Liberation Delayed

Liberation Delayed

Last weekend, I decided: it was time to give notice. This arrangement just wasn’t working out. High demand, high stress, and what for? I wasn’t saving lives. Please. The urgency needs to stop. Plus, I’m actually getting responses to my feelers, so things are in the pipeline.

I had planned to submit the letter on Friday (yesterday). On Tuesday, we had two big presentations/demos and then there was a customer visit on Wednesday. He flew back from the East Coast very late Wednesday night, so I figured give him a day or two, and I’d drop the bomb. Then, life got in the way. His father fell ill, was in a coma. In a flash, he was out again on a plane to India Wednesday night.

People say there is never a good time to leave. But I need to say it in person. And while there really isn’t ever a good time, there are certainly better times. John says, I’ll probably piss away the summer by the time I finally cut the cord. Given that we’re practically into July, I suppose he’s right. Still, it’s not as if I’ve got another offer in hand so really, what’s another month or so.

I’ve been feeling noticeably fatigued lately. And to be honest, I’m a bit disappointed: it’s only been 8 months… seems like I should have more stamina than this. Ah but, I am 31 now so perhaps age really is catching up to me.

I had dinner last night with a really cool guy at work. I was out in the haz waste storage area checking on our tanks, and I was having trouble latching the door while propping it up above my head. I felt my arm give out a bit under the strain, and thankfully, Joe had seen me and was already there to assist. As we headed back to the office, he commented that he couldn’t believe I was still there, that a person with my skill set was being so wrongfully abused. Say what? I was stunned. Was I being abused? What was I supposed to be doing with my skill set? Had someone actually been noticing this? His bluntness shocked me, and I had to learn more.

I had talked to him before actually. Like most of the engineers at my company, he’s a total brainiac– MIT Ph.D. track material. But we had one big thing in common: Florida. It was amusing: we both acknowledged that in some bizarre way, we missed the simplicity of life in Florida. Anyway, he is a true adventurer– Peru, Malaysia, New Zealand… on weekends, he just gets in his car and drives east. His trunk is full of gear: tents, skis, snow shoes… it’s amazing. I feel like he’s a kind of person I wish I were. I’m a wannabe minimalist adventurer. I say wannabe because it’s a beautiful day outside, and I’m indoors typing on my lappie. Anyway, we went to dinner and I had a great time. And once again, I was reminded of just how much I miss friendship. These days, real connections are so rare. Sure, part of this is due to lack of effort, but I still think much of it is just plain circumstance. Whatever the story, I miss connections with people.

And talking to this guy was so reaffirming. Some days, I honestly just feel like the CEO’s bitch. Like all my work is just tedious crap that really requires no skill. So I waver between feeling self-doubt and feeling undervalued. But last night, he drew such a clear distinction for me. There’s a difference between what I do and what the office manager does. The office manager takes care of office supplies, HR benefits/enrollment, scheduling interviews with candidates. My job? I coordinate and manage the company’s affairs. Haha, yeah, that’s what he said. I coordinate all the logistical details pertaining to customers and potential customers. The CEO’s the sales person, but I’m the marketing team.

It’s difficult for me to express this realization here, but when he explained that, it made sense, and I suddenly felt appreciated and valued. Coming from someone who actually designs and engineers and builds our product, his comment just made my day. And he even said that I understood the engineering side of things… haha, Mr. MIT said I knew what was going on tech-wise. Aw yeah! Anyway, I guess I’m just saying, it was nice to be acknowledged.

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