It's June already, and time for some vacation and some fun. Gregg and I have a whole week off together coming up! It begins next Wednesday (our seventh wedding anniversary) and continues until the following Tuesday. If the weather is good we plan to spend a night or two camping at our nearest campground with Ginger. There may also be another day trip or two thrown in, but we don't have any major plans. We could both use some down time, and the thought of planning, packing, driving, unpacking, arranging for animal care, etc. etc. for a longer journey just seems like too much work. The week will be all about relaxing!
After the vacation, I've decided to start looking for a new job.
I hate the idea of changing jobs right now. I have plans to go back to school part time in January to become certified in medical coding, and after a year at the local community college I should be ready to sit the exam, and then (provided I do well enough on it) I can look for a job at the hospital or a doctor's office. It seems like a real waste to change jobs when I'll only be at the next one for a year or two, tops, but I can't stand my current situation for that much longer. I have had it. Totally.had. it. As usual in life, it wasn't a major issue that brought on this decision....it was actually a straw that broke this camel's back. It's funny how that works sometimes. Here's what happened:
I got a written reprimand yesterday, my second (second!) at this job. (In my twenty years of working life prior to this bookstore I had never gotten a written warning at a job). And granted, I did something wrong and admitted it and apologized. But holy shit. To say it was trifling would be an understatement. Our store manager (along with a couple of trouble making assistant managers) have started reviewing hours of our store's video surveillance on a regular basis...not because of any specific thing, like a suspected theft, but because they want to catch people "off task". Well, back in April (April!), while I was covering a 15 minute employee break in our music/dvd department, I....brace yourselves people.....I was reading a book. In a bookstore. For 15 minutes. Shocking, I know!
So I got caught on camera, two months ago, wasting 15 minutes reading a book (while standing in a deserted department of our store, where there is literally nothing to do 75% of the time). I freely admitted it was wrong, I apologized two or three times, but this was considered a serious enough offense that I needed a written performance improvement plan. That will go in my permanent file. The manager said that having one of her under-managers doing what I did was like "a slap in her face" and that I was setting a bad example for the other employees. And that I had "really let her down". Well, I felt really bad about it (and myself) for the rest of the day and most of the night last night. But then I started to think: I do a lot of good things at work. I am conscientious 95% of the time, and I am 100% dependable. I am kind and encouraging to my coworkers, and when I get put in charge of something I try hard to deliver good results. Yes, I am lured by the love of books to occasionally flip through something and read a little bit, but at least I'm not sneaking outside for smoke breaks all day long like every other manager there. So what if I wasted a few minutes one time back in April? Should I really beat myself up about that? And what about her, the store manager, spending hours sitting in the office looking to root out this kind of behavior? Isn't she wasting way, way more time at that? Is that really a good use of her time? I wonder what her boss would say? And what about feeling like you're being watched by Big Brother while doing your job? Is that conducive to good work morale? I think not.
And then I had a mini epiphany: this is a cheap retail job. It can be replaced. I already took a pay cut when I took this job, so it's not like I'd be giving up the most money I've ever made. And yes, I must continue to have a job that offers health care coverage, but Gregg is not going for checkups so often anymore, so if there was a month's wait for coverage to begin we would probably be ok. And why do I feel guilt about taking an in-between job that I know I'll only stay at for a year or two? As long as I do a good job for them while I'm there I don't owe anybody a lifetime commitment! Of course I knew these things anyway but those are just a sample of some of the crazy half-sub conscience thoughts that hold me back. I'm ready to start moving forward! It's time to get rid of this miserable little job. Life is too short to spend 40 hours a week as unhappy as I've been.
But that's all for another day. I have to go to work today, and put on a smiling face, and trudge along until I make it to vacation next week...my much needed vacation! Then the job hunt begins.