Friday, April 29, 2011

Bored, Not Boring?

So more on the work stuff. Or enough that I feel comfortable sharing. My annual review this year was shitty. Or that's not true -- the review was fine, but the related compensation was not. I got zero, nada, zip -- a 0% raise. And that's something I could probably swallow if the company was doing shitty or there was something in my performance review that indicated I was worthy of NOTHING, but neither of those things were there.

Words used to describe me (directly from my review AND my clients):
* Highly competent
* Efficient
* Pleasure to work with
* Backbone of the team
* Workhorse
* Master tactician and project manager
* Results driven
* Goes above and beyond to support what needs to be done
* Independent, needs minimal supervision
* Honest
* Loyal
* Committed.

Um, so what's the fucking problem? That all sounds pretty good, right? Someone you would want to work for you?

Well, I'm boring. I'm not passionate. I don't think 'outside the box.' [Feel free to fucking gag right there]. I have not convinced people that I really want to be at work. I'm not thinking as strategically as I can.

To be fair, I disagree with NONE of that, but my problem is that I cannot fake passion. I cannot fake that tech keeps me up at night because it doesn't. It's my job. I go in and I do it well. I go above and beyond, and I get shit done. That's always been enough, but now it isn't. The message I'm getting is that I should go in, bust ass, do the best I can, but if I can't muster enough PASSION for it, then there's really no reward.

So yeah, I am having a bit of an identity crisis. I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am BORING. YG says that I shouldn't think this way -- that I am "bored" and not boring, that any company would be lucky to have me and once I can match the passion with all the bullets listed above -- well then, there's no stopping me. I really WANT to believe him. I want that to be true, but I'm having trouble accepting it. I feel like this is another example of me striving to do the right thing (whatever that thing is) and then getting slapped in the face because really, nobody cares that you're honest and loyal and committed. They want something else.

This is my pattern, of course. I've always wanted to be the good worker bee and the good student and reliable person to have around. I checklisted my life and did all the items on the list: decent college, job, grad school, house, marriage, etc and then ended up miserable. Five years ago, I made the conscious choice to do something for myself by moving here -- something that wasn't on the list -- and it was fantastic. But I somehow got stuck in the same pattern with work, and I can't get out. I justified it by saying that at least I was getting rewarded for being my good old reliable self. But now I'm not getting rewarded. The message I took is that I am worth nothing, and fuck, man, that does NOT sit well.

I mentioned that YG and I have a plan -- that we're saving money so that I will hopefully have some time to figure out what I want to do next, what companies I would like to work for, what career path I might like to take, etc. And I do take comfort in the fact that we have a plan, but I can't let go of that nothing feeling. Some days are better than others. Other days are bad. And when I think about my other career -- my writing career -- I totally freak because how many writers do you know that have been described as 'lacking passion' and 'boring' and 'reliable'? Yeah, that's what I thought.

I just want to be useful.

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