Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Quit or Not to Quit Job 1

I've been really unhappy at the MEC for a while now. I loved my job, I really did.....but the last time that I really felt any joy at work was just before our conference on the 16th when I was prepping puppets for my art project breakout session. It was the first time in a very long time that I was having fun at work.

I thought that part of my fornlorness had to do with my boss retiring. And to some degree it was.... but now that she has been out of the office for a couple of weeks, I know that wasn't entirely it. I dread going to work everyday. I hate the fact that I need to get approval on things that I am working on, and that I can't get anyone in the "adminsistration" to give me the time of day for that approval.

First of all, I have zero tolerance for BS in the workplace. I have my job to do, and I work to get it done. I expect others to get their work done, and not impede me in doing mine. I admit that I do indulge in the odd bit of office gossip.... but I shy away from participating or even creating office drama. And I have no respect for those who lie. The personification of BS in my office is our program manager. Instead of telling people that she doesn't know the answer to something, she says that it is either "illegal" or that "it cannot be done" as if it is written in stone. Normally when these situations happen, it is only a task that she can do. So you end up going back to your office and fume, or go back and start calling anyone you can think of so that you can find a way to get the task done. By the time you've figured out how to do the task, the program manager comes back pretending that she has just discovered some miracle cure to your problem. She thinks that this makes her look like a hero..... but when she has been doing it for almost everything you come to her for.... it backfires horribly. Sometimes, she doesn't even bother to look for the answer and you have to go back into her office with university policy. When it gets to this point she can't escape from having to do the task, but she will also do everything in her power to stop you from making her do it. For instance, she didn't like it pointed out to her that she needed to fill out a requisition form to pay the Homestead for our conference next year Even though we had approval to sign the contract by the interim director and the new incoming director...she had a fit and made the incoming director put a stop to it. The contract wasn't signed......it was months of work and a negotiated discount of over 4000 dollars, all down the drain- for the sake of her pride.

She's also on this major power trip.... or rather she is on this trip to make it look like she has all of this power and authority over the staff. While I was trying to meet with our new director on the Homestead contract, she refused to let me make an appointment with him. She acts as if his schedule is super secret and only her and the office assistant has clearance to know what he is up to. I can understand wanting to control access to him, it protects her....at the cost of alienating the rest of the staff that make her look good.

Compound this situation, with a director who insists that you email him with requests.....that he never fricking answers. When he does answer your email it is just to tell you to do something- that he would realize was already done if he had actually read the email to begin with, or that you did something wrong that is unrelated to the email subject. I feel like I am being treated horribly.... that's not a complaint I can voice to them however. I guess that I can say that administration has laid the weight of three positions on me without extra compensation. Administration has promised support but denies it in reality. Administration has made promises as to a pay raise and increase in job status, and has fallen through. Administration has made me feel marginalized, overworked, belittled, and worthless.

I can hear Esther in the back of my head telling me to calm down and be patient.

I have been dealing with an unstable work environment for over a year now. I've put up with it because I was working towards the goal of being Outreach Director.. something that I have talent at and something that I want to make my career. But is it really worth going through all of this? I am not even sure if there is going to even be another Outreach Director... and no one will even answer my questions about it.

I kept getting to work earlier and earlier each morning. The goal of this is so that I can work and not deal with people, and that I get to leave the office earlier in the day. I'm getting in so early, that my 6 hours are up by lunchtime. I also just sit and bitch about work to anyone that will listen. It has hit a crescendo this week. Monday I started looking for job openings, and this morning I wanted to quit after reading an email from the new director. I'll never really wanted to quit a job before.....never wanted to give notice and walk out the door. Libby suggested today that I do just that. At first I just said that no, it wouldn't work....until I started to run the numbers. I normally don't count on GV money, just treat it like a happy surprise check in the mail..... but if I start counting on that money, and up my hours at job 3 from 30 hours a week to 40 hours. I could quit the MEC--- still keep my apartment, cable, therapy appointments, and piano lessons. So I have some options, which is quite empowering:

Option1: Give notice at the MEC immediately and have my 30th birthday (july 30th) be my last day at work. I can apply for other jobs if I like (and there is one at the children's museum that I am going to apply for anyway) but if I don't get extra employment along the way, I'm fine. Still could afford Christmas, but I might take a temporary Christmas retail job in order to pad up my non-existent savings.

