Friday, September 17, 2010

Awwww Rats!

Some say life is a rat race. I couldn't agree more. The last few weeks have certainly made me feel as if I am running around a maze just hoping I'll stumble upon the exit. I was shoved into the maze and the door was locked behind me. I have run into and overcome a few obstacles, run into a dead end or two, and found new obstacles to overcome. At the moment, my future is in the hands of others. I can certainly choose a direction but whether or not the obstacles are lowered or doors are unlocked is completely out of my control.

I was involuntarily released from my employment on August 20. The short version is that my direct supervisor and I had communication difficulties. These difficulties led to unspoken expectations on both sides and preconceived resentments on both sides. The end result was that by the time we realized this and started to work beyond the obstacles the damage had been done and I could no longer be effective in my position. I was in the position for two years. The story is, of course, much deeper and much more detailed but when you boil it all down, those are the basics.

My aunt passed away on September 12th from what started as breast cancer. She had been in remission but they found tumors in her spine and pelvis. In the end there was one in her brain, too. My mother had gone to visit after she had been taken to the hospital and was on a respirator. My dad couldn't go since he had broken his leg and had almost no mobility. The wife and I spent the last part of August in KC helping him get around then I went back over Labor Day for a couple of days because I was the only one available.

I've been fighting a mistake in my dismissal that caused me to be unable to apply for any jobs at my previous place of employment. That part got resolved on Wednesday but it also caused me to be denied unemployment benefits. Now that it's corrected on one end, I'm waiting to hear on the benefits appeal. It's so frustrating having to take a potato and wait.

Looking for jobs is depressing and distressing. Most of what I'm finding in my field (which ain't much at all compared to 3 years ago) is for application developers - which I'm not. Some others are scaring me off because they're above my skill level. Most of what's left is call center work which I would prefer not to go back to. It's hard to find two jobs a week to apply for under those circumstances.

Overall, though, we are re-normalizing. We have more meals at home. We think twice, then reconsider and finally have to make a fourth go-round before we buy anything (bathroom tissue is always a yes). I ended my garage sale habit on August 21st. I would like to say I'm getting a lot of projects done around the house but between the traveling and the appealing and the job searching there just hasn't been time. I'll get a round tiut one of these days and make things happen. I already got part of the kitchen cleaned up.

My mood is pretty good. I tend to be optimistic about things. Even though I got fired I still learned a lot of indelible lessons about me, about my abilities, and about where the shortcomings in my performance hindered me (I plan to work on those). It has come to me, though, that with all of the roadblocks I stumbled across my destiny no longer lies at OSU and there is a high probability it no longer belongs in Stillwater.

Time will tell but we know this time not to move too far from our support system - that didn't turn out so well the last time we did that.

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