plans for the merger. In the office, I was responsible for HR, new hire orientation, all the secretaries and workflow, finance, office services including safety and security, event planning, community service, data security, facilities and space management, and business continuity. I had 20 direct reports, and I was considered a business partner. My input was valued.
Today, I have four people reporting to me and I attended a webcast entitled “Emergency Preparedness for Dummies”.
I’ve been through the first round of interviews for my new, restructured position which is comprised of about one quarter of what I was doing previously. The second round is imminent, and I feel like I did when Elizabeth was two weeks overdue and all I could is sit in the big chair and wait.
I’m in the last quarter and there isn’t a quarter back sneak in sight.