Saturday, February 20, 2010

I suck

A few weeks ago I was, again, lamenting my lack of employment to myself.  It takes a hideous toll on one's sense of self-worth to be chronically unemployed.  I spent some mental energy cursing the world and thinking about all I had to offer an employer:

I'm whip-smart, customers love me, I'm lazy enough to prize efficiency, I have integrity out the yin yang, I always get my work done, I don't watch the clock, I'm reliable and I mind my own business.  After patting myself on the back about how wonderful I am, I had one of those lightbulb moments.

I am an awful employee.

You know that whip-smart thing above?  I'm often smarter than my boss, and while I don't rub it in, the way I keep my mouth closed seems to tip them off.  Customers love me and often wonder (to my face) why the boss is such a tool.  If a system is inefficient, I'll say so - I'll also try to fix it, which, for some reason, bosses take as an affront on their authority.

My integrity means I won't break the rules - even for the boss.  While he's nudge-nudging and wink-winking I'm sitting there saying, "But that's illegal."  Yeah I always get my work done and don't watch the clock, but to me that means if I arrive 10 minutes late and then stay 20 minutes late it doesn't effing matter so long as the work is done.  Employers, however, tend to frown on tardiness.  Sure I show up every day, but I don't always have the best attitude because frankly, I'd rather be sleeping.

And that minding my own business thing?  What it really means is I'm not interested in your boring stories about getting drunk last weekend or the big client you're trying to schmooze on the golf course.  Even if you are the boss, I don't want to know anything about your personal life and sure as heck I'm not going to share mine with you.

Within days after my epiphany, I got a phone call offering me a job interview.  Was that all it took?  Just admitting it to myself?  Apparently not.  Cuz I SO didn't get that job.

Recognizing this failing in myself did make me refocus on my writing, however.  The people who need me on their staff are highly unlikely to hire me.  It was time to get back to my plans for myself.  Last May I sort of fell off the writing wagon.  I've certainly worked on it since then, but not with the energy and determination it needs.  In the few weeks since my revelation I've once again gotten back to treating writing like the job it is. 

In the past two weeks I've typed in over 50 MS pages, editing along the way.  I can see where my story is losing focus and rambling in parts and am actively engaging my brain to find a fix for that.  By next Friday I plan to have everything that I've written all typed in and then start a second pass at edits the following Monday. 

Why the new stringent schedule?  Because now that I've decided that I'm a crapass employee, and now that I've made a conscious choice to go back to treating writing like a job (instead of looking for a job and treating writing like a hobby) I got a job!  I start March 1st.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed that I'm well into a healthy publishing schedule before my new bosses discover what a schmuck I am.

Just Finished: The Groom Wore Tulle / Conyn's Bride 
Just Finished: The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second (skimmed) 
Currently Reading: Collide 
Currently Reading: Baby In Her Arms
Just About To Start: Perfect Chemistry


Nobody said...

sounds to me like you need to BE the boss, rather than HAVE a boss! good luck getting back on track with your writing. i have half-written stories from 5 years ago gathering dust in my hard drive, so i can sympathize.

Janiece said...

Venus, aside from the tardiness thing (which you know is just a pet peeve of mine), you sound like the PERFECT employee to me.

I'd love to have you on my team. Do you know anything about Telecom? :-)

Good luck on the new gig!

Venus Vaughn said...

Nobody> that's that I think too! No one seems to be willing to hand over their company though... I think I'd also be a kick-ass manager. I'm compassionate, like things to be fair, and can smell bullshit at 100 paces.

From your blog posts, I can tell you like to write. Sit down with a notebook between kids and get those stories finished.

Janiece> Thank you! I used to think that myself, that I'd be a good employee - but people don't want smarts and integrity. They want employees that show up at 8:59 and say "yes", not one that show up at 9:03 and say, "there's a better way to do this."

And I used to work helpdesk at an ISP (you have to have a heap of computer savvy for that) but went to grad school after a couple of years because no matter how much I asked for it, the boss wasn't going to train a girl to move out of customer service and into network systems.