Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wasting time

I am not sure if the waiting room is the right place for me. I seem to be stuck here for quite some time now.

Long ago, I graduated college and accepted the only job that was offered to me at the time. Not being in the tech industry (this was before the bubble burst), there were not a lot of editorial positions open. Not wanting to work retail anymore, my first "professional" job was in the city, the most I've ever been paid--and a lot more money than I would have gotten had I stayed in Albany. The office environment was sterile, but I expected that. My boss was a nice woman who had years of experience, and I wanted to learn from her. But, about a year into my job, I realized that I hated it. Lucky for me, they gave me a raise, and I became happy again. Sort of.

This began the cycle of my professional career of complacency. The job was not too demanding, was an easy commute, and I was in the industry I wanted to be in. The subject matter, though, was nothing I ever wanted to work in, and one that I had actually spent most of my school years running away from: hard science. But it's Boston, and the sciences reign here. I took the time to go back to school (what, my office let me adjust my hours! cool), take on some part time teaching jobs (extra money!), and was promoted for just being there. Every time I thought about leaving, the bosses gave me another raise. Eight years later, I'm turning down jobs because no one can match my benefits and I'm not sure if I would be able to get used to working more than 35 hours a week. And by working I mean watching tv most afternoons, blogging, and flitting about the web.

If I tell you about my workday, you'd be jealous. I have my own office with a view of a beautifully landscaped courtyard, where I can go and eat lunch everyday--unless I am using the free gym three steps away with a full locker room and shower facility. My computer use is not monitored. Neither is my phone use. I talk to my sister and best friend 3 times a week for over an hour at a time. I'm out by 4:30 every day and have not taken work home in over 7 years. I've survived three bosses, and have also managed to pick up a freelance job within the building I work in editing submissions to other journals for one of the best Nutrition programs in the country.

But there is a dark reality to this place I am in. I finish working each day in about two hours. Tops. I know more about the industry than my boss and have to answer his questions. I have an assistant who drives me nuts, but I didn't want to hire her anyway. Even though I have no work to do, I can't leave early because my boss is a micromanager. My work is presented at meetings as my boss', and my opinions are overlooked then grabbed out of the air and claimed. I feel dumber each day for showing up.

I am in this waiting room right now of finding out if I am going to be admitted into a program that would be paid for entirely by my job, figuring out when to have children and use my amazing maternity benefits, and waiting for my boss to quit so I can take his job. But I'm not sure the day by day by day frustration and growing depression is worth it. I have better things to be doing with my time. Other places I could be.

Purgatory is really hell. Don't be fooled.