This morning i woke up powerful. I was ready to hop out of bed and take on the world. I listened to a Portuguese lesson and was very proud of myself because i was finally going to get to work early.
Yup. I was finally going to do it.
Then it started to rain and next thing you know, i’m in an SUV with my husband, who’s driving the wrong way down a one-way street from the backseat. “Watch out for pedestrians,” i said, “when you hit the corner.”
It was a dream, of course. I had fallen back asleep. The version of myself that is a capable cheerful morning person only exists hypothetically. She would only exist if i got out of bed early.
Then all our east coast customers who call ten times in a row before 8 AM would receive satisfactory service and not be moody all day. They would be nice to everyone around them. It would start a chain reaction.
Come to think of it, that is probably why east coast people have a reputation for being too uptight. They get up too early. Then they get upset at all the other parts of the country where the sun hasn’t risen yet. They hurry us up while we’re still trying to blog in our pjs.
Then there’s this daylight savings thing. Who ever thought it would be a good idea for millions of people to collectively lose one hour of sleep? And why do we do it? Why don’t we rebel against the machine?
It is because we depend on the machine. We do not know how to go back to relying on natural instincts like bears and frogs. And when the machine malfunctions, we all blame the other parts.
If all those customers got better service from me as a salesperson, i could change the world. But i won’t, because it’s cold outside.
I thought you couldn’t put a price on happiness…
What would you do with a 40% raise?
They said I was crucial, so I translated that into a fluffy round number.
I thought they were going to have a heart attack.
But unfortunately, they agreed to the raise.
Just enough to cover my transportation costs and my long commute hours.
I was really looking forward to going home for lunch and working with my homegirlz.
(I was a teenager in the 90s).
This morning I awoke at 5:45 AM regretting my decision.
How ideal it would have been to bike to work at 8!
Why did I sell out what I really wanted?
Every part of me wanted the lower-paying local receptionist job. Every part.
Then the transmission on my husband’s truck gave out.
I thought, ‘Great! I’ll work close by so he can just use my car.’
Life hands you a problem, God hands you a solution.
Then my potential new employer said I was too expensive and she could only afford me 4 days/week not 5.
‘Wonderful!’ thought I. ‘More time to do the things I like. Volunteer work and preparing for my state exam.’
Then my assistant pretty much quit and my bosses tried to put a price on my head.
So I did the math.
It’s the same number sites like salary.com say I should be making.
I knew that was way above their expectations so they’d act like sore losers, deny me of my raise and sense of pride, after which we’d spend an awkward last two weeks together with me trying to bring people up to speed, pretending to type extensive manuals that would only have lots of vignettes and pretty bullet points that were all blank.
I fretted all weekend.
I came to terms with my new simple lifestyle that had more time for spirituality.
I embraced my new town.
Then Monday morning rolled around.
I got to work late, as I do every Monday, and was immediately beckoned into their office.
I thought they’d try to negotiate.
I was ready for it.
Let the fire start.
They pretty much succumbed to my enchantments.
I was beside myself.
“But anyone could do my job.”
“We need you.”
“I’m really not even that good. Have you noticed how much I procrastinate?”
“Your role is special.”
“Listen- I have to tell you about this blog that I write-”
“Don’t you like working here?”
“Well yes but only when no one else is here-”
“We’ve invested a lot into training you. We know you won’t let us down.”
I extended my hand to thank them for the opportunity- that was a mistake- and my manager said, “I’m glad you’re staying. ”
Apparently in business when you shake hands it explicitly means you’re closing a deal.
I got no chance to think about it.
No chance to pray about it.
No chance to talk it over with Mr. Husband.
Just like that *poof* my new reality of biking to work and going home for lunch was gone. What have I done to myself?
What have I done to my marriage?
Why couldn’t they just not value me like before?
Why didn’t I try harder to be a bad employee?
Wasn’t I lazy enough?
Was I too early coming in at 9:15?
Were the flip-animations I drew on the edge of Post-It pads too short?
Could I have been a little more racist toward some of our international customers?
My brother congratulated me and told me to see it as if I’m getting paid to come see my parents, since they only live 5 minutes from where I work. But who wants to see their parents?
Hopefully I pass my state exam and it’s only for a few more months.
But now- I’m probably the most miserable person to have ever gotten a 40% raise.
I will therefor spend the rest of today’s work day looking through a home deco magazine full of fancy items which I guess I can now afford.
I have glue dots on my teeth.
I look Frankensteinesque.
I’ve resolved not to smile til my orthodontist takes them off.
Speaking of smiles, my general dentist wants to hire me.
Her practice is five minutes away from my new home.
For anyone not familiar with my life, that’s 5 minutes vs the 55 minutes of my current work commute.
That’s when I drive my own car instead of taking the bus.
That would give me between 8-10 hours per week to do what normal people do.
Haha! Just kidding.
I’m not ready for that. Whew.
I’m obviously getting overly excited by the possibilities.
So, not my dream job; I’d just handle scheduling and calls while my friend concentrates on billing.
None of this customer service order processing silly stuff I have to do where I’m at now.
My dentist is a normal dentist though, with a decently sized staff.
Here it’s just the doctor’s assistant, (whose job I took), my assistant, (who’s no longer my friend), and myself.
My manager, as we will remember, is never to be seen, and the doctor here goes on lecture tours about every 5 weeks.
Not only that, Tuesdays and Thursdays they work out of another office, and no one comes Friday mornings but me.
As a result, I am highly self-supervised.
(And damn good at it).
Still, as I am not generally recognized as a strong authority figure, there can be issues.
Last week they were out of town and my assistant brought her sister, who also works in the dental field, over to show her the office.
I snapped at her when she started explaining our production methods.
Our other coworker, the dental assistant, thinks I overreacted.
I think it was very unprofessional of my assistant to bring her sister to our packing area.
Yesterday, her sister confronted me at church and told me I’d hurt her feelings. Boo-hoo.
She said I shouldn’t apply the rules to everyone. Oh please forgive me, why was I such an ethical employee…
…You can understand why my assistant is no longer my friend.
But eh who needs friends.
I’ve got cats.
And a husband who tries really hard to please me even though he doesn’t always understand how I feel.
Or why I yell.
Well they have a great sense of humor.
And a few real friends who know better than to make me choose between them and my means of living.
I have to go to the new office and work two days to see if my new boss and I will fit each other.
I already got my assistant to cover me here but I don’t know whether or not to tell my manager yet.
If I tell her, it’ll have to be tomorrow.
Friday, right before I leave.
Ruin her weekend just like she ruins Mondays.
The truth is, when I asked for a raise, she said she didn’t think I was worth more and that there were a ton of people who can do just what I do.
Who could possibly multitask between two separate businesses and blog at the same time?
Sometimes even while eating and still catching not just my own mistakes, but those of others?
Maybe it’s time to move on.
Besides, my stalker hasn’t called in two weeks.
If he can do it, so can I.