21 April 2009

tempting fate

My time capsule posts aside, it's been a while since I've written here, and a lot has happened since I failed to decide on any specific New Year's resolutions. Here goes...

Sadly, I'm still working in the same spot; gladly, not for much longer. I've been applying for other jobs and I'm starting to get a few responses back, although nothing too positive yet. It's strange, perhaps, that as tense as I was about deciding to look for alternative employment, I'm even more tense about finding it. You might think I'd be a bit more relaxed after making the decision and relieved to think I can still do it, and I might feel that way once I've found a new job, but in the meantime, I'm still very nervous.

Part of the nervousness comes from a few plans that I may or may not have for the next two months or so. My brother is planning a two-week trip to Japan in May and June, and a cousin of ours is getting married shortly afterwards. I'm hoping to join them both. The problem is applying to take leave in one of our busiest times of the year, particularly for a block of several weeks.

Wait, what? I'm actually needed at work suddenly? Well, sort of.

The task that I'm on now, and that I've been complaining about to no avail for more than six months, still refuses to die. I've had a colleague from across the corridor looking at this in some idle time, and another colleague from interstate who visited here for two days this week, and I'm still not entirely sure what's going on. I've only got about a week and a half to finish the entire task, and I don't even know what we're supposed to be delivering any more.

On the proviso that I see this task out, there are two more tasks lined up for me. The former of those tasks is with my supervisor, for whom I worked directly this time last year. By the time I start working there again, he will have held up my work there for a full year, without having even had the common courtesy to tell me the truth about it. The latter is with another group I spent about a month with on and off about eight months ago. I tried to stop them reinventing a wheel and I didn't get invited back. I haven't received any feedback about this work either, and although my supervisor has claimed to have some, he said it would be "unprofessional" to pass it on to me. Somewhere in the middle of this, this same supervisor is magically going to do his job and thereby allow my work from this time last year to be completed. Of course, I've heard all of this many times before, and the message is just as mixed as ever.

I've tried talking to my boss, my boss's boss and our HR officer about these problems. Everyone seems to understand but nobody seems even remotely interested in solving them. As a result, I'm pretty much through wondering whether any of this will get better. I'm well and truly embedded in a search for another job, and I can't wait for the day when I can leave this one behind. I don't even care that much where I end up afterwards, although it will certainly not be in a defence job. Make no mistake, I'm happy with the money I'm getting here, but this job has nothing else to offer; there's no worth in the work itself, nor in my being there to do it.

My job has drained me of my energy, both physical and mental; in fact, I took today and yesterday off to recover. However, I haven't given up. My mind and body are weak, but my spirit still has hope, at least for the prospect of getting another job. On the other hand, I've still got this one, and I can't talk about how much worse things will get without it sounding like a temptation of fate.

12 April 2009

time capsule 1 revisited

A few weeks ago, I caught up with two of my friends, from whom I had gotten two conflicting reactions about how I was doing. One of my oldest and best friends took a bit of convincing that I was doing OK, while another friend who sees me fairly regularly, hadn't noticed if anything was different about me. I wrote in my blog about it at the time, and left it for a few weeks before I looked at it again.

I couldn't decide which of them was right. In a way, they probably both were.

For a little while, I've suffered a bit from poor self-esteem, mainly stemming from the 40 hours I waste each week by being at work. I'm trying not to let that get to me, but I couldn't blame anyone for thinking that I'm not all there at the moment. In my previous post, I wrote that I had hoped to have "turned a corner" and had started doing something positive about my problems - specifically, by actively looking for a new job.

That's not all. I've started doing things for myself again. I'm cooking for myself more and buying junk food less. I haven't fixed the bike yet (another job for the Easter weekend), but I've bought Wii Fit for the times that it's out of action or don't need to ride it anywhere. I'm giving myself another long weekend in a month, and I'm considering a three-week break shortly afterwards. As for the job hunt, I am starting to get a few nibbles. Things are looking up. By rights, I should be feeling better.

That being said, maybe I'm not quite there yet. Sure, I've made some improvements, but it will take some discipline to keep it all going. Ironically, the closer I get to feeling better about myself, the more edgy I am at work, as if I can tell I'm getting closer to leaving and I almost can't bear the suspense.

In the long term, this should all work out, but I am still in limbo, at least to a certain extent. I had hoped, in my previous entry, for nothing more than to "think I was on the right track" when I looked back on what I had written. Maybe I'm selling myself short: I should have hoped that I'd be seeing some results by now, which I'm actually starting to do.

Happiness is supposed to be a journey, rather than a destination. However, it can be hard work to push yourself to keep going, and if it's not a destination, how do you know where to stop to catch your breath? You see, even if you have that sense of self-belief, it will still only really work if your sense of direction was also good enough in the first place. I'm a long way off mastering this kind of travel, but it's a journey that's important to me, at least.