Yesterdays post about the state of our economy and my particular employment situation is an example of me throwing a temper tantrum. My tone yesterday maybe implied that I am ungrateful to be offered any employment, and that certainly is not the case. I am severely disappointed. I am slightly angry about our economy, the sequester that cancelled all the interviews I had for better jobs and the fact that our country is run by idiots that hold people like me hostage to their own interests. Yesterday, I was devastated. I was in tears wondering why I can’t find that opportunity to be better than I was. I feel defined by my past and it felt as though nothing I do allows me to move forward. It was a dramatic and fatalist attitude that I have since put into check (sort of).
I left the IRS job to make my life better. I worked there for two years and when I got that job I was overqualified, but I took the job and put my heart into it (just like I will do with this one) and tried to ‘network’ and show my skills by volunteering for everything. I was a Union steward, I created and edited the Union newsletter, I learned the other jobs in the office (Revenue Officer) and performed those duties with no praise or advancement. I had a shitty boss, who I now know I could have reported (he hates women, and more than women he hated white women) for two years he barely even said good morning to me. He didn’t help me, but others tried. I applied for, interviewed for, and was selected to become a Revenue Officer and then – the government enacted a hiring freeze across the board. I was stuck. So I quit and went back to school to finish my degree, and then took it a step further and earned my Masters degree. I have been actively looking for work since I attained my bachelors, and I really wanted out of the government sector.
I am also really sick of being treated like an idiot. When you take a job below your skills, the people you work with assume that you are only capable of doing the job you were hired for. As a GS-5 secretary it is assumed that you only have a HS education, and someone who doesn’t have the skills to do better. When I worked for the IRS they were amazed that I knew how to spell. Now secretaries aren’t idiots (I know, I have been one forever), it is just how those we assist treat us. I managed to work my way out of that perception by CONSTANTLY proving myself. In fact, I was so efficient, the other secretaries accused me of being a spy for the IRS. Seriously. The other secretaries hated me because I made them look bad, “That’s not my job” never came out of my mouth (and never will). I was frustrated with that before I went to school, now it will feel even worse because I know I shouldn’t be limited to this type of position.
So basically, my frustration is just that. Frustration and disappointment. It doesn’t change my work ethic, nor my gratitude for being offered ANYTHING that can help get me out of this hole I am in. A job is a job and whether I like it or not, that is just the way life is in this moment. I am trying to look at it as a lesson. I think there is something I need to learn here, maybe it is just the lesson of gratefulness. Maybe it is the lesson of patience. Maybe it is proof to me that I need to stop trying to fit into a corporate world and sincerely focus on making my writing work for me. Maybe, it is just God meeting my immediate needs while the universe conspires to reward me for doing everything in my power to make my life better. Maybe, if I stop bitching I will be pleasantly surprised (because in a way I an judging this position before I even step into it based on my IRS job), and this may end up being the networking opportunity I have been lacking that will launch me into a career I can enjoy at least on some level.
Yes I am frustrated. Yes I am also grateful. Hopefully, this won’t be forever. Hopefully I will step in there and be my awesome secretary self and those around me will see that I don’t belong there and help me to succeed elsewhere. I am a little bitter that I couldn’t even manage a dollar more an hour after educating myself, but at the same time I understand our craptastic economy and employment environment – and I know there are HUNDREDS of people who would clamor for this job. I realize that it could always be worse, and that I am blessed to even have a chance to work for a little while and get current on my bills before I am so far gone that recovery would take YEARS.
I am at a crossroads here and I know my attitude will determine and influence my future. I need to squash the frustration and bitterness and deal with my world as it presents itself to me. It is difficult and depressing on many levels, but in the same breath it is a parachute of sorts and I need to just suck it up and be grateful. New day, new attitude. It may not be the opportunity I was hoping for, but it is an opportunity nonetheless.