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Friday, August 03, 2007


Everything Old is New Again

Sometimes the most mundane job on earth suddenly becomes everything.

We've probably all had a position where we thought-why am I here? I'm underpaid, under appreciated, doing this in my sleep, I don't really even like who I see day in and day out. Why, oh why do I stay? Then you get a "dream" job, you quit and move on.

Trouble is, you get to the "dream" place and find out-EGADS, what have I done?
The daily work load is beyond the capabilities of a mere human, you have to sit in a cubicle the size of an RV bathroom for 11 or more hours in a day and the only living breathing soul you ever see is during your very infrequent bathroom breaks! Lunch-what's lunch? Dinner with one's significant other-not happening.

Then you spend what little time you have sleeping-and that's when the dreams of "the old boring job and coworkers" come into your thoughts and you long to go back to those days.

As you can tell-I had one of these experiences. My son sat me down and said very quietly "Mom, quit that place, you've turned into the woman from hell. I don't even want to come home since you started work there". He was more than right. Now fortunately, I found a wonderful compromise. I went to work for a smaller version of the first job. I have two wonderful co-workers and nice people in general. I now spend my much needed free time with my family and writing. No I'm not making "the big bucks" I did at the "dream job", but I'm back to being a sane person whom everyone would rather be around.

Everything old (the happy me and the writing)is new again.

This son who let me have it between the eyes, just had the same epiphany.
He had worked as an office manager for the same company as his dad throughout most of his college career. Didn't pay much, but they let him study when things were slow, gave him a flexible schedule to accommodate classes and fraternity obligations.
His co-workers drove him crazy and he wanted to quit numerous times, but he knew this was best during those 5 years. When graduation neared, he took a post-school position in an industry far removed from his major. He was so happy to quit and move on.

I asked him-why, you're like me, why would you take a job in banking? It was the promise of making a ton of money. To a new graduate with student loans and a want to move to the next level of adulthood, this was obviously the ticket. He threw himself into the company.

Within a week, his jaw was twitching, he had insomnia, he snapped at everyone and he couldn't eat, stomach was in too many knots. When he did, he'd get a stomachache.
Basically, he had turned into a young male version of the mother he didn't want to live with.

This time it was my turn to gently sit down with my son and repeat his wise words to him. Now I didn't say quit this second, but I said you need to find a different job.
But by week three of doing 11 hour days, he realized he couldn't even look!

So he quit. Then he started talking about how he should have stayed with his long time company and the great people he enjoyed being with, at least until he found a job that was more "him". He spent many hours calling, applying, going to interviews-practically a full-time job in and of itself. He wondered out loud-do you think if I called they'd take me back? I really miss those guys. (the same ones that drove him crazy just a couple of months before).

Must have been karma. The manager called my husband and asked how happy our son was at his new job and how things were going! Turns out the replacement office manager was awful. He was wondering-would our son consider coming back to his old job and he'd let him do sales. My husband said "here's his cell phone number, talk to him, he'd probably be open to the offer".

To say our son was thrilled would be an understatement. He called me at my day job and sounded happier than I had heard his voice since graduation. Turns out, not only will he have the salary but the commission from any sales as well. They understand that he wants to become a human resources manager and don't mind working with him about any upcoming interviews. They even suggested that when the time comes and a job in his field opens up, that he work the weekends until he knows the next position is a keeper.

So the people who drove him crazy, the low pay and the monotony suddenly seem, well,

Everything old is new again.


I've definitely had those moments. I've had them several times a month at my current job, because the management is so awful (the pay stinks, too, but the benefits and time off are great). But then I realize, from experience, that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I try to concentrate on the positive aspects of my job. This usually works for a while until we have a meeting or a training session where one of the "higher-ups" will tell us something we're doing wrong again, and asking us to find something else to do. The problem I have with this is that they're telling 35 hub sites to come up with "something else to do" with our participants without giving us any suggestions or direction. Probably why the management has changed four times since I started in 12/05. The company is run terribly by people with degrees in special ed, not business. That's the problem right there.

I might post about this, I've been hesitant about it, because I don't want to come out sounding politically incorrect about things. But I have another training session on Monday that I know I'll come out of with frustration and confusion, and I feel the need to blow off steam!!

I'm glad that you found a nice compromise as far as your job goes. It's nice to find that balance, and you seem to have figured out a way to fit in all the things you love!

Anyway, have a great Sunday!

Take good care,
Thank you Lisa, as I said, we've all been there, done that. I do hope your company wakes up and things improve. Especially since, you do a job that is so meaningful.
Nice article

Tip : promote your blog in by writing an article there and make a link to your blog in the bylink. Your blog will attract more visitors.
erik, thank you for your kind comment and I will check out your suggestion later on after the day job.
please let others know you liked my column!
hope you keep dropping by!
Wonderful post! I've never had a job that I didn't love .... or maybe, I loved the job because they liked me well enough to hire me. You have a wise son.
Off the subject---what form of blogger do you use? I might be able to help with your blogroll problem, if you send me an e-mail addy. I'm at
there's a form? Oh dear Kacey, now I'm really feeling dweebish. I had no idea there was more than what I was "given"
Sometimes the grass is greener, sometimes it only seems that way from a distance. Life is full of tough choices.

I probably have never had a dream job, so far as my income, but my employment never did interfere with seeing my boys growing up, doing sports, plays and the like.

Once, I remember asking some high level executive about his son's thrilling meet-winning run in the final track & field competition of the high school season. The roar from the crowd you could hear from across town. His response? Didn't see it. He had an important meeting to attend.

I guess I realized then, maybe I did have a dream job.
how absolutely true. nothing gave us more pleasure when we were there for our daughter's 1st place trophy in karate. and seeing our son's umpteenth goal in soccer
Hi Carine,

I have changed my job last September and I´m now working for a Temping Agency.

Although I earn less, I´m much happier where I´m now, because it doesn´t affect me if the company I have an assignment has problems or not. Even if the day job is boring, I know I stay there only for a few month or weeks.

This gives me the opportunity to concentrate on my coaching business, be more creative and simply loving my life as it is.

My colleagues there are constantly complaining and seem very frustrated with their jobs. For me, everything is perfect.

christina, welcome and I'm so glad you dropped by. I know what you mean. If it were possible, I would love to write full-time and nothing but! Temping is a wonderful way to having the best of two worlds. Although, I have to admit, the two guys I work with are very nice and the 3 of us (after an admitted rocky start)have a lot of fun together. My hubby (aka the saint)is very supportive of my writing. Thankfully, I too hear a lot of complaining about "how awful my job is", but I am not one of them.
I'll check out your site right away!
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