I’ve been in a physically fine, emotionally hard place this past week and over the weekend. Working extra hours at my day job to compensate for the fact that my co-worker left, and feeling conflicted about it. As with many things in my life, it has to do with boundaries, and the kinds of obligations I tend to fall into over and over. The obligations are such that perfect effort equals invisibility, and anything less than perfect effort–which includes perfect effort for too few hours–equals embarrassing results for others that are highly visible and have repercussions–if a guest speaker were to arrive and not have a hotel room booked, or a professor need syllabi for the first day of class and not have any copies. Not earth-shattering, but the kind of thing where you might think the person responsible was doing a shitty job because it’s such a small thing to do…except that there are a lot of small things and each one takes time.
I haven’t fucked up anything yet, but if I were trying to do 65 man-hours of work (the amount of myself and my coworker combined) in 25 hours (my official work schedule), it would have happened already. Instead, I am trying to do the 65 hours of work in 35-40 hours, and feeling resentful about it.
The resentment has to do with the way I didn’t make anyone ask, but just took it on. It has to do with the fact that when the new person starts, she will be paid about 20 cents less per hour than I am paid…after four years. I think they would pay more if they could, but fear that I will find out, as I happened to find out that my last co-worker’s salary had surpassed mine after only a year. Apparently I was hired at too low a rate four years ago, and they have seen the error of their ways and hired subsequent people at a higher rate, but because yearly raises are given as percentage of the rate you already get, that’s an error that keeps giving…less, and makes me resent both the people who made the original offer–and makes me resent myself for being so naively trusting early on.
I took a part time job because I wanted to pursue my big writing dreams, but then I agreed to the hours that come closest to simulating a full-time job, and whenever someone is sick, or gone, or needs to go home early, I instinctively spread out to cover the hole…because I’m a team player, and I’m there. But it happens over and over. There’s always someone else’s drama that is more dramatic than my drama so I enable that and then I feel like I haven’t really fought for what I want at all, and so maybe I don’t deserve it because if I really wanted it enough I would fight harder.
And then I think, if this unrealistic dream thing isn’t going to work out, and I’m not really fighting for it, then I should just get a full-time job and makes some money…because, hey, we could hella use some money… And that makes me sad, because I feel like I didn’t try hard enough yet…because of making the very decisions I’m describing right now.
It just goes round and round in a pretty spirally fashion. So that’s the hard place I’m in at the moment. It makes me a less than optimally fun person to hang out with because even when I contain the words coming out of my mouth, my energy is just sad and dark. So I’m trying to find the center and the bottom so I can start charting my way out.