It's One Question Wednesday, and indeed there is just one question for me to answer today. Thank you Ken for giving me something to blog about! :-)
First off let me just say, that if I would have payed more attention to that tiny voice of reason in my head back in my younger days, I would have stayed in college it would have resulted in a career that would have been far more lucrative and personally rewarding than what I have ended up doing. I completed part of a nursing degree, part of a teaching degree, and part of a social work degree. I finished none of them. As it was, there was a commonly held belief in the
What followed is 20 years of me trailing along after husbands as they rambled and bumbled their way thru life. I have worked in various clerical positions for nearly all of the past 30 years, one of which I held for 19 years and rose to mid-management level with a decent income and multiple weeks of annual vacation. Then I divorced my last ex (yes, there's been three of those... another story for another day for you new folks), and a year later, in May of 2008, I was thrilled to resign from the long-term job and relocate to Texas to be with Papa Bear, the new love of my life! I hated to give up the pay and benefits, and the freedom that position afforded, but I also had grown to hate it there, largely due to mis-management and one person who was intent on making my life hell.
When moving here, I opted not to pursue another supervisory/management position, because I was worn out to the point of mental and emotional exhaustion from the previous job and was also still recovering from the toxic and near deadly relationship with my ex. I wanted a simple answer the phones job, and that's what I got. I took the first job I applied for when it was offered. It worked out ok, more or less, with the exception of going thru seven supervisors in three years time. (No, it wasn't because I was that hard on them! Geesh folks, give me a little credit here!)
I had already reached the point where I was ready to start looking for something else when the family-owned company announced it was selling out to a large corporation. I knew I didn't want to be part of that, so I stuck with them thru the transition as promised and collected the bonus offered for doing so, then turned in my resignation, packed my box of belongings, and walked out the door. You can read about that in this post... A Leap of Faith.
I took the rest of December 2011 off, knowing it was going to be a year or more before I saw another day of earned vacation, and basically did nothing but sit on my butt and veg out. I needed that, I really did. At the beginning of January I put out resumes and once again accepted the first job I was offered because it felt right. And it is... for the most part. The people there are friendly, the work is bearable, and the hours are better. The pay is still crappy. I'm used to crappy pay by now. A little more than half of what I was making five years ago. I miss those big paychecks, but I don't miss the job that went with them, or should I say the side effects and politics of that job.
So anyway, now you have my work history in a nutshell. The reality is... I HATE CLERICAL WORK! I am so damned sick of pushing papers and spending eight hours a day attached to a telephone and keyboard. I am tired of being a 58 year old peon working for and with people half my age. Yet I have no one to blame for that but myself. What I DO like about my job is talking to and working with the clients we assist. I am good at that, I am caring and compassionate and I treat them with respect. They like me. I wish that was all I had to do, and work-wise it would be plenty.
There seems to be a trend in today's economy to run office workers into the ground, to overload them with tasks so that they don't know their head from the ass by the end of most days, after chasing their tails for eight hours. I like to stay busy and I know how to be productive. I'm not attached to my cellphone or computer games as some coworkers are. But I sure would love a few minutes to breathe now and then, especially as the day wraps up. By then I am feeling every bit of my 58 years and I am brain dead and tired. I know that paperwork has to be done for any business to function, but lordy, how I wish it wasn't me doing it! If "some dumb ass" had stayed in school, she could be running the business and loading the work on other peons (just kidding, I would be a better boss than that, knowing how it feels on the bottom rung of the ladder). When I took this job, my tentative employer asked me how I felt about accepting a position I was over-qualified for. I answered that doing so teaches me humility... and it certainly does.
It is hard to find jobs at 58, employers would much rather hire someone young, preferably Barbie. They don't want to take a chance on older folks, even though we are proven to be more dependable, stable, responsible employees. Physically, I am no longer able to do what I once could and that limits my options greatly too. I won't be able to fully retire at 65, Papa Bear and I will be lucky if we can manage to semi-retire and work 3 days a week, as many of our friends do. We fantasize about how nice that would be! When I think of his job, I really feel guilty complaining about mine. He has been working ON HIS FEET, six days a week, at his job for the last 31 years. He weary and worn out too. We hope we will live long enough to enjoy being retired... someday.... maybe... God willing.
Ok, all that being said, back to Ken's question. (You thought I was never going to get there, didn't you?) If I could do any job in the world, my fantasy job would be to operate a no-kill cat sanctuary. There are some amazing ones in various places around the country, and I can't think of anything more enjoyable or rewarding that making sure abandoned cats are safe, cared for, and loved forever! I far prefer cats to most people, and I'm certain I could handle the supervisory/management end of the business. I'm not as dumb as I may sometimes appear here. Now how I expect to make that kind of job a financial reality is anyone's guess. Maybe a rich benefactor out there somewhere who is as crazy in love with cats as I am? Hey, don't laugh... a girl can have her dreams!
Whew, I think that's the longest answer I've ever written... aren't you glad there was only one question? :-)