This week everyone has been telling me that I’ll find my wings at work, but I’ve been trying very hard to feel the ground beneath my feet. In case you missed last week’s post, my boss died suddenly, and I’ve been scrambling to keep everything moving as seamlessly as possible.
I’m really lucky. The people in my office know their jobs and care about doing them well. My vendors have offered to help me out however they can. Before my boss’ sudden demise, she was training me to take over her job for her eventual retirement. Really, I couldn’t ask for a better situation. Well, I suppose I could ask, but that would just be greedy.
Sometimes I’ve caught myself thinking everyone fantasizes about being the boss when they’re worker bees. I’ve racked up plenty of time with those fantasies, all the way up to the last time I was the boss and getting squeezed from both above and below. Middle management isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Everybody wants something and wants to know why you haven’t gotten it for them yet.
After the last management stint I did, I decided I was happier as a worker bee. Let other people deal with problems, I’ll just do what I’m told and keep my head down. It was kind of nice at first, but after a while I started noticing the stupid things management did, and started having managerial fantasies again. Maybe it’s an inescapable human condition?
I won’t bore you with my multiple discussions with personnel and accounting this week, or the binders I brought home for the weekend that have inspiring titles like “Statement of Accountability”. That isn’t sexy. It’s better to think about the Pantone swatch book I chucked in my desk drawer today. It’s not like I have to pick out that many colors at this job, but it’s one of those things that I have to cling onto to remember that my job isn’t entirely statistics.
I fell into this job. I originally planned on doing some data entry as a reliable PT gig to support my art addiction. It was close to home, and I didn’t want to tax my brain too hard. I quickly found out data entry is hard, and my boss quickly discovered my previous fund raising was an asset. Win/win, and I got to work with printers in developing direct mail campaigns. I went along with the plan to teach me about data base segments, attributes, research, and other stuff that seemed suspiciously anti-art minded.
Now I’m wondering about how to have it all. I like the idea of a real paycheck. Money comes in handy, and there’s nothing like not having money for a while to remind us of that. The problem with money is that it takes a lot of time and energy to earn it. Painting a masterpiece takes a backseat to the pleasure I had today moving furniture around to make a more effective work space.
It seems like there are always trade-offs. When I made this hawk, I made a minor salary at a park district. I loved my job, but there never seemed to be enough $ to ever get beyond basic survival. The ironic thing is that I made this hawk as part of a fund raising campaign for a wildlife rehab center. Now I make more $, but I’m not doing scratchboard hawks. Which is more important? Can we ever really have it all?