Job Satisfaction Matters.

My job is a waste of my time.

I’ve spent most of today being very aware that if I wasn’t at work, it wouldn’t have made that much difference to the workloads of my co-workers and I would have been able to get a lot done. I’m working on learning SQL as well as beginning my OU course and I want to spend time writin and all of this would be much easier if I didn’t have to go to a job where I don’t achieve anything and get no satisfaction.

If I was in a job that provided me with a challenge or a job where I felt like I was making a difference, this would be different but all I’m doing at the moment is wasting my time.

We’re advertising for a job in the office at the moment. The CV’s that have come in and been good enough to attract interest have belonged to people who, on learning what the job actually entails and how mundane it is, decline interest. My co-workers don’t understand this: why would you not be interested? they ask. They don’t understand that these are people in the lovely position of not desperately needing a job – any job – so can pick and choose to ensure they get the job that works for them. Better in the long run for us as well as them: if they don’t want to be there, it will reverberate through the office. My colleagues, though, are happy in their positions (and there is nothing wrong with that: it’s a good thing that they have that) so can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t be.

Everytime I apply for another job they come back and say “Sorry, no. But we’ll keep your CV on file in case an admin position comes up.” But the reason I’m applying for these jobs is that I’m desperate to get out of admin! I suppose I should be pleased they’re looking that closely at my CV, but it’s frustrating and makes me feel like I’ll never escape.

Oh well. Keep trying. Keep applying. And keep trying to keep energy for after work so I can do some of the things I actually want to do.

Wish me luck!

Fear the Reaper

I keep building blog posts in my head and then not wanting to share them because they’re angsty or angry or otherwise not the face I want to show here.

I’m keeping another blog of my geeky habits (over here, if you’re interested). I want to keep the grittier side of ‘real life’ away from that, so this is where that will end up. It means I’ll mostly be posting here when there’s a problem I’m trying to work through or when I’ve done a bit of writing I’m pleased with on a subject that doesn’t suit the more up-beat environment of Ballgowns and Battleskirts.

My last post here was about surviving depression. I’ve had a few wobbles since, one significant, but mostly I’ve been ok. Lots of self-injury urges, but I think a lot of that stems from being very bored in my job at the moment. Anxiety levels are high – again, frustration at the stagnation of my job. Panic attacks at night…

After Mum died, I suffered panic attacks pretty much nightly. Ice-cold blood, beating heart, wild eyes, a second or two feeling like years. I used to scream for my Dad until the night he didn’t come and I went to find him and nearly walked in on him and my step-mum… So the screaming stopped, but the attacks continued. That knowledge of my own mortality. That one day I would be dead.

Eventually, they became less frequent. Sharing a bed with Husbit helped and after a time, they stopped.

And then his brother died last year and it all came flooding back.

It’s back down to about one in three nights. I’m lying to myself, pretending I’m the exception – I’m the PoV character, so I’m unstoppable. Immortal. Well, I have to survive, because it is through my observation the world – the universe – exists… I know it’s not true, but I have to tell myself this to keep myself coping for now. I’ve given myself this mechanism because I understand most people up to my age are supposed to believe they’re immortal. So I’m lying. And it seems to be working.

This is a long way from where I started when I went to update. But it’s been heavy on my mind for a while now and it seems I needed to get it off my chest more than I realised.

Leaping

Fear has always held me back – fear of change, fear of the unknown but most of all fear that I’m not good enough.

I look at what my family have achieved – cousins with masters degrees, with artistic and musical talent; Agent Whisky earning a fortune before he’s 25; Agent Echo has been an amazing army nurse, is incredibly fit and has a TEFL qualification despite being severely dyslexic; Agent Tango is managing to raise her children in difficult circumstances but still giving them the best chances she and they are happy and healthy to prove it. I see all that and I fear that I am a failure. I feel like a failure compared to my family, compared to my friends, compared to my potential.

That dichotomy: the fear that I am not good enough but the knowledge that I am more than I currently appear..

My job is not stimulating me. It took a while to accept that the training and progression I was lead to anticipate was not going to appear, and by then apathy had bitten deep. The spur to action has come from a realisation that my low job satisfaction is largely the cause of my constant tiredness and my lack of interest in life beyond work. It has also come from reading somewhere that Iain Dickhead Smith, the work and pensions secretary, has claimed that the benefit cuts will encourage people back into work “we need to build a society where people are defined by their jobs”. I have no desire to be defined by my job. If I were defined by my job, I might as well give up now – end game and restart. And I thought, is that so crazy? I can’t end the game, but it’s not too late to restart, not really. I’m heading for 30 and still childless so I feel like it is, but I’m childless because we can’t afford to move somewhere big enough to raise a child, and we can’t afford that because we don’t earn enough and part of restarting is to earn more. I should have restarted before, when it felt like I couldn’t.

