Sunday, November 9, 2014

No, I DON’T want to 'bang on that drum' all day…

    I’m scared. I’m happy. I’m uncertain. I’m motivated. I’m worried. I’m relieved. I’m cynical. I’m realistic. I’m eager. I’m paranoid. I’m smart. I’m stupid. I’m thoughtful. I’m thoughtless.
    So is the depth of my mind, my emotions, lately…because it’s finally, finally, finally happened. 
    I’m employed. 
    Someone very smart, or very risk-taking, has given me a shot at training for a job. A position that involves precision work. So precise, that other’s lives depend on me getting it right. 
    But, hey, no pressure.
    Actually, the ‘precision work’ goes through a check-point process; at least four other people have to ‘O.K.’ my task. And since I’ve been told that no one walks into this job knowing exactly what to do, I don’t have to feel tense. 
    Only, I do sometimes…okay, most of the time. But I know I need to ease up on myself. My co-workers are a friendly bunch, and about a dozen of them have told me that it would take anyone weeks-to-months to master the task at hand. 

    Phew! Okay, thanks…however, I need to prove myself. So I won’t screw around. I’ve been given a shot at a job. Even been (officially) hired in the last week. You like my eagerness? My motivation? Well, I’ve got it in gallons! Six years of not being able to deposit a paycheck will do that to a person. 

    I call myself a ‘retired nursing assistant’. It’s true in its own oddball way; I don’t live on some pension and gold watch after years of service in the care-giving community, of course. (Professional, and non-professional care-givers know that never happens) I simply drew the short straw of being afflicted with a muscle-enflaming, bone-gnawing, cartilage deterioration. 

    I did manage to throw myself back into school off-n-on. In the in-between time I searched for work I could manage. I never appreciated how unforgiving H.R. people can be if you have large gaps of employment in your résumé. (I’m not even one of those ‘stay-at-home’ moms…as if they stay-at-home!)  But, remember that trending story last year about how employers were being more lenient about those ‘gaps’?  

    Yah, I didn’t believe it either. I still don’t. It took thirteen months, two government human services offices, and a contracted job developer, (or, ‘hidden job finder’) to find a place that would allow my foot in the job-training door. I still have a week before my final evaluation. 

    I’ll really be sweating then!

    But it turns out this employer was looking to train others…God bless’em! I’ve never said ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Good morning’, and ‘How are you, today?’ so much in my life than I have in the last three weeks! And I’m actually smiling all day, too! Another staff-member once shook their head at me and chuckled about it. “You’re always smiling. Why are you so glad to be here?”  Yes, they really asked that question. 

   I gave them the short answer. But in my head I was jabber-jawing the reasons…

* I’m happy to be able to bitch like a real tax-payer again! 
* I’m glad to have an important place to go to everyday; my ass is so tired of causing that divot in the easy-chair, for pity’s sake.
* I’m tired of judgmental (possibly Republican) know-it-all’s secretly thinking I’m some free-loader on my family; only my family has understood that my unemployment was personally humiliating to me, manifesting cynicism and depression.
* I’m thrilled that I can fill up the gas tank on my own again!
* I want to thank the State of Oregon for the year of college financial aid they gave me, by happily paying it back!
* I’m even more thrilled that I can be a contributing part of the economy. (Department stores, here I come! All my clothes are seven years old!)
* I’m relieved to be able to restart a savings account again. (Regarding that last comment? Hell, I love shopping, but I’m not crazy enough to go on a splurge-nutty!)
* I’m especially grateful that the job is an arthritis-friendly, ‘siddown’ position. (Thank you Heaven for that!)

    However, I won’t let go of my paranoia or realism. After all, it keeps this Gemini grounded. 

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