So a couple of years went by, some family gatherings, some holidays and vacations, and then a remarkable thing happened. I stopped giving a crap about work.
There are several pieces that are being put into alignment here in my little corner of the planet. If you look at all the tweaks and adjustments from the (let’s say) right, it looks like we are implementing streamlined reporting structures, tracking sample volumes and budgetary decisions more globally, aligning like testing with like divisions to ensure a happy client gets an accurate result no matter where their sample was sent or which phone number they called. But if you look at it from the left, it looks to me like we are shuffling some pretty large expenses into smaller groupings more nationally to justify lab closures and administrative layoffs to accommodate the dismal expectations our leadership has of our ability to stay afloat at our current rate given the lack of reimbursements provided to the company for medical testing. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, recruitment has slowed down, my supervisor has stopped answering my emails, and my “co-workers” spend all day in each other’s offices discussing Christmas and baseball and the silly thing a son or grandson did. They attempt to thrust opinions which I completely disagree with, and casually lob passive aggressive remarks in my direction every chance they get. (I realize this is probably an exaggeration. Shoobs tells me I exaggerate too much.)
And so, I don’t care. I will come in at 9 and leave at 5:15 every day, just like my boss. I will quietly do my job between the hours of 9 and 5:15 while I listen to music or Netflix on my phone. Sometimes I may even take a lunch break. I will keep my door open just enough to be safe from accusations of “not being part of the team” but also just enough to not be seen from the door to the main suite by wandering employees. I will also choose not to care (read count) how many times I am asked to leave my door open because everyone else has theirs closed as if my reasons for having a moment of privacy are any less important than anyone else’s. I will speak when spoken to or when the task at hand requires input from another party, but do not feel it necessary to discuss my personal life with the HR team. These people are not my friends; these people are the people I work with. And that may not be the truth for very much longer if my intuition is correct about how “streamlined” they intend for the company to be.
I have looked at postings online, only casually, not yet in earnest. I have dusted the cobwebs off my resume. It had been so long that my resume was still in my maiden name! I’ve tossed around thoughts of returning to school for project management. Maybe I’d take a science course or 2 online (maybe get tuition refund?) so I don’t feel like such an idiot when I speak with new grads. But I also want to keep my safe harbor contributions for the 401(k) and continue to be eligible for FMLA and Disability should I need a surgery or have a baby.
I don’t know what I want. I’m comfortable. There was a time when comfort didn’t matter, when I could pick up and move to Florida, or Ohio, or South Africa. I didn’t have responsibility and possessions (not that I am overly burdened with either of these now) and various clocks ticking incessantly. Part of me wants to sit in my office and quietly wait out the others, see how many years it takes for them to get fired or quit. Part of me wants to keep doing this same job for the next 35 years because I can, because I’m good at it, because it’s comfortable. I’ll continue to take that miserably pathetic annual wage rate adjustment thank you. I’ll continue to “act” my way through the new managers and the new Senior Vice Presidents and keep up my reputation as a qualified hard worker with a good performance record and little to no conflict with employees. I can see the stop animation sequence as I sit in my chair and my hair changes lengths and colors, my skin grows saggy and wrinkled, my brow more and more furrowed until I die sitting in this chair. Of course, the other part of me wants to pick up right now and move to Seattle or Paris or Montana, just to see if I still can. I’ve been here too long. This is an absurd amount of time to live in one place, to interact with the same people, to shop at the same grocery stores.
But, I own a house I have to sell, which means it has to be cleaned, and fixed, and I basically have to move out of it to be able to show it while simultaneously looking at other houses to purchase with the $0 down payment currently available because I was the dumbass who happened to buy her house the year the government gave the home buyer’s credit THAT YOU HAVE TO PAY BACK all while working to ensure I can pay for either or both houses (which is for some reason an overwhelming fear I have at the moment and is perhaps subconsciously blocking me from being able to proceed with the steps necessary to list my house to include painting a room for which I have already purchased 2 gallons of paint, a pole, a step ladder and new paint brushes and fixing a few things in the kitchen which would require maybe 2 days worth of work from 1 of 2 of two men THAT I JUST SPENT AN ENTIRE MONTH WORKING WITH AND NOT EVEN ONCE HINTED THAT I MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN THEIR EXPTERTISE AS GENERAL CONTRACTORS!) and continue to support my husband’s addiction to buying things online. Or, I could just say to heck with it and stop paying for everything including taxes and stupid home buyer’s credits and good luck finding me suckers cuz I live in Spain now.
All to say, that I don’t give a crap about work anymore and so I will be able to dedicate more time to this thing. So hello again. I’m back, again. For now anyway.