Option 2: Give notice at the MEC and have the last day in September be my final day. Still all of the perks of option 1 except I can purchase a new computer for myself. That way, the netbook can be used for Job 3 and I could use the other computer to work on without the fear of it getting some horrible virus and dying. This would actually allow me to set things aside so that I could write, or work more on GV, or a myriad of other things that I have always wanted to do. I guess the perk of having three jobs and being used to working 70 hours a week is that when you arrange to have your schedule go down to 40 hours you have a ton of more free time.

Option 3: Get another job, and quit whenever.

Option 4: Stay at the MEC, but only under certain conditions. This is the one that I really need to think about. I am not sure if I want to stay at all anymore....even if I did get everything that I wanted. Even if I got the title and responsibility that I wanted, the pay that I deserve, etc. I would still have to deal with the administration and their absolute determination to make things 8 million times more difficult than it needs to be. Do I really want that stress?

So it comes down to, really, what do I want to do with my life? Is the fight to the position I want really worth it in the long run? Is that position what I want or need in my life right now anyway?

Option 2 is in the forefront, option 1 is being held in reserve for that instance where I totally lose it and quit. I need something to change, and soon. Heck, I am so dissatisfied that loosing my health benefits pale in comparison to continue dealing with this stress. I don't care anymore that a major component of the Center is in my hands....because even if that reality is true, the new administration live in their own little world, oblivious. They remind me that I am worthless to this program anyway, I might as well relieve them of their burden. I can be replaced and I am not responsible for the health and longevity of the MEC.

What do you think I should do?

Friday, June 26, 2009


And in celebration, here are the lyrics to the song that I've had in my head for a week.... between this one and the umbrella mending song, I sense some new ringtones in my future.

What are we going to do with Uncle Arthur?
A blinking stallion, is Uncle Arthur.
When he goes a-strolling in the park,
Watch your step, girls, especially after dark.
Any old skirt's a flirt to Uncle Arthur,
He's over eighty, but how he can run!
'Give us a kiss, my dear,' he'd say,
And tickle you up the boom-di-ay,
And say it was just an 'armless bit of fun.

What are we going to do with Uncle Arthur?
Have him doctored like a tom-cat?
You'd have thought by now he'd has his fill,
But my aunt can't bloody well keep him still,
Saturday night'll find him at the boozer,
A couple of pints there, then off he will pop,
Straighten his hat and up the street,
As light as a feather on his feet,
A dirty old man who don't know when to stop.

What are we going to do with Uncle Arthur?
A public nuisance, is Uncle Arthur.
Though he's bald, deaf, dirty and decayed,
He's the uncrowned king of the esplanade.
Nothing on Earth can seem to damp his ardour,
He's trying harder, the older he grows.
One of these days he'll have to die,
What will he get up to in the sky?
Well Heaven and Uncle Arthur only,
You can be sure he won't be lonely,
Heaven and Uncle Arthur only knows.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Derby, Pride, and an Injured Turtle

Wow, busy weekend. Saturday Jimmy went with me to the roller derby double header game, and for once I remembered to bring my camera with me. Got a fantastic picture of Steph and of Jimmy's GIGANTIC nostrils!

It was also the Pride Festival this weekend and I went out to support Jimmy as he walked in the Pride parade. It was pouring rain, but that didn't stop the festivities. I have a bunch of photos on my Flickr account, but this one of the rain was my favorite. I offered my umbrella on several occasions to some poor freezing wet gay men who were trying to find their friends.

I was totally dead after Pride today....totally wiped. The walking that I did today wasn't too bad, but you add in the rain and it adds up to some aches and pains. When I got home I started to work Job 3. Zippy was sorta anxious today and kept trying to get out so I let him and Scooter run around the house. Zippy's under carapiece has always been bad. The previous owner didn't take good care of him and kept him in too wet of conditions. The result of this is that the shell has been lost and there is bare bone on the bottom. Like your skin, the under carapiece has several layers, so the top layer is gone (and unable to grow back) and in some spots he has lost secondary layers. There are several pieces of the secondary level that are threathening to come off. As Zippy was walking around today he kept getting caught on the carpet. I am not sure if this hurts him, but it sounds like it does.... and today I decided that I had to do something for him. So I covered the bottom shell with gauze and strapped him up with medical tape.