So here goes. I’ve tried being a teacher and found I couldn’t, but a desk job does not suit me: I need to have a job that makes a difference to people, a job that I feel matters. When at uni, I toyed with the idea of becoming a midwife, but felt it should wait until after I’ve had a baby so I could understand what I was asking of the women in my care. But the more I’ve thought about it over the last few months, the more it’s appealed and the more I’ve realised that maybe having my own baby first isn’t necessary – if I find birth as easy as my broad hips, hypermobility and chronic period pains suggest, I won’t be as sympathetic to women with less forgiving bodies as I’ll need to be – so maybe I should just do it.

I thought it’d be a simple course, maybe 6 months. When you think about it, that’s crazy. It’s a 3 year uni course and that should have been obvious to me, but there you go. To study at my local uni requires a further qualification I don’t have – biology or human biology A level. I didn’t bother with biology A level because the GCSE was too easy and I thought I’d be bored. I can substitute this with an OU module that I think may require a different module as a prerequisite because I don’t have the A level – I’ve emailed them to ask.

I’m leaping feet first. I’m taking this risk. It will take time and it will take money (the midwifery course is paid for by the NHS, but I won’t be earning a wage for the duration), but I truly think that this is the person I not only can be, but want to be. And Husbit is offering his support the whole way.

I’m leaping.

Sleeping Service

We’ve needed a new mattress for awhile, the Husbit and I. Our old one – a memory foam mattress we got off E-Bay when I was still at uni – is no longer moulding to our bodies. It’s just flat. And kinda lumpy. We’re both waking up in pain and the shoulder injury I picked up at Jitsu last autumn just isn’t healing and I think the mattress is part of why.

A few months ago, when we were shopping for cat bits and pieces, we spotted a bed shop so went in for a browse. The bed department was upstairs in a furniture store – the stairs split, with one direction leading to sofas and the other beds. We hadn’t finished going up the stairs in the beds direction when we were accosted by the sales demon assistant. She hounded us so intensely when we just wanted to get an idea of how much we needed to save up that we left and put the idea of a sound night’s sleep out of our minds again.

We have just come into a bit of spare cash, so decided to restart the mattress hunt. Reluctantly, we decided to go back to that shop because I wanted to pop into the next-door pet shop again. We pulled into the car park and spotted another furniture store selling beds in the retail park, so we went there first. They didn’t actually have many beds, but as we wandered through and lay on those we could afford, we were chased by two young girls playing ‘it’, with a mother shouting to them to “come here!” and not mess around but never looking over to see whether they obeyed, or seemingly even noticing that they never did come hither (they were perfectly polite children, smiled at us and apologised when they got in our way). The sales assistant caught Husbit’s eye on the way in but waited until we reached the last beds before bothering us. Mattress we liked best in our price range was in a 10% sale which included delivery, so that seemed like a bonus but we wanted to get the best we could afford so needed to shop around.

Which meant going back to the other bed place. We took the stairs up in the other direction, towards the sofas, this time (another couple were fleeing the sales pitch onslaught down the bed stairs) so managed to have a bit of a look around before we were accosted. Same sales assistant, on spotting us, came running over. Started the same explanations she’d given us last time – we cut her off (I felt a bit rude but she was being so insistant), explaining that we had been here before. Every few minutes, she came back over to see if she could help.

To be honest, the beds weren’t as nice and were more expensive but, for politeness’ sake, we admitted to liking a couple so she then tried to get us to try others. She seemed very put out by our low budget when we explained we couldn’t afford the ones she was showing us, and then tried to sell us a mattress that was available for us to take away there and then because it was a roll-up mattress. When we declined, she admitted roll-up mattresses aren’t as good, being less sturdy.

We ran out of there.

The next day, we went over in the other direction to the shop Husbit bought the bed from originally. I was all buzzed from having been allowed to drive over to our friend’s the night before – the longest I’ve driven in the Scooby – so was feeling shiny and excitable when we got there. Child-like. Or annoying puppy-like. We scooted in, avoiding the sales assistants and bee-lining for the beds. We were testing the first when we were approached. Smiley, friendly assistant who explained the shop layout to us and then – relief, oh relief – left us to it.

And we found a lovely mattress. A little over our budget, but not insurmountably so. And then I lay on the bed next to it and…. heaven! We snuck to the nearest cash point to check if we could scrape the money together, it being substantially above our (admittedly conservatively estimated) budget. We did. By delightful coincidence, the projected delivery date is my birthday!

The thing is, it needn’t have been a chore, the first day. Why do some sales assistants think that the best way to get a sale is to pester pester pester? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t find it frustrating. If you’re worried about the person feeling ignored, make eye contact. Approach and ask if they need help and if they say “no” then piss off to an appropriate distance and leave them be!