Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm so fucking good at what I do!

Yeah, I am! (That's either "YEAH, I am" or "Yeah, I AM.")

My job has its irritations, but... I really am a GREAT editor.

After coming back to Austin from NYC in 2010, I temped for 4 years, usually as a secretary. Twice after long-term gigs, I was up for the permanent position but didn't get it. And I WEPT each time. I felt traumatized: They didn't want me/What was I gonna do, etc.

In fact, I was only a mildly competent secretary. I was, indeed, COMPETENT, but I certainly wasn't SUPER at what I was doing. The first rejection that upset me so: A friend of the head secretary got the job. (I checked Facebook: The two were indeed longtime friends.) The second: A Hispanic friend of my Hispanic boss got the job. (The woman applied after the job listing had been closed, but my boss made an exception after they both attended a university "Hispanic Faculty/Staff Association" meeting and my boss encouraged her friend to apply. The friendly, talkative new hire told me this while I was training her for the position I'd held for 3 months.)

Each position would have paid close to $40,000 per year, with full State benefits. After temping for years, I was desperate for such. And, as I said, I wept (not cried; "weeping" is much more from the gut) after being rejected. While I knew that friendship/race had indeed played a part in the two hirings, I also knew that I was not EXCELLENT at what I had been doing. While I liked and got along with most of the execs I was working with, I also found a lot of the smiling and posing pretty tedious. And when my immediate secretarial bosses asked for stupid things, I'm afraid that I did, indeed, roll my eyes, at least subconsciously. One example: My Hispanic boss at the second job weighed about 275 lbs and could barely walk up stairs. One day, she sent me upstairs to retrieve some office supply, which I did readily. Only, it wasn't the right supply (not my mistake, but rather, she'd asked for the wrong thing). So she sent me up again. And it STILL wasn't the right thing. Back up I go... When you're a secretary, you have to deal with this kind of low-level bullshit constantly.

After numerous temp rejections, I now have an editing job (paying much more than the losses that I wept for) that is intellectually stimulating, and with a boss who was a good teacher when I first started, and who now leaves me space to do my job, sans bullshit stuff like "You must leave for lunch exactly at 12:00 and return exactly at 1:00." (RE this: My latter above-mentioned secretarial boss once chastised me for leaving for lunch at 12:20 --- because I'd been finishing a project for HER boss, a professor. I'd stayed past 12 to get the job done; the professor appreciated it, but my secretarial boss could not grasp the concept of rearranging a schedule slightly in order to accomplish something.)

At any rate: I kicked ass today at work. My boss is out for this Thanksgiving week, and she left me in charge of incoming editorial assignments. I juggled things left and right, and got a thousand things done and a thousand things assigned, all with pretty good clarity. It felt GREAT. Almost like wrestling a poem to completion. I was completely in tune with what I was doing. I am SO grateful for this job. And I can't explain enough how having one part of your life in a rational place carries over into the rest of your psyche. Sometimes nowadays I actually wake up feeling GOOD and looking forward to what I'm going to be doing in the day ahead. I haven't felt like this for more than 5 years. I'd forgotten what it was like to be able to BREATHE and LIVE a little without feeling like shit.

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