a bitter anecdote with a slightly stripped-off one at the end
Say you were a bricklayer. An exceptional one. You went to school and received an undergraduate and then graduate degree in bricklaying. You obtained a job at a place that employed many cinderblock and stone-layers, therefore seeming very bricklayer-friendly. You gained momentum in the bricklaying field; you presented on your bricklaying research at bricklaying conferences. And then one day, one day that might have actually been yesterday, you were told by the powers that be that they have decided to splice your job into it’s bricklaying and non-bricklaying sections, hire someone part-time to cover the bricklaying bits, and you were to only, hm, pour cement for now on. Except pouring cement was actually weeding grass. Or entertaining the troops. And the other team members are baffled, because they always felt your work was the best.
Oh, and the new part-timer? She starts Monday, and she’ll need training. Please make time to show her the ropes.
Look, I’ve been tired of laying bricks for a while now. I burned out. I doubt I ever truly loved it in the first place; it was just something I do well. I’ve been trying to leave for months. I suspected that some changes were coming that would cause the brick/cinderblock/stone-layers to dessert the job. I never expected to still be here come October.
Upon Alex’s urging, I went to see a career counselor last night. I knew I needed a change in approach. As I suspected, he told me while my efforts were valid, but they are a bit like spinning wheels – and few people find this successful. He’s encouraged me to network; gather more information. Figure out if it’s cupcake-icing, gourmet-cooking, ingredient-analyzing, or writing about consumption that I might truly enjoy. Talk to people who do just those things. He said the hardest thing for me, being a four-year bricklayer, would be getting in the door. Once I was there, I’m an easy sell. He says my intelligence and personality comes through when I talk. He called me effervescent.
He did not, however, give me one good reason to go back to work today, and so I haven’t. It’s too bad Alex didn’t stay back with his no-good work-cutting punk-ass girlfriend, because I’ve been scrubbing the bathroom in my next-to-nothings for nearly and hour, and I’d bet he’d be into something like that. I’ve also washed the dishes in the sink, which is funny, you know, because even when we go out for dinner, like we did last night, dishes still appear. I cleaned the glass coffee table, dusted all the dusty spots, and the scrubbed the stove. (Can someone explain to me how stoves, even when mostly unused this week, still manage to collect gunk?) I’ve officially done more work than I would have had I actually gone to that place that pays me to show up.
The only difference, of course, would be that if someone were to come home and tell me that my girlfriend duties and my assisting-in-cleaning-the-apartment duties were to be sectioned off, and a part-timer had been hired to do the cleaning bits – I’d be all over it.
Cleaning house can be so soothing, no?
Oof. That sucks, and I've been there (fairly recently). I was just reading in a magazine that having your work duties reduced and having to train someone who's taking over some of your work are signs that you're being phased out. That's just what happened at my old job, and I unfortunately clung to it long enough for things to get really, really bitter and despressing. So congrats to you for just opting out.
I could give up the cleaning duties in a heartbeat... but the rest? Are you going to give them the proverbial bird?
Oh, in a heartbeat. I've been dreaming of such things for ages.
Congrats! I hope there are some important documents, I mean bricks, that only you know where to find them/use them and your boss suffers silently at your absence!! :)
Burn those bridges! Burn 'em! Good luck, Deb. You'll be happier out of that awful place. Hopefully your next boss will appreciate you more.
gah! This is no good in the short-run, but a huge opportunity and probably a blessing in the long run. I hope the career counselor helps you out of your rut. Good luck!
hello! I've been checking up on your blog off and on for some time now. Your job situation sounds very much like my own. However, I managed to jump ship before getting too bitter. The whole time I was at that job I was so sure it wasn't the work I was doing that had me unhappy so much as the place I was doing the work at....well I've come to find that I don't care much for bricklaying. Perhaps I too should find a career counselor...thanks for the idea!
i've been reading you for a while, too. had to comment in this case, since something really similar happened to me. they even took away my reports, though they positioned it as a "promotion" so i wasn't too concerned. about three months later, i was fired. the good news is: it was one of the better things that's happened to me. some time off (and away from there) has done me a world of good. maybe you can get them to officially lay you off so you can collect unemployment? either way, sounds like this could be just the push you need.
just quit and commit full time to looking for a job. Sometimes desperation provides faster results!
i'm not sure how stoves still collect gunk, but could somebody tell me why my microwave stinks like hot dogs??? i've not laid but a single weiner in there.
Just as long as the boyfriend doesn't outsource the girlfriend part, eh?
Now, as far as career choices go, write to "Madonna" (not her real name) at My Urban Kvetch and learn about the road to fame and fortune as NEW YORK CITY WRITER/POET/ESSAYIST! You'll love the hours.
Deb, like Michael said--anytime! I can tell you about the wonders of credit card balances and wondering if your clients will pay your invoices in time for you to pay your rent...it's all about the GLAMOUR, I tell you. I cannot walk down the street without someone yelling "Who are you wearing?" It's tedious after a while...