Sunday, April 13, 2008

Full Plate - And THEN some!

In a comment to my last posting Trisi asked why I have not been posting over on the LDS blog Waters of Mormon lately.

I haven't been posting much to ANY of the blogs I used to write for. I've had too much going on in my life to manage anything more than hang on by the skin of my teeth.

Here's why.

In February I changed jobs. My former position was a grant-funded research position that involved helping design pilot programs for a small rural community college and then doing the data analysis to see if they were effective or not. I was part of a 3 person team, had no supervisory or budget responsibilities, and for the most part had complete autonomy to come and go as I wanted so long as I got the job done.

However, that was with a 5 yr grant that will end in September. So for the last several months I've been checking out options for what I might do next. Then a lady at the college who I really liked and respected left to go work somewhere else. She suggested that I take over her job. At first I said I wasn't interested. But there were a few things about that position that piqued my interest. So I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I was appointed on an Interim basis while the college has continued to keep the position open to see if they got any other applicants. Because the job has A LOT of responsibility without significant pay there has been little interest generated. So I'm still slogging away as Interim. One foot in, one foot out.

The challenge has been that the deal they gave me was that I would do the new job 60% of my time and my old job 40% of my my time (since it was anticipated I might be going back to my old job if they did find someone else to hire). So right from the start I was scrambling to keep up with that balance when BOTH jobs really do need a full time person. Add to that the fact that the new job involves leadership over a team of 65 people scattered across six counties and managing a budget in excess of three million dollars. Uh, yeah. Then, just to keep it interesting, there are two vacant positions that I now supervise, one of them a mid-level manager who supervises a team of their own. We've had those positions posted and are scrambling to find the right candidates, but in the mean time while there is no one to cover those responsibilities I'm doing major parts of THEIR jobs as well. Add all that up and it means I am doing, essentially, four jobs. Then when I get home I teach two online classes for a different college.

On top of that there's the usual domestic stuff of managing a household and hoping to keep up with laundry, plant a garden, visit teach 10 sisters, serve in Nursery and am the Homemaking leader for my ward.

Let's just say I'm dancing as fast as I can and trying not to have a total melt down.

Recently told I the HR department and the boss of my current Interim position I had ENOUGH. I want out. I can certainly do the job, actually have done a very competent job of it, but the personal cost is just too darn high. I have been stressed beyond words. I kept thinking if I could just hang in there long enough to wait out the interim position I'd get the job for real and then my responsibility for the 40% of my old job would go away. Also if I could get good people in the two vacancies that would give me some support, lighten the load.

But the fact remains, it's simply not the right match. I don't like the scattered sense I get of having to be responsible for so many different programs across all six counties. It feels too much like when I was a little kid and my dad took my siblings and I to Barnum & Baily Three Ring Circus. If I watched the dancing horses I missed the clowns. If I watched the clowns I missed the elephant parade. If I watched the elephant parade I missed the trapeze lady. If I watched the trapeze lady I missed....oh you get the idea. No matter what I would focus on there was always so much I would miss. I got so frustrated by that at the circus at age six that instead of watching any of it I cried and went to sleep.

Now I don't do that. But I've fallen back into old work-a-holic habit of pushing too hard, too long. I find myself working through lunch, staying too late, and sometimes being so focused on the multiple tasks needing done I don't even stop to pee. I'm not bailing out because I can't do the job. I CAN, I just don't want it.

So now I am looking at what I will do next.

Option #1 is I fall back to my old job and work out the end of the grant - which is fine for now, but really is not a long term solution.

Option #2 is I take one of the two vacancies that I currently supervise. I'm actually seriously considering that. I applied for one of them and have an interview scheduled for a week from tomorrow. I think it might be a good job for me, but if I take it would require a substantial commute. So my beloved and I are weighing the pros and cons of selling our house and moving to put us closer.

Last time I wanted to move (to Michigan) my husband vetoed the idea, and it nearly broke my heart. But as it turns out it's not leaving our HOME that bothered him...he was simply opposed to giving up his job, which from a fiscal point of view makes perfect sense. If we moved for this job we'd get me closer and him a bit further away - but he'd still be close enough that he could continue his current position. He says he is willing to do that, particularly since he only has three more years to go before he will retire.

So I am looking at the very real possibility that if I get this other job we may be selling our house, packing all we own and relocating.

Option #3 is I get a totally different job away from this college. That would make it possible for us to stay in our current home. I've put out some feelers. Not sure how those will play out. I've laid awake trying to figure out which would be better. I honestly don't know.

Option #4 is I run away with the circus. Right now, that one is looking mighty good.

I'm torn with angst and ambivalence over what the right choice is.

Do I take this other job if it is offered? Would moving be the right thing? What if I get in there and I don't like it? Do I just suck it up and do the job no matter what?

What do I expect from my work? How much sacrifice am I willing to make for a job?

Right now those issues are taking up ALL of my energy. I just don't have anything left for blogging.

I still pop in and read a few from time to time. But my own perspective is in such turmoil that I don't have anything coherent to say.

I find myself feeling frightened about making the wrong choice. I am second guessing myself at every turn. I'm not sleeping well at all. On the OUTSIDE I'm holding things together pretty well. Internally I've been a bit of a mess.

Hopefully I'll make peace with it all someday soon. But for right now, most of my writing is private ponderings in the wee hours of the night that has no business on a public forum. It feels far too raw, too vulnerable, too conflicted for the blogosphere.

There are a few different things I've considered writing about for here or there or another blog...perhaps I will around the bend. For now, I just want to breathe deep and focus on being human.


Mimi said...

Yay! you are back! Prayers as you make these decisions!

Rozel said...

I feel your pain. Two things I chanted when in your similar situation:

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ~ Phillipians 4:13

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28.

Ruth D~ said...

Don't worry about the blog. It will be here, and your faithful readers, at least this one, will return when you do. As for the decision about your job . . . I firmly believe a door will open and you will walk in and all will be well. You'll say, "Why did I waste time worrying." At least I hope that's what happens.

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