Monday, March 16, 2009

Mojo a No-Go

[Warning: This is a very negative post. I have a lot to say, but I've been avoiding saying it because a lot of it is negative, and I've been trying very hard to keep this blog more on the positive side of things. But maybe if I vent here, spew my poison here, I'll rid myself of it enough that I'll be able to get my mojo back. This here job done stole my mojo, dammit. And I need my blog to help me get it back. So I am posting this with some regrets for the negativity contained herein, and I hope somebody overcomes the cynicism and submits a comment nevertheless. Plus, I have an interesting thing to share once I get this post over with.]

[Just sayin': I reserve the right to completely reverse my mood and my position in future posts. Today, it's all eff this and I'm-too-old and forget-it-already, but next week, who knows?]

I just spent a lovely five days and five nights in New Orleans (yes, as a tourist in the French Quarter). I went there for an annual conference. I got back last Thursday night.

It reinvigorated my attitude toward my job. I've returned to within normal parameters of giving a crap about my job performance and what people think of me. What I think of myself.

But still, I've not rediscovered my working mojo. Normal parameters aren't worth getting excited about, it turns out. I think the difference between pre-conference me and post-conference me is merely that I'm so turned off by my own belly-aching that it's no longer an option. Plus, I got a taste of enjoying the company of smart people for a couple of days. That was very refreshing.

For example, I spent an entire morning's session sitting next to a senior level person from another part of the country who surprised me by how much he shared with me in casual conversation. The two of us spent about three hours huddled together, whispering our way through multiple sessions, paying almost no attention to the presenters. I was secretly thrilled and flattered to have his attention for so long. I didn't even leave to go to the bathroom, even after he brought me - and I drank! - a second cup of coffee.

Later he said he thought I was the boss of my peer. Which explains why he had been so at ease, so willing to let his hair down earlier in the day.

Which brings me to why going into management is a worthy goal.

You know why? Not because I want to have the final say. Not because of the ego-driven issue of saying you're somebody's boss, or the boss of forty people, or whatever. It's because, to put it crassly, you have a greater chance of spending more time with a better class of people. And by "class", I don't mean socio-economically. I mean, smart people, focused people, non-burnt-out people. People who are driven. People invested in what they do on a daily basis. People who are privy to special training sessions. To off-site manager meetings. To dealing with a more holistic view of the job. People who generally give more of a crap on any given day than the schmucks like me who have settled and are only thinking of their paycheck.

People more on top of their game, who make me want to be more on top of MY game.

I'm not so sure law school is the path to that destination for me. After months of reading law school blogs, law related blogs, the overwhelming impression I have is that I'd be a fool to completely jump ship and swim toward the shores of the legal profession. The debt is staggering, especially with only twenty years to pay it off (at the earliest, I'd be in my mid-40's when I graduated). Plus, ending up with a satisfying law career seems to hinge on how lucky you are, and again, that kind of strategy has seldom worked in my favor.

I'm no CM or LL or Andrea. That much is clear to me. To the victor go the spoils. They deserve all the good stuff that has come their way and I've no doubt more good things will continue to find them.

But as for me? It's time to accept some basic facts. I'm too old; it costs too much; my husband is too unstable career-wise to carry the family through such an endeavor; my daughter is too unfocused to push herself, on her own, to achieve. And I'm just not feeling the necessary selfishness to ignore all those issues and focus solely on my own ambitions. It is what it is. I'm too fat, dumb, lazy, and bitter, and too damn old, and just too invested in my current life, quite honestly, to do much more than to collect a paycheck and nurse my seething resentment and angry bitterness. Et voila.

On a lighter note, I have at least decided to care about my job. I have found Workplace911 which I kinda like. I have decided that I will strive to have one thing, just ONE THING, to point to at the end of each day to say, well, at least I did that. And that one thing is NOT allowed to be a blog post. And we all know I'm not kidding about that. Because I know you are just like me, and that one seriously good blog post can justify your existence for up to 48 hours at at time. Well, okay, first I'm going to post this, and then I'm going to actually install an OS on this box that has been collecting dust on my desk for months. And now that I've said it, put it out there on my blog, maybe it'll actually happen.

So, not a lot of mojo found here, but it seems the necessary ingredients are lying around, are available still. Maybe I can brew up a batch by the end of the week. I think that by working harder, I'll start to care about work more. I think first must come the work. I almost titled this post "Work will set you free" but that was already taken and not in a good way. Which totally pisses me off (and I'm choosing not to link to a reference to the well-known example of where and how this phrase was used because that would totally change the mood and point of what I'm saying here).

Because for those of us who wallow in despair and suffer from analysis-paralysis, getting busy with work truly does set us free from our malaise, our apathy. Work can set your mojo free. I truly believe that. And so, having written it, I shall now go live it. Wish me luck.


Dagny said...

GOOD LUCK! I don't think you have made a bad choice. I ditched the corporate world to go to law school, only to find myself wishing I was back in the corporate world.. :)

CM said...

This post doesn't sound that negative to me.

Law school is a pretty drastic step. Exploring every decent option you can think of first is a good idea. It sounds like you've found some energy to start doing that.

You've talked about your dissatisfaction with your job before, but why do you want to go to law school? What's your ideal job -- exactly which shore would you be swimming for?

Hyphen Mama said...

I think this post sounds like you're working things through in your mind. Sounds like you've got a plan.

Good luck!

gudnuff said...

Dagny - thanks! I've got some questions for you, though.

CM - I have answers and they're not that different from your own. I just thought they had to be very, very specific, very detailed answers, but maybe that's not the case.

Hyphen Mama - thanks! The clock is ticking...the plan is being birthed...action will follow (because I say so, right?! Right!)

Bea said...

Whatever you decide, I think you will feel at peace because you've obviously put a lot of thought into both scenarios. Not enough of us take the time to seriously contemplate where we want our lives to go, and we're worse for it. Kudos to you. If you change your mind a hundred times, I'll still enjoy reading about it and watching your journey.

PT-LawMom said...
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