Thursday, February 02, 2006

When I Grow Up

Quick: What's your dream job? You have 2 seconds to answer. I always wanted to be an opera singer, only I hate practicing, and I really can't hit anything above the G above the C above middle C to save my life. (Well - let me rephrase that. I can hit it - you just really, really don't want me to.)

My sister Marjorie is following her bliss, branching out a little and working on a sub-Attic Ted project called Teddy and Marge - take note, o denizens of Austin, that they have some upcoming shows in the next couple of weeks!

Margie rehearses regularly. I am such a schlub.

Failing to be an opera singer, I was very interested for a while in being a midwife. My aunt is a certified nurse-midwife, and my older two kids were born at home with a lay midwife in attendance. Midwifery seems like such good work - unlike, say, marketing.

The culture shock of moving from a sales and marketing, private-sector company to working for the state is largely wearing off, but I notice funny things. People work here for decades.

When I interviewed for my job, my boss told me that the database system they used to have was very difficult and time-consuming, and praised the efficiency and user-friendliness of the new system. He talked about what a difference this recent improvement had made, and how much easier it is now to do the job. It turns out this "new" system was implemented in 1995. Time just runs on a different scale here.

We have all the time in the world - time to get our work done, to answer such emails and phone messages as we receive, to finish everything we need to finish, to take off lunch hours and evenings and weekends and holidays and vacations without having to worry about what was left undone. And this difference from my old employer is ironic, because at my old employer, everyone was so busy - busy chasing down and following up with coworkers who were too busy to answer emails; busy trying to figure out how to do a task for which procedures had never been established; busy trying to come up with more excuses for clients about why yet another deadline had been missed; busy busy busy busy - that everyone routinely put in 50-60 hours or more a week, and yet nothing ever seemed to actually get done, because everyone was just too BUSY.

Compared to that, just about anything I did next would feel like my dream job. But I think I'm doing pretty well. I just really need to find a good musical group to join, or perhaps get stuck in an elevator with a woman in the advanced stages of labor. Man, that would be awesome!


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