Hi-ho, Hi-ho

It’s off to work I go.

I have no problem admitting I watch the new Zooey Deschanel show, New Girl, on Fox. It’s nerdy, quirky, and funny all rolled into one. I’m a Zooey fan too, going to back to Elf (super underrated movie) and (500) Days of Summer.

But last night, Winston, one of the roommates, had a small storyline that connected on several levels. He was working a temp job stuffing envelopes and complained about how mundane and boring it was. Another of the roommates suggested he try to turn it into a game. Long story short, he was fired at the end of the episode wearing folded envelopes as a hat and playing paper bells.

My first job was with a start up company in Columbia who specialized in off-site database maintenance. There were two guys who started it, another who had been with them part time for a few months, and three brand new employees, myself included. Their main goal was to get everyone certified as an Oracle database administrator (DBA). What that entailed was sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours a day reading a textbook and working examples – no real world problems, no job-related tasks, just a concentrated school environment. After I had just finished up 6 years of college, mind you. So instead of wasting my time and theirs, I left before they spent any money on me to take the DBA exams.

The job I left last year was more organized. They had a training schedule for the new hires to follow and learn the aspects of the business. It combined watching & learning with doing & practicing. But once I had been there for close to three years, I had run the course of my position and it had become stale. I also had several big personal & philosophical differences from how management ran the company. The people, like any work environment, had their good and bad eggs. But mainly, idle hands bred the problem. When you have ample time to scrutinize every piece of a job, issues are going to arise. Something generally has to give.

And after a month at my new position, I’m already seeing some of the same issues. To be fair, the interview process could have gone better for both sides. The true nature of the job should have been laid out a little more clear and I should have asked more in-depth questions about the department. But I’m working in the accounting department with no professional (or educational, aside from one class in one semester) experience in accounting. I’m not interested in accounting. And my coworkers, while nice, aren’t very social. They come in, do their work, and stick to themselves. There’s no formal training (my boss joked that on my second day, I could no longer be considered “new”). I don’t have any regular tasks. And I haven’t really been given anyone to sit with and watch over to get a feel for the inner workings of the company and department. Just frustrating, given that I’m just starting.

Which leads me to my dilemma: where do you draw the line between sticking something out just to save face and living a life you’re content and happy with? I have family chirping in my ear to stick it out for a year to add some continuity to a resume with a year-long hole in it from my cross country trip. Yet the entire point of taking the trip was to live life, enjoy it, and make the most out of the time we’re given. Can you really do that if you’re struggling to enjoy the work you do?

What’s the difference between being selfish & spoiled because something isn’t going exactly as planned and non-complacent & motivated to do better for my quality of life?

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