Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Update of Life...

I try pretty hard to keep this blog light and frivolous, but every now and then, I suppose some angst is in order. And by “angst” I mean completely irrational overreactions to routine life occurrences that will more than likely turn out for the best.

Part the first: The new apartment

While I haven’t completely given up hope that my bachelor pad will be fabulous and worthy of publication in Martha Stewart Living eventually, I must confess that the first few weeks of my habitation there have been… well, they haven’t been. The timing of everything worked out in such a way that by the time I’d paid the deposit and the first month’s rent, turned on the power, and paid my student loan bills, I had just enough money left over to buy… absolutely nothing. Basically, I’ve been renting for more than two weeks and I have yet to actually “live” there. Yes, I feel guilty about that. And yes, I feel incredibly weak and pathetic. But I really couldn’t stomach the idea of sitting alone in an apartment with no cable, no internet, and no food – just so I could say I live on my own… not when my parents’ house, along with the aforementioned cable, internet, and food, is right across the street. So I’ve been moving very slowly and gradually – a few boxes here, a quick run to Target for the basics there, and the apartment is just now beginning to be habitable. This weekend, the cable will be connected (they got the very last few crumbs in my bank account), my bed will be moved over, and the misery that will be the first few months will commence. I guess I’m just really disappointed… in myself, in life in general, in the rising cost of EVERYTHING… because I was truly excited about this move. Actually, I’ve been excited for over two years. It was anti-climactic, rough, and very little fun. And I’ll cry if I want to.

I had a little meltdown in Target earlier in the week. I was there with my mom and Li’l Sis, trying to pick up the things I would need to survive, and I was overcome with failure and disappointment. Here I am, almost 27 years old, and Mom has to help out with basic living items like toilet paper and trash bags. So much for self-sufficiency. I dealt with these feelings the only way I could… by sulking and whining like a five-year-old, losing all enthusiasm, and basically being an ass. That’s just how I roll. If it wasn’t for my sister’s death-stares and admonishments, there’s a good chance I would have stormed out in a huff with nothing, rendering the apartment vacant for another two weeks. Thanks for the tough love, girl.

Meanwhile, my couch is really ugly and I hate it, and don’t give me any crap about how I should just be grateful that I even have a couch, because you would be right, of course, but that’s not the point – the point is it isn’t the couch I wanted and it’s really UGLY and I hate it, but I took it and it’s sitting in my living room making me sad and miserable, emotions which are compounded exponentially by the fact that I can’t even afford a slipcover to hide the UGLY, so in a way that damn ugly couch is sitting in my living room laughing at me. I’m allowed to hate it and I’m tired of people telling me to stop complaining about it. The good news: I’ve come around to sort of liking the dining room furniture and the coffee table. And the bathroom is going to be really cute when I’m done with it. See? I can be positive when I want to.

Part the second: Occupational shenanigans

The new big boss is finally starting to move on his big restructuring plans for the department. Last Thursday, our team had a meeting, and it was announced that I would be leaving my current position and relocating. Beforehand, in a little one-on-one, the new boss assured me that I would like the new position he had in mind for me. He used phrases like, “great opportunity,” and, “more effective use of your skill-set.” Notice he didn’t use the word “promotion.” It’s all very confusing, but the gist of it seemed to be that I would no longer be the administrative assistant to my supervisor, but I would probably be doing the same sorts of things, just in a new office with a new supervisor. Meanwhile, everyone else in the department was either promoted or left the way they were. I have to be honest… it kind of felt like I’d been voted off the island. Everyone was very happy for the people who got promoted (congratulations were thrown around liberally), but I got a lot of concerned looks and the other assistant even gave me a pouty-face, which was unnerving. After the meeting, I couldn’t stand it, so I asked my supervisor if she thought I had received good news or bad news. And she said she thought it was good, but not very convincingly. Yesterday, I had a meeting with the big boss and the lady who will be my new supervisor, and I left it even more confused about what I’d be doing and for whom I’d be working. My emotions are wavering in an alarming way, too. One minute I’m excited, because some of what I’m hearing sounds perfect for me, and even fun. The next minute I’m angry, because there has been no mention of what will happen to my salary, and I feel weird asking about it. The next minute I’m just plain scared, because the transition will probably be very chaotic, and I could totally see myself doing two jobs for the price of one for a few months, which puts me in a really bad mood. But most of the time, I’m just grumpy. I hate not knowing what’s going on, and I’ve been left in the dark. I can tell my big boss thinks he’s doing me all sorts of favors, but I really resent it when authority figures think they know all about you and what you’re good at and what you’ll be happy doing - but don’t take the time to talk to you about things before they pull the rug out from beneath you and set your world spinning out of control.

The big boss says that this new position is being created FOR ME to take advantage of my skills and abilities, so I guess that’s a good thing, but he hasn’t said a word about perhaps giving me a title, or boosting my salary, or anything of that nature, which makes me think I shouldn’t get my hopes up. But let me tell you, if I don’t get some sort of salary inflation after all of this drama, I will be VERY CRANKY, and I might not be able to hide it. I might be cranky enough to start looking elsewhere, which I really don’t want to do, but crankiness is a huge motivation.

So CLEARLY, I haven’t been in the mood to blog about the latest music videos or the latest reality T.V. scandal or whatever because I’m actually sort of preoccupied with life – and all of it just reminds me why I like music videos and reality T.V. in the first place.


Erin G said...

hey! I was wondering how the apartment thing was going. Clearly I should have picked up the phone and called. Life is expensive, huh? I'm sorry you're having a rough week. I promise it WILL be worth it. I will come visit, Nathan will cry, we will sit on the ugly couch and eat take out (my treat) and watch GG dvds (your treat) and I will pee and change diapers in your ueber-cute bathroom which will be CLEAN which is one of your motivations for living alone, right? hang in there.

job stuff - ick. doesn't sound like a promotion to me. I think it's in your best interest to find a respectful way to SAY to your new boss, "dude, I'm feeling a little lost in the shuffle. can you clarify x and y for me? Also, I am really hoping that the new position, designed to better use my skill set, will also come with a higher compensation for using said skills." And don't be afraid to mention that you're starting out on your own, AND that your old boss had been hinting at it for ages. DON'T threaten to look elsewhere, though - if you need to, just do it quietly on your own time without ruffling feathers - you'll need their recommendation eventually. Seriously - the best way to get a raise is to ASK - otherwise it's easy to be the one who gets overlooked, since they might think you don't care.

I'll call this weekend....

Mary said...

Sorry about life being crappy at the moment. I wouldn't worry too much about your mom helping you out with things. My hubby's folks still help us out, even though we've been in our house for years and have three teenage children.

We have also been fixing our house for years and we're not done yet. We didn't get our first real couch - brand new, picked ourselves, not a futon & frame - until last year. If your couch is seriously yuck, I'd make it a priority to get it slip-covered. Ask around and see if anyone has some fabric they're willing to give you. If you lived closer, I'd let you look through my stash. I'd probably throw half of it at you and say, "Take it, please!"

I'm going to second Erin's advice on the job. I think you've got to ask politely, but firmly, for direct answers to your questions. If the higher-ups aren't willing to give you direct answers to direct questions, that's going to tell you something. Probably the best time to negotiate a decent salary is always at the beginning of a job and you pretty much have to ask for the moon, because once your salary is locked in, the organization isn't going to want to give you another big boost any time soon. You're already doing the job for this amount, why should they pay you more? Crazy, I know, but they won't know what they're missing until you're gone.

Good luck, Reeva. (The part about throwing a fit in Target made me laugh. Even when you're down, you still have the ability to be funny.) :)