I know that he looks silly (and kinda sad) but it seems to be helping. Zippy didn't fuss around too much when I was trying to strap him up and he seemed embarassed for a little while....until he started to walk around and discovered that he didn't get caught on stuff anymore. Since then he has been happily running around the house like he was 10 years younger. I think that I am going to have to make this a permanent dressing for him. I might get some of that athletic tape. It will be less sticky and bulky than the current gauze and medical tape situation.

And now, it is time for bed....but I have to find the turtles first. Zippy was happily asleep under the houseplants last I saw.....but I haven't seen Scooter for a while. I suspect that he's made it to my bedroom and is hiding under the bed.

Friday, June 05, 2009

New Car?

So I had this moment where I had myself convinced that I would buy a new car, but I think that I'm over it now.

I love my little car, and it runs decently..... although I worry that it won't pass inspection this month. It probably will though. Here's the thing... the little cosmetic things that have broken down on it are really starting to get to me. For instance, the driver's side window has been broken for 2 years now. I really miss the window when it is hot. And of course there is something weird thing going on with the fans in my car and only the high and highest settings work. Which is manageable, except my car threatens to stall out if it is warm and I have the air conditioner on for too long at a high level. I could handle not using the air conditioner.... but no air conditioning and only one window that will roll down and it isn't the one nearest to you? Its unbearable! So I either pass out from the heat, or have my car pass out from the air conditioning.

Then there is the issue of the locks. I have automatic locks, which are lovely. But the lock button on the drivers side hasn't worked for over a year now.... and it was manageable by just manually locking it or using the keyless entry. But the batteries in the keyless entry don't want to work now----plus my brother took the batteries out and hasn't brought me new ones and I have no idea what to get. Using the key works, but the lock seems to be getting harder and harder to turn--and I haven't been able to use the key to unlock the trunk in ages!

And the stereo.... I haven't been able to listen to CDs in the car since I worked at the Bookstore, so somewhere in 2003 it stopped working. I make due with the radio or occasionally listen to my iPod with my headphones....but (whine, whine, foot stomp) I miss blaring the radio with the windows down on a road trip.

Ahh.... to take a road trip! My car could probably take a road trip....but it does have over 137,000 miles on it. A road trip with the current cosmetic issues in the car....no way, not happening, not no how.

Can I afford a new car? Probably. My health insurance is supposed to pick up my therapy sessions in July so that will save me $200 a month right there, and of course if I get that planned raise then I will definitely be able to include a couple hundred more to the list of what I can afford.

Should I bother with adding to my current monthly bills? That's the real question. I already pay $600 a month in student loan payments, and I would like to increase what I pay on them.... and I would like to pay off my loans in 5 years, but that won't happen if I get a new car. So I am trying to tell myself that it would be better just to deal with the issues that my current car has. The estimate to fix the window was some ridiculous figure of $500, the stereo something like $300, and easily another $300 for whatever is wrong with the fan.

Oh well..... it will take a while to save up for that too... Here's to hoping for finding a cheaper and reliable mechanic.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Perhaps the Saddest Site I Have Ever Seen

I see alot of websites in the course of working Job 3. According to a recent job review, I rated over 68,000 websites last year.....and I'm figuring that probably over 7,000 were porn of some sort.

Out of all of those, there have been several memorable ones...and I've blogged about them here. But this site, might be the saddest site that I have ever seen. It is a site started to raise money for this little boy who was paralyzed after a car accident. This is part of the last update:

It is with great sadness we have to share the terrible news about Neil, Kazumi and Sam. Sam died from meningitis on Friday and it seems that Neil and Kazumi took their own lives shortly after that.

We are all very shocked at this terrible news and thinking of everyone who cared for Sam or were close to Neil and Kazumi who are dealing with this tragic situation.

We are all better for knowing them and Sam could not have wished for better parents.

Truly heartbreaking.