Sunday, August 02, 2009

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

I haven’t been writing much lately because I’ve been in such a pissy mood. Since I got back from vacation, reality’s been hitting me a bit harder than I’d like. I haven’t been handling it all that well. My fight or flight instinct is pointing to flight.

Work has sucked a bit lately. They’ve changed my job around, and I am not 100% convinced that I like the new gig they’ve laid out for me. The parts I really liked about my job have been reassigned to someone else, and they left me to do the parts of my job that I really did not like. I did those parts of my job that I didn’t like because it, like it or not, it was my responsibility to accomplish those tasks. And now I am stuck with doing those tasks all the time. The part of my job that I looked forward to is now gone.

I am sad, annoyed and disillusioned. No talking about it with the powers that be has made a bit of difference. I groan as I roll out of bed in the mornings. I hide at my desk all day and avoid everyone I work with. My choices are to leave the job, in the state that has the second worst unemployment rate in the country. My odds of landing another gig, never mind one that I would hate less, are slim to none. Or I can stay and suck it up, knowing that I am not psyched. I don’t want to leave, however. I liked the job I did. I liked the company. I liked the people. My job felt purposeful. But I dread what they’ll ask me to do next.

I am trying to look at the bright side, but can’t seem to find it yet. My excellent husband brought home a bright side for me just the other day. We’ve been talking about getting a small, trailer-able power boat that we can dive off of. Shore diving in Rhode Island is kind of been-there-done-that for us, and we’re getting the itch to check out some new spots in the middle of the Bay. We found a boat for a great price. Todd sea-trialed it on Wednesday, and we bought it the following day. It's nothing special, just something to cruise around in with tanks and gear in the back.

On Friday afternoon he picked me up in it after work, and we took a quick spin on Greenwich Bay and took along one of my co-workers. It ran well, and we were very happy with the motor’s performance as we tooled around. (Then it started raining cats and dogs. The three of us were completely drenched. But that’s another story.) We trailered the boat and headed for home, thrilled at the prospect of getting in a few new dives this summer.

Today we towed the new boat to the ramp, thinking we’d spend the afternoon bombing around the bay playing with the new boat. I’ve never really driven a power boat, and I need to learn how to get around on this one. We dropped her into the water, and I parked the truck and trailer in the boat launch’s parking lot. (I am shockingly bad at backing trailers into spots, and have to make 23544974 attempts before getting it right. Learning curves.) Todd waited for me at the dock, with the motor running. We untied it from the dock and put it in gear and it stalled. We started it, put it in gear again, and then it stalled again. The tide carried us as we started and stalled, started and stalled, started and stalled. I noticed a slick of gasoline trailing behind us and we determined that there is likely a hole in a fuel line.

We beached the dive boat on the shore. I held onto it while Todd went to get our dinghy from the marina just down the road. The plan was to tow the boat using the dinghy pack to the public boat ramp. Eventually I saw him approach on the dinghy and asked him “Did you walk down there? I didn’t see our truck go down the road.”

“No, I got a lift from some guys hanging out at the ramp,” he replied. “That’s a story I’ll tell you about in a minute.”

We tied the dinghy to the dive boat and towed it back to the ramp while Todd told me about the man that gave him a lift. This man had lost his job and was evicted from his apartment in February. Since then he’d been living in his car and was kind enough to help Todd out even though he only needed to walk about a quarter to a half mile down the road. It's damn cold in Rhode Island in February. I imagined this man lying in the back seat of his car on the first night he slept in it. The despair that he must have felt while the windows fogged up from inside and he hunkered down under, hopefully, a warm blanket. Then in the morning he'd open the door, crawl out and stretch his cramped legs in the cold morning air while he blew on his hands and rubbed them together to warm them.

We pulled the boat onto the trailer, and I drove the dinghy back to its dock down the road. We tried to give the man a few bucks for his trouble, and he refused to take our money. As we rode home Todd lamented the dive boat’s engine failure.

“Well, how can we possibly be annoyed at an outboard motor’s failure. A homeless guy was nice enough to help us out because we were inconvenienced by a motor boat engine,” I shrugged.

I know that sentiment applies to other parts of my life other than the engine’s failure to give us a good time. I should be thankful for what I have. I want to be thankful for what I have. Because I do have a lot to be thankful for. And I feel like an asshole for not being more grateful.

Yeah, work sucks.

But it could be a lot worse.

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Anonymous crisitunity said...

Can you nicely explain your disillusionment to the powers that be and ask them to help you out? Or is it not that kind of place?

I would think that bosses would want their employees to be happy so they won't leave in frustration or do a bad job. But I know quite well that a lot of jobs don't work like that. Just a thought.

August 3, 2009 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

I discussed it with my former supervisor, my new supervisor and the CEO. The new responsibilities can be stashed under "other duties as assigned" on my job description and there's not a thing I can do or say about it.

And there are hundreds of people lined up outside who would take my job. So, really they don't have any real need to cater to me. All they have to do is whistle and they can replace me in no time flat.

August 3, 2009 at 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Taoist Biker said...

I would have asked the same question Crisitunity did, and expected the answer you gave. Ugh.

As for the guy - holy crap. :(

August 3, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Anonymous crisitunity said...

Bummer. I'm very sorry it's like that.

August 4, 2009 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

It is what it is. *shrug*

August 4, 2009 at 8:27 AM  

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