People keep asking how the job’s going, and all I can say is, it’s not fun yet. I have not yet reached my awesome. It’s a lot to learn, it’s very different to previous jobs in many ways, and I haven’t had much time to do the learning – I’ve only been “on” for three days so far and spent most of those days just flailing around trying to find things. Which is embarrassing and frustrating.
Presumably it will get better and I’ll get better at it, but I’m used to being good at my work – really, really good – and I can’t assume that’s going to happen here, because the work is a bit different. Might be that the different parts turn out to be things I suck at. Also, I am older, and very possibly I just don’t learn as well any more. Again, it’s only five months, it’s okay not to be fantastic, but it doesn’t make for a great experience.
I’m also trying hard (maybe not hard enough) not to be deeply resentful of all the time it takes. The commute alone is a bitch. It’s physically not at all far but, unlike going all the way into town, requires at least two bus rides and there are many roadworks – so the most direct route is also the slowest in peak hours. Driving myself would save a little time, but with roadworks, maybe not that much, and then I’d be adding to the congestion and the emissions and not have time to knit. Cycling might save a little time but there’s a big damn hill in the way and I’d need to shower after, which also takes time, and I’m not even sure there is a shower there. So anyway, that commute is pretty stressful when I’m worrying about getting home to my kids in time. My job can be done perfectly well from home, but they want me to be physically there a fair bit because of the “coffee machine effect” and crap like that. So on the days I need to be home early for the kids, I have to lose an extra hour mid-day to the commute and catch it up later. (Can’t even do the work on the train, as my colleagues do, because buses are way less conducive, especially when you have to keep changing.) I mean. I’m used to working hard and working long hours – but on a range of things. Turns out I really dislike having all my non-monster-wrangling time sucked up by just this one thing, and the shitty commute.
This isn’t exactly a surprise, because I’ve never been happy in a full-time job – and have mostly managed to avoid it, cutting down to three or four days a week and being super-efficient with that time. Then I spent my “free” days on things like distance learning or starting a business, so I don’t think I’m just lazy. But I really don’t like that sense of being owned that a full-time job comes with. So much of you gets sucked up in corporate bullshit. Ugh. Working fewer hours helps you keep your perspective – it’s just a job; it’s not you. And having time to pursue the other things you care about is oxygen.
I’m also experiencing a little bit of the tech startup culture, and it makes me roll my eyes so hard. Meetings on beanbags? Ok, but you know that’s really awkward for skirt wearers, right? Foosball tables? Does anybody actually use those, like, ever? Free coffee and soft drinks – cool, but you know what would really make work better for me and others like me? Working from home. My colleagues, direct boss included, are all noticeably younger than me (the actual big bosses are a little older but not around that much) and almost all dudes. (In fact, the one girl in the office has just quit.) I feel like I’m going to be that awkward person in the office whom everyone kind of thinks is a slacker because I have to run out exactly on time to “pick up my kids”. Gah.