I’ve been particularly touchy and pensive lately. Nothing interests me but reading books, watching television, or playing Bookworm. Well, other things have interested me, but that only takes 10 minutes max and even my husband is getting tired of it! 🙂 I’ve finished the latest Stephen King novel. Ho-Hum. The only thing of interest is that I started the first Dresden Files novel by Jim Butcher called Storm Front. Now that’s gotten interesting! I foresee long nights ahead reading his novels. (clapping) Still, I’m feeling pretty underestimated at work and pretty disgusted at our political system and media. So what else is new? Rather than rant on and on about the latest bullshit coming out of election candidates or the latest “I hate America” crap we see constantly, I’ve turned them all off for the time being. And people wonder why we watch TV shows too much. DUH!
As I’ve said before, I work at a large (not huge) church. It’s no mega-church or anything but some prominent (i.e. rich) people go there. So as Administrative Assistant to a few pastors, I get paid a decent wage for what I do. Hell, if you worked for the state (the largest employer here) I wouldn’t be making as much and the atmosphere would be even worse. So why bitch about it? Because I feel dry on the vine, underestimated, and my self esteem is withering away. In academia, it’s pretty much standard that you will be called brilliant every time you submit a question, let alone a paper of some length. It’s pretty heady to work in a field where you can toss around ideas and hob-nob with professors. I miss writing, researching, and presenting papers at conferences. Yet, I couldn’t stand the politics and the lack of balance found there. Despite what people think, academia is pretty narrow in their political beliefs.
Where I work now, I have just as a high if not higher educational degree as anyone here but the head pastor (he has a doctorate) and it pretty much means nothing to anyone. Is it supposed to? Maybe. At least that’s what bill of goods we are sold when we sign on to get one. But I went mainly for the research and reading part of it, not the end product. At any rate, it’s from the pastor that I’m constantly running across problems. He’s a 70s Princeton Theological Seminary graduate whose wife typed all of his papers while in school and whose assistant (me) now does. He’s not good with computers and doesn’t know how to find things on the Internet. Simple stuff for me seems unreachable to him. Yet, he is a perfectionist who has to have EVERYTHING a certain way and after it’s been modified twenty times, there is still always something wrong with it which he has to tell me about even after it’s too late to fix it. Every year, my review is the same. I meet or exceed all expectations and he has no problem with any of my “work.” What’s also true every year is that he never says I’ve done a good job unless I find some tidbit on the Internet that he thinks is “unfindable.” My co-workers have the same attitude. For them, I’m nothing special. They might hate it that they’d have to do my job if I left, but I am not under the delusion that I can’t be replaced. ANYONE can be replaced pretty easily.
I’ve looked for other jobs, but there isn’t much out there right now. I’ve long been out of the academic world and trying to get back in isn’t quite so easy. Soon the contacts dry up and the networking needs reworked, but after a certain time, you’re forgotten. I suppose I’m wondering if perhaps I’ve missed my shot. Sure, I can stay here until I retire. It’s an easy job with an easy-going work environment. All I have to do is mindlessly go through the church cycle year after year for the next 18 years. Sure, I don’t hate my job. Sure, I have some lively conversations at work. But, lately, I’ve just been feeling blah. I don’t write anything interesting anymore and can’t drum up the energy to blog. I have nothing to say that isn’t a rant against something and, I suppose, like all women approaching 50, feel pretty much useless and past my expiration date. So, do I keep looking for another job or stay and count my blessings? Any cure for the doldrums out there?