Saturday, May 19, 2007

Down the rabbit-hole, and back out again.

Is it the middle of May already? Good grief. The month's gone by on wheels. I guess time flies when you enjoy your job.

The job I just left was the first (only) full-time one I've had. I've been with them for almost 16 years (a year and a half of that was as a part-timer), and the bulk of it was in the position I had until recently. At least 12 of those years were under the same supervisor. Now that I'm out of there, I can look back and see how bad things were.

Oh. My. God.

It had never occurred to me that there was any other way to work than to have someone at you all the time, interrupting what you do, giving you projects without complete instructions, changing things when you're halfway done, and then treating you like an idiot for not giving them exactly what they wanted but never articulated. I mean, who am I, Kreskin?

Every single thing I said and did at work was monitored and criticized. I caught crap (privately, after the fact, behind her office door) for speaking up at meetings, for not speaking up at meetings, for taking matters into my own hands without consulting my supervisor, for consulting my supervisor instead of acting independently (favorite quote: "Well, what do you think the answer is?" Can you hear the bomb ticking in the background? I always could. If I gave her the right answer, the next thing she'd ask was, "So why are you asking me?"). We had to tell her everywhere we were going and when we'd be back. She suspected us all of goofing off when she wasn't around. She had (well, has. She's still here) a tone when speaking to us that took me a while to pinpoint, but I have it now. She speaks to one she sees as an inferior as if she were the lady of the house upbraiding a servant who has just broken a plate.

She and her boss (head of the department) have said quite a few times that the rest of the library sees them as "difficult." They're sort of proud of it, really. Now that I'm away from them, I'm seeing the other side of the story. Difficult? No. They are seen as mean and crazy.

This job is wonderful. They give me something to do and then leave me alone to do it, secure in the knowledge that: a) I know what I'm doing, b) if I have questions, I'll ask, and c) when I'm done, I'll ask for more work. I've seen my new supervisor maybe 5 times this month. Twice of those were from a distance and one was in a team meeting. It's a whole new world.

I think I was teetering on the edge of a depression there for a while. I'd stopped doing everything I enjoyed -- jewelry-making, singing, embroidery, dancing...yep, even that, the activity I took up with a mind towards cheering myself up. Couldn't tell you the last book I read. I couldn't even make it through a whole episode of my favorite television show without wanting to turn it off and go to bed.

I did make myself go to that pottery class once a week. I joined, I think, because on some level I could feel myself slipping and wanted to do something about it. Fling myself out there with people, learn a new skill. I didn't really like it (too messy, to much hurry-up-and-wait) and I only kept up with it because I'd paid for it in advance. Even then, I skipped the last class, accidentally on purpose. I didn't remember that I had one more class to go to until I got home from work, and even though I could have probably have made it back to town in time for it, I decided to just skip it.

Blogging was starting to be a chore, even. I'd sit here and look at a blank "create post" window with its little blinking cursor, trying to think of something, anything to say. Usually I just gave up and closed the window.

I'm a whole lot better now. Shortly before moving, I noticed myself looking at things and thinking, "I should blog that." Right before Easter, I started a new embroidery project. I'm also working on a little bracelet made out of black and silver seed beads done in something called a zulu stitch. Bought a copy of Edna Ferber's Giant from the used bookstore downtown last week and devoured it. And last Saturday I attended a workshop for bellydance, where I was taught a choreography to a song by Tarkan (he's Turkey's answer to Justin Timberlake) called Şimarik -- here's a video for the song, put out in the 90s, I think.

Heck, I think I may even get my camera fixed instead of just talking about it. Though I saw another one in Circuit City a week back that I really, really want. It has an optical zoom of 10x, as opposed to the one I have now, which is 6. Mind you, 6 is very good, but 10? I might get a picture of the moon that I won't have to blow up until it's almost pixellated.

And what are the odds that this old one will go kaflooey yet again with the same problem that's already taken it out twice? I think there's a design flaw somewhere.

Yeah, that's it. Design flaw. Need new camera.

Ah, since when did need ever enter into it?

Up next (probably tomorrow): the Spelling Wasp.


Amy B. said...

I can't get this to go, and it's getting on my nerves.

I'm glad I finally checked in. Your writing is fun.

Definitely treat yourself to a camera. It's a bummer that you missed the latest PW name-that-photo contest. She gave away her old Nikon D70. The thing lists for over $700 on Amazon.

--V said...

I didn't miss it, Amy B., I just couldn't come up with anything nearly as good as what was already there.