Friday, April 11, 2014

When doing the 'right' thing has multiple meanings

I have spent months (years) complaining that I don't really like my job and that I'm stuck here doing this, smelling funny for the rest of my life. That there's no going back; that I've been away from the product development side of things for too long, the equivalent of several generations of industry have passed me by, when lo and behold a potential job listing came up for the very department I left 10 years ago. It's written as an entry level position, which I'm not, but I meet the qualifications. Could this be my ticket out? An answer to my prayers to be delivered from irrelevance and blasting air conditioning in the dead of winter?

Maybe. Like most things this is a double-edged sword. This magically available position is one that used to be occupied by a very good friend of mine who appears to have been completely set up once back from a devastating illness. But it's back on the front end of things, getting to create, being treated as a professional person, not some lowly plant scum. To not smell like hot garbage after a heavy dairy day. Being able to work in a clean, new area with actual good lighting AND windows! To collaborate and problem solve as a group rather than be the one who ends up with the dribs and drabs of information. To not be so very much alone all of the time. And it's all right there, within my reach.

On the other hand (and there's always the other hand), the comfortable culture I left a decade ago has changed. How could it not? I hear stories of having to account for every minute of your work day in the on-line tracking system and woe to you if you report less than 40 hours total. (I wonder how much time people allocate for entering their time data in the system.) It would be a grade lower than I currently am and although pay ranges overlap a lot, any step back grade-wise means an automatic salary reduction and I don't know that we could afford it. Then there's the freedom, the flexibility of my current position which with young children is a god-send. I can get to appointments and classes without having to chip away at my vacation time in tiny amount. Having a round-the-clock operation affords me the chance to be able to get my work done at night when there are even fewer distractions. Functioning as pretty much a department of one, I can set my work goals the way I want to with little interference from anyone else. But most importantly, this would be the job my very good friend was forced out of and I don't know if I want to live with that guilt, to have that sort of strain on our friendship. She means more to me than smelling good ever will.

It appears that my only remaining course of action is to target someone retiring soon and stalk them ask for mentoring to be able to move into their job. Good thing that I have the perfect person already in mind. Ladies and gentlemen, Operation: Get The Hell Out Of Dodge is now in effect.

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