Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back into the swing

Cleverly, though my Maine vacation was only three days, I took off the whole week; because I'm swimming in leave time (I never get to take anywhere near as much as I earn, especially lately) and have record-setting levels of stress to burn off. So that leaves today and tomorrow as around-the-house days. A lot of that will be used to catch up on things I didn't do early in the week because of being on vacation. Some of it I hope to use on a few around-the-house chores things I want to get done, or on just plain fun stuff. A bunch of it got unexpectedly used up on working with the electrician on getting our generator set up -- he showed up out of the blue today to do the job I started on nine months ago.

The big project that I hope to get worked out during these two days is updating my résumé. I've been at the same job for fifteen years and I still hope I'll be able to do another fifteen and retire from it. It's mostly comfortable, with interesting challenges, enough latitude on important issues (like a relaxed dress code), a good variety of tasks, and as light a burden of bureaucracy as you can have in the white collar world. But the way things have been going lately, it's also possible I can't sustain it, and it might be time to consider whether other opportunities might be better, or at least to be prepared in case I need to look for them. It doesn't really cost anything to get one's résumé current and keep an eye out on the world around you. And now that I can do my clothes-shopping locally, getting a dress shirt is probably something I should be doing anyway.

Recent developments at work that happened while I've been away have only strengthened my resolve to start opening some doors in case I find myself needing to go through one. They've also put me in a position of having to spend at least a little time today thinking about work issues and sending out a few emails to get people prepared for the blitz I'll be beginning when I get back next week. I really want to find a way to make this project at work succeed despite the obstacles piled in front of me and the lack of support from almost all sides. Not just so I can get credit for it (the way things are going I won't get credit for the victory no matter how many more hours I pour in and how much more talent I bring to bear, but even if no one else really knows how much I've done, I know). Not just because finding a way to wring success out of this impossibility would also mean I could stay in this job. But also because that's what's best for my employer and for the state.

That said, if I can't make it work, that only proves we don't live in a movie with a guaranteed happy ending, and if people undercut and subvert something long enough, wait long enough to make needed decisions, and offer too little support for too much demands, things can fail no matter how hard people like me work or how smart we are. It won't make me feel like I failed, any more than it does to know I can't compete in the Olympics or flap my wings and fly to Mars.

Oh, and I also hope to play some Rock Band this weekend. And buy a snowblower. And go donate blood. And if there's time left, solve the world's political problems and develop a clean cheap source of unlimited energy. Maybe even watch a movie!

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