August 16, 2008

Working 9 to 5...I Wish!

In less than 12 hours, I will be on I-77 heading north in my 30-minute commute to work. I've been on vacation for the past week, and the countdown to going back to work began almost as soon as our car pulled into the garage yesterday afternoon. We'd intentionally given ourselves a day at home to relax and catch up after our 6 days in Florida before we both plunged back into work full force. It seemed like a great idea, but now I'm wishing we would have stayed that extra day. I'd much rather be spending these last few hours of freedom being busy unpacking and washing laundry instead of having all this down time to stew about going back to work. I was too productive last night, and now all I have left to do is watch the clock and wish for a miracle.

In the last few months, my dissatisfaction with my job has increased exponentially. When I took this job back in February, I was desperate for work. I was driving my husband (and myself) insane with my neediness, I was bored out of my mind, and I was worrying about our inability to save living off one income. I'd left a job in December of last year and had been without work and without holiday distractions for over a month. When I'd gotten the call from the HR director, I was excited and relieved. There were two drawbacks: 1) It was less money than I'd been paid previously and 2) It was second shift with a once-a-week rotating overnight shift. The money wasn't a real problem, because it was only my vanity that said it wasn't enough. The schedule was indeed a problem, and I voiced my concerns about it to HR and to Travis. We discussed the pros and cons and decided to go ahead with the interviews and just feel it out. Everything else checked out and I was dually impressed with the company's reputation and abilities as well as the people I encountered during the interview process.
So, after much debate at home, we decided I should take the job.
And things were okay for a while. The extra money helped. The schedule seemed tough but manageable. The new skills I was learning at work were challenging and kept my interest piqued throughout the first few months.
It wasn't ideal, for many reasons, but it was good enough.

I don't exactly remember when I turned the corner in my attitude about this job, but it's gotten so bad that even with having 8 wonderful days away from work, I am already depressed and exhausted just thinking about making that drive north tomorrow.

I have been struggling with the scheduling issues for the entire summer. I've missed out on countless opportunities, family gatherings, dinner parties, and youth trips because of work. I've missed my husband, my dog, and my house so much that there were days I went into work not wanting to give 100%, which is not like me at all.

Things came to a head for me about a month ago. After longs talks with Travis, with myself, and with God, I finally realized I couldn't continue with the 2nd shift lifestyle anymore. We are closing in on our one year anniversary and reassessing our life together so far. And while we have fared remarkably well in our first year of marriage, my job was causing problems. This isn't the lifestyle we want. We want to be able to minister together. I want to be a part of his work with the youth group and have the opportunity to be there to support him and encourage him in all that he does. I want to be able to sing in the choir and play handbells. I don't want to turn down invitations and send Travis off by himself to every dinner party, youth gathering, and mission trip.
So, with all this in mind, I went to my boss and the HR director and asked about moving to a different position with a different schedule. Unfortunately, I was met with a brick wall. Without going into the details, I was going to have to bide my time for at least a year in order to move around within the company. We'd set a deadline long ago that something would have to change by the end of this year in order to me to stay where I was.

So, here I am, employed but unsatisfied. I've already started sending out resumes, but that doesn't help the fact that tomorrow I have a 12 hour shift, with a 28 hour shift following it. How in the world did I end up here again?