Man, it’s been a while since I’ve put something on techno. I could say I’ve been busy…but for a whole year? It seems far more likely that I’ve been quite lazy. The truth of the matter is I’ve been pretty apathetical about lots of things over the past year or so.
Upon reflection, it seems likely that the catalyst for this state of mind was the regime change at the office. Not that going in to the situation I had any opinion on the new boss…good or bad, but leading up to the change there was a lot of behind the scenes sniping of people’s character. It was really a toxic situation for all involved, full of negativity and stress. There has now been some turn over, the old boss is gone as well as a few board members. So we now look to the upcoming year with…what exactly?
I’ve always had a natural insecurity about my position at any company. I know what I know and what I can do, I know the level of education…or lack there of..that I have. Both of those things combine to make me feel like I’m not really that unique a find for a lot of places. I’ve always felt replaceable or on the cusp of being canned. I feel that the vast majority of people are not all that special in their jobs and can fairly easily be replaced. I don’t think that I’m any different.
Combine both the natural insecurity and the turmoil at the upper levels of “management” (I guess maybe administration would be a better term for a school) and we experienced a year that was not all that positive and enjoyable on a professional level. Things then quickly begin to spiral down into poor work performance, friction with co-workers, feeling even more insecure in the job…blah blah blah. Overall a worsening situation at the office…which naturally bleeds over in to the home life.
I’m on an 11 month deal with the school. Some people look at that 12th month as a “month off” but no, it’s uncontracted time…I’m not paid for it. Over the past several years of my employment I broke up that uncontracted time to a week, 2 weeks then another week. I would also monitor my email just like I would in off hours while I am working. Some professions might not understand that, but for an I.T. monkey, it’s crystal clear what that means. You check email when you’re not at work? No, I’m really never not working…I’m always on call for an emergency. This year, I finished out my contracted time which coincides with the fiscal year. I had not been issued a new contract yet, I was also not informed of termination so I expected a new contract (it’s like this every year, it does make for a bit of discomfort around this time). So I did not go back to work until August 1. I was mailed a contract towards the end of July. During July I did not check my work email and people at the office did a great job remembering that I was not on the clock.
Overall, I think this month away significantly helped my mentality where it comes to work. I am working on having a more positive attitude at the office and trying to get away from the adversarial relationship between the user and support. If I can keep the mentality that they are not trying to break things or “don’t know how to use stuff!” and they can stay out of the mindset that I’m breaking stuff or not fixing thing…I think we’ll get along pretty well.
I’m no dreading the upcoming year like I did last year. I know I’ll get a lot of questions and requests to fix things that I was not aware was previously broken. I’ll do all that I can, but I’ll also need to accept that I can only do all that I can. It’s a lot of touchy feely crap, but I guess not all of that is “crap”.