Saturday, May 7, 2011

Soooo close, yet not really

So I've talked in the past about trying to figure out where I want to go, career-wise.  I'd like to travel way less, and I've decided on some kind of formal education, but I still need to make money and work on my skills in the interim.  I spoke with various managers at my company about possible job opportunities, and found out about one that seemed like a nice fit.

It was (notice the past tense) my understanding that the position requires less travel, but still has a great consulting and training piece, and would help me to work on becoming more detail-oriented, all while able to attend a local college.  Growth and fit, all in one job! So then I set out to (massively over-)prepare for the interview, and I was looking forward to the opportunity to show my colleagues what I could bring to the role.

But then I actually did the interview (5 rotating interviewers, 3 hours total, someone bring a drink please), and saw that the position was more of a secretary to the person doing all of the cool consulting and training shit.  On the way home I had a real moment of clarity and realized that not only I would NOT like this job, I realized that I have already had this kind of job and hated it.  I mean, there was a pretty damn good reason why I no longer did that kind of work - I can do the detail-oriented stuff to an extent, but I. DON'T. LIKE. IT. 

I am simply not detail-oriented.  There, I said it. I'm just not.  Now, I can organize pretty well, but at my own pace, and with my own hierarchy, and I can scope the big picture like a motherfucker.  So why in the name of my mother's grits would I choose to do something that I actively dislike, especially since there are others out there who are so much better at that kind of thing?

Yeah, I couldn't think of a good answer to that one, either.

Not only that, one of my favorite coworkers is also up for the job, and he would be perfect for it.  So I withdrew my name as a candidate and told them I believed that they should seriously consider him.

There's a bit of a feeling of let-down, especially since I put so much effort into the prep, but I am generally feeling pretty great about this decision.  I actually used the interview as an opportunity to see if I would like the job, and when found out I didn't, I didn't fight to make it right.  It's not right, and I am so fucking DONE with trying to fashion myself to fit a popular job description.

So I'm left with this wrung out / kind of thrilled feeling about this bit of personal evolution - not only did I dodge a bad career decision, I somehow clarified my strengths. I have no idea where to go next, but I have a sneaking suspicion that something will rise up to meet me soon enough.  Whatever I end up doing, it will be in the direction of my natural and learned talents, because I am officially too old for that other shit.

Monday, May 2, 2011


(Repost from my Tumblr)

The news of Bin Laden’s death brought to mind the crushing sorrow and uncertainty that I (and so many) felt when I saw the live shot of the towers falling.  I was angry, and wanted someone to PAY.  Some motherfucker had just destroyed, not only thousands of lives, but thousands of families.

Through the years I’ve had time to reflect - we talk about 9/11 constantly, like it was the worst thing that happened, ever.  It was so terrible, and yet… terrible numbers of people die every day from war, famine, poverty, lack of access, often at the hands of American forces and policies.  We bemoan the tragic loss of that one day, but seem so disconnected from the day to day realities of our own bloodied hands.

Even the incursion that killed Bin Laden no doubt killed innocents, as have many of the battles in this war.  We have killed far more innocents than were murdered on that grave and horrible day.

And yet.

The fist pump on the news of his death was automatic and satisfying.  I wanted him dead.  I didn’t want a trial.  I didn’t want to hear any words from him.  I was glad that he’d been taken out.  Fuck you, you fucking motherfucker.

Of course, it occurs to me that this retaliatory sentiment is what feeds the fire, allowing the rancor and murderous hatred of one another to continue.  I said Avada Kedavra, the killing curse from Harry Potter, and yet… as I recall in the book, my new hero never did.  Not even when battling face to face the man who killed his parents, not even after having seen him continue to kill so many of his friends and loved ones.

I’ll think on this for a while, not sure that I’ll ever fully reconcile these twin desires for vengeance and peace.  Though, maybe that’s what it’s like for those in the middle of all of this fighting - tired of the death and destruction, yet unable to put down the sword.