Friday, June 24, 2005

Work Thoughts

In case you didn't know, I started a new job this week. I am a Program Assistant at The Children's Partnership, a non-profit that focuses on children's issues, particularly health care and technology. I'd direct you to our website, but it's under construction and won't be reappearing until around July 7. Right now, I'm working on editing it for style, consistency, and errors. It's a good way for me to become acquainted with everything the office does, since I have to read all of it very carefully. My English degree put to good use. And people say that English and German degrees are useless. Thank you very much, I've put both to work in the two plus years since I graduated.

This office is really small. In fact, today I am the only person here. Normally, there are a few others: Laurie, the co-founder and co-president; Dawn, the Deputy Director focusing on health issues; Ambar, a recent graduate who was a part-time intern for the past two years and is now here until she finds her dream job in journalism; Erie, a senior at American University, who will be the part-time intern during this coming year; and Karen, whose job I am taking over because she is going back to graduate school. Yes, small. I wasn't lying. This is the secondary office though, with the main office in Santa Monica hosting about ten or so employees. Plus there are random consultants in NYC and San Francisco. On the one hand, I like that it's small. I'll really get to have a hand in everything that goes on, and I think I'll develop skills quickly. On the other hand, it could get lonely. So far I've been busier than I was at the Holocaust Museum, which is nice, because I think being bored at work has to be one of the worst things ever. All you can do is sit there and watch the time not move and think about the million other things you could be doing. Also, the people in this office seem to genuinely like each other unlike at the Museum, where dislike wasn't even masked. So those are all things that make it clear that this job is a step up. Plus I'm getting paid a living wage, and I get good benefits. We'll see how much I like it in a few months or a year (gasp...can I really work somewhere for an entire year without looking to move on?).

Working just really isn't my cup of tea. Jeff and I had an argument about this the other day when I was still at the Museum, with him stating that he wishes I wouldn't say so much that I hate to work and that I just accept the fact that I have to work. I told him that until I quit getting up and going to work in the morning, I can say I hate work all I want and he can just deal with it. And no, I will not accept that it's just the way it is. I simply don't believe that the purpose of life is for us to spend the majority of our waking hours doing something that we don't like doing. Come on, that can't be all there is to this. I don't think Jeff understands because he likes what he does a lot. I mean, sure he'd rather be playing baseball or traveling or what not, but he is generally interested in what he does and would probably do it even if he didn't have to work. I mean sometimes at night, he talks and thinks about work related stuff, simply because he thinks it is interesting. Weird. I can't think of anything that I am that interested in. I'm interested in lots of stuff, dont' get me wrong, but I can't really spend all my time focusing on one thing and not get bored. I need variety. Even though I've just started this job, and it seems like it will be a decent job, I can't help but wonder about where I'm going to go next and imagine what kind of job I'd really like. The following jobs are in contention for what I think I'd like to do:

* BE A PROFESSOR. Positives: The hours are sweet. It's easy to have a job and a family. You're surrounded by intelligent and interesting people. You can take advantage of the benefits of university life. You can stay somewhat young through the people you teach. The benefits are nice. The pay isn't fabulous, but you're not hurting by any means. Nobody really keeps track of when you work as long as you show up for class. There are universities everywhere, so you have your choice of places to live. Negatives: You do have to work long and hard to get a PhD. If you want to teach at a top-notch place, you have to attend a top-notch place and do really well. You have to get published...and keep getting published. Tenure is hard to get. Lots of other people want to be professors too, and there aren't too many professors leaving. There can be a lot of in-fighting within a university as people fight for jobs and tenure.

*BE A WRITER. Positives: You work on your own schedule. You can easily have a job and a family. You're your own boss. You can focus solely on what interests you and say pthooey to the rest. You can make a lot of money. You can work anywhere. Negatives: You can work really hard and never have anything to show for it. The pay can be lousy. It's terribly hard to break in to the field. You have to be incredibly disciplined. You don't make any money until after your work is done so you have to have some way of sustaining yourself while you work. You have to be really good...or be willing to sell out to popular demand. You seem to have to be a little bit odd.

*JOIN THE FOREIGN SERVICE. Positives: You get to live all over the world. You meet interesting people. learn languages, and engage in different cultures. It's a government job so the pay and benefits are good. Your colleagues are intelligent and worldly. Negatives: It's hard to establish a home when you move all the time. You're far away from family and friends. Your kids might grow up to be mal-adjusted. You could end up in a part of the world you had no interest at all in. It's really, really hard to get into.

Anyhow, those are the current top three jobs for the maybe one day file.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's Called Summer. It Gets Hot.

Why do people in DC seem to think they have a monopoly on hot weather? If they checked out a map, they'd notice that they're definitely not as close to the equator as many other people. And if they ever looked at world weather (or even US weather), they'd notice that lots of places have hotter temperatures every day of the year. But for some reason, people here seem to think DC is the hottest place outside of the Sahara. Seriously, I think in my time in DC I've had more people tell me that I'll be overwhelmed by the heat here than I've had tellme that anywhere else. Hello, I'm from Kentucky, I went to school in Texas, and I lived in Greece...I think I know more about heat than the people here do. And yes, I do mean it when I say that I like it hot. 90 doesn't faze me. Temperatures in the 80s are marvelous. It's summer, for goodness sake. Bring on the hot weather.

Friday, June 03, 2005

If you're invited to my wedding, you should be receiving an invitation in a mailbox near you any day now. Jeff and I walked the box full of them down to our mailbox on Tuesday night, and ceremoniously dumped them all in. Yesterday I was visiting a friend here in DC and saw that her invitation had arrived, so I know Jeff didn't go back to the mailbox at 10am (our pickup time) and beg the mailman to have them back. It looks like all lights are green.

Your invitation should include an invitation, directions, a reception card, and a response card with envelope. If it doesn't, well, I guess Jeff and I got distracted by "In Good Company", which we were watching as we stuffed. One of you lucky folks got two response cards, I think. If it happens to be you, you only have to send one back...really. I'll be watching my mailbox obsessively next week, so send that reply card back. Come on...I already stamped just have to stick it in the mailbox and you'll make me ever so happy.