Sunday, August 20, 2006

Odds and ends; out of sorts

I haven't updated in a while, because I feel like I've been all over the place, mentally, and didn't feel like I had anything cohesive or coherent to say. Today isn't really any different, but I figured I'd post an update anyhow.

In good news, the girls are thriving this summer. Becky is having a lot of fun and is growing taller by the hour, I think. She's very emotional these days; cries whenever she doesn't get her way, stomps off, and uses grunts and moans when frustrated. We're working on this, getting her to communicate more. The rest of the time she is delightful. Last weekend we went to the zoo and she had a blast. We didn't do the whole zoo, but did go to the aquatics building and she studied each and every tank of fish. We went also to see an exhibit called Touch where you can actually touch a stingray and a small shark. B was very excited until we actually got to the tank. Our friend L and her son N were with us; he's 10 and has been to the exhibit before so he was doing his best to encourage Becky to try it out. After several minutes she finally got her nerve up to stick her arm into the water but then the animals were not swimming close to the edge. Oh well.

Carly loved the zoo too; the primates were her favorites. She was sunny and happy the whole time, and enjoyed being carried around by L. We have been bad about getting to the zoo this summer but we'll have to try to squeeze in another trip before it's too cold. We didn't get to see some favorites, like elephants and giraffes, so I promised the girls we'd go back.

Carly is so much fun these days. She is standing regularly and crawls at lightning speed. One of her favorite things to do is to try to cram her mouth with dog food before Jim or I get to her. I noticed today though that when she sees me approach, she takes the food out of her mouth on her own. Good girl! She is totally off baby food; refuses it completely, and really enjoys what we are eating. She fiiiiiiiiiinally popped one of her top front teeth and I think the other is on its way.
She waves and sometimes claps, laughs delightedly at the dogs, her parents and especially her sister. The two of them can get giddy at a moment's notice; it's hilarious and heartwarming to witness.

I'm glad for this distraction because I am feeling at loose ends. I am so not enjoying my job these days. We're terribly busy and I want to learn some technical skills that would help me, but I am continually sidetracked by phone calls and emails from employees. A group of us were told earlier this summer to basically suck it up and start working a few more hours a week. The meeting where we were given this message was basically confrontational on the part of our Boss. We (four in my work group) had prepared information on phone call tracking we had done, since the constant interruptions affect all of us. Before the meeting he had told me that he had a possible plan to hire someone to do more of the phone work, and be more of a clerical help. Well, we get to the meeting to find that the Boss has had a change of heart. Apparently his Bosses think that we can't hire anyone else, and at the same time we just shouldn't be so "transactional" in our duties. Meanwhile our employees have been used to a great deal of HR hand-holding over the years, and aren't going to just stop contacting us about every little thing.

So, we aren't going to be getting any help in that area, though they did promise some changes that would make our jobs less "transactional". However, these changes take time and money. The Big Boss promised when he started here a couple of years ago to bring us "into the 21st century". Then he found out that the money it takes to do that is in very short supply, as my employer has never been good about funding our infrastructure.

As for me, I feel like I am increasingly out of step with my supervisor and my boss. It's hard to describe but I just feel like I am always answering wrong, or don't have something they want, etc. I do feel a lack of interest in most of what I do at work these days, and I know that is probably a lot of the difference in how I view what's going on. It's probably time for me to move on, but that thought brings up all my fears, of fitting in somewhere else, of being competent to do a different job. Plus I have invested a lot of time where I am. I get a good amount of vacation time... we get our hours as PTO or Paid Time Off hours and other than for the 6 standard holidays we get, I can use them however I want. With two small kids this is very important to me. Quitting altogether is out of the question right now financially; even with daycare for 2 factored out, we would struggle on one salary right now. We're working on getting the $$ situation to a better place, so maybe that would be an option in the future, but not right now. Same with going to a part time job. Plus, I'm paid well enough that if I were to go to another employer, I'd likely have to be a manager to maintain or improve on my salary. This doesn't interest me at ALL. I have no desire to supervise oother people, nor would I personally find managing to be challenging. Sometimes I think maybe I've reached my Peter Principle point.

So, my options are to examine my current position and find ways to improve my skills and attitude, or to watch for other opportunities at my employer. I think I'll do both.

My health has been fine; I'm just in summer limbo right now, since my next CT scan is not until the end of September. It's been nice to enjoy our summeras a family, though there is still a sword possibly dangling over our heads. In my heart I feel that the things they saw in June were just anomalies and that I will remain cancer free. However, my head tells me not to just assume that all is well forever. Maybe once I've had more good scans, my head will start to agree with my heart.

No comments: