Once again, life has stepped up and slapped me in the face with the reminder that I am a full-blown adult now.
I wish it would stop doing that.
It’s mostly for a good reason. Yesterday, I got a text from Rick saying that a position had opened up where he works. It’s one that I had talked about with the woman in charge there, when I had applied for something else. I’ve already interviewed there twice, two and a half years ago, so some of these people know me. And for all they know, I come highly recommended, since the outgoing director recommended me for her own job, and Rick has recommended me as well (totally selflessly motivated, of course).
“The thing is,” said the woman in charge, “the salary is right around the job you interviewed for in 2010.”
Which was, um… not fabulous.
I quoted it.
“Yyyeah,” was her response.
“I mean… I might be able to squeeze it to about $2,500 higher, but that’s as high as I can go.”
Now, this is a job at a state university, so the funding is what it is. The state gives so much money for each position and that’s all there is to it. So there’s not a lot of room to push for more. Back in 2010, I was willing to see if I could make it work, but it would be tough. Now, it’ll be tougher. I have a mortgage, several completely unreasonable medical bills and constant fears that a Korean missile will hit my house and insurance will be all, “Oh, we don’t cover Korean missile damage.”
If she squeezes it to the highest possible number, it’s still more than $10,000 less than I make now.
I can write off $3,000 of that loss because I will no longer be driving 100 miles a day. I currently spend about $3,200 a year on gas. This would cut that back dramatically.
But still. Oof.
But it’s my ticket out of the sensory deprivation chamber known as the basement – the unheated basement – where I currently spend my mental energies and college degree in a business that’s flailing and increasingly run by bean counters who have no regard for little things like experience, judgment and people who have worked their asses off for, in my case, 15 years, only to be sentenced to an interminable life of working craptastic hours, holidays and (until last week) weekends. It’s a life of constant abuses, assumptions from bosses that I will have no problem filling in on the weekends I’ve just reclaimed for myself any time that any one of three different weekend employees want a day off… that they can change my schedule on a whim without telling me, like I work at McDonalds. This job opportunity might be a lot less money, but it’s a normal schedule, holidays off, and it gives me a chance to get my life back.
I learned, by the way, when I took the job I’m currently in, that it is a mistake to give up the things in your life that make you happy just so you can get paid more. It takes the joy out of your life, and, in my case, then you get smacked really hard, take a 23% pay cut and get stuck working nights and weekends, so you wind up making no more than you did when you left your old job and now you’ve had to give up even more of your life.
But I keep getting stuck on the number. I haven’t gotten paid the salary in question since 2006 or 7. And I made it work then, sure. I took vacations and paid my rent and made my car payments (which I no longer have). I mean, it’s possible. It just seems backward. If I took this job (which, mind you, has not actually been offered), I would be making a full $28,000 less than when I took my current job in 2008, before the smackdown. That’s tough to swallow.
But they’re just numbers. I already took the biggest hit.
The other thing this job opportunity would do is give me a start at a new career, which I’ve wanted ever since I got smacked as I described above, and possibly even longer. As the woman in charge pointed out, it positions me for growth, promotions, etc. And really, I could do it for a year or two and then pursue other, more lucrative opportunities if need be.
These are all the things that two of my coworkers told me when I obsessed to them about it last night. Almost everyone I work with is of the same mind, really. Get out. For God’s sake, get out of here. Send postcards.
In the midst of all this adultness, I got a reminder that I am in some ways still a horrid teenager. Rick sent me a picture taken in New Orleans, in which his inebriated self is wearing neon green glasses and purple beads, making a face I don’t recognize and throwing arms around two girls. It hit me then that he actually met up with other people down there. I thought it was just him and his brother. Turns out these girls were friends of his. So then I had a fit of completely irrational jealousy and fear while freaking out about adult things.
So… 16 going on 40. Awesome feeling.
My interview is in two weeks. My meeting with my investment broker is in one week, to help figure out whether it’s feasible.
So, let’s review:
Existential questions vis-a-vis professional pursuits
Korean missile fears
Yup. I’m an adult. At least when you’re a kid people tell you what to do for your own good. Closest I can get to that is the investment guy going, “Contribute 10% to your 401(k).” Which I already do.
I want my daddy.