Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Dragon Strikes Again

Fairy found here.
Everything was going along so well today. I was Ms. Productive this morning and took care of a bunch of things that had been hanging over my head, including: (1) Going to get my Swedish passport at the Swedish Consulate, (2) Calling to get 10-98 forms from my student loan providers (one step closer to being able to do my taxes!), and (3) Calling my old bank in Michigan that had had the audacity to shut down my account and start charging me a $5 a month inactivity fee for the past few months, and convincing them to bring the account back up to $0 and call it even. I lost $30, they lost $10. They should be thanking me.

In addition to taking care of these life details, I also did some work-work, and was feeling like things were in pretty decent shape. I felt so good that I left my office, walked up to 52nd street to Bunchberries and got myself a healthy lunch, met Raj for coffee, and even stopped at Ann Taylor and did a bit of browsing. I got a cute shirt in turquoise (deep mer). The day is gorgeous, and it was so nice to be out in the sunshine.

Foolish me, thinking I could go out and enjoy the sunshine at 2:00 pm on a Wednesday afternoon!

I came back to the office to find that all hell was breaking lose. First, there was an email and phone message requesting my assistance this evening on an assignment. Curses for leaving my blackberry at my desk! Second, I got a nasty phone call from one of my favorite people. Nasty, because she was pissed, but also nasty because that's her normal MO. It seems that some people thought that a certain expert had received certain documents several years ago (before my time), and that a notation of each of of those documents had been kept. Some people (i.e. the Dragon Lady) expected that I (for some crazy, insane reason) should (a) be aware of this and (b) know how to fix it. Someone was nearly apoplectic to find out that the situation - as often happens - is far more complex and ambiguous than she wants it to be.


So for the last few hours I've been scrambling, running around, trying to get brought up to speed on the state of these documents. The bottom line appears to be: No one knows what happened four years ago, no one knows exactly what we have and what we're missing, but now everyone is working as hard as they can to figure it out. Did I mention that I would rather get a cavity filled and have the dentist drill my teeth without novicaine (I'm so lying) than look at these documents? Actually, if the person I was dealing with was pleasant, it wouldn't be that big a deal. However, that's not the situation.

On Monday, while I was walking down the hall back to my office I thought for the first time that I might quit this job without having a new one lined up. It seems that I just can not move forward while stuck in this job. It so often zaps my energy, eats up all my time, or leaves me discouraged and frustrated. More often than not I lack the will and/or the time to do everything I want to be doing. That would be:

1) Yoga - regularly.
2) Taking Spanish lessons and/or speaking Swedish with people.
3) Looking for and finding an amazing job (Women's or Human Rights).
4) Eating healthy (cooking dinner, making lunches, NOT eating vending machine crap at my desk).
5) Reading - A LOT. Including the books I am supposed to read for my book club, which I have been unable to read for the last three months.
6) Not feeling stressed. Feeling happy, relaxed, content, and FREE.
7) Not feeling stuck and like the bulk of what I'm paid for is worthless and morally bankrupt.
8) Going to the gym regularly, on a regular schedule.
9) Not feeling STRESSED. (That deserves two mentions).
10) Enjoying life and having lots of cuddling time and sex.

The reason I have not yet left, in addition to the fact that I don't have a new job, is that it seems so foolish to walk away from my paycheck and health insurance. Regarding the pay check: I feel like I stupid wuss for even contemplating walking away, when sticking it out would give me a decent chunk of change. Regarding the health insurance: It's a real problem because without health insurance I can't see my therapist and I want to continue the work that I have been doing with her. I feel trapped in a box. A box of my own making, but a box nonetheless.

BUT, setting the health insurance issue aside, I could just quit. I could just QUIT. Boom. Just like that. It's something to ponder.


Tracy said...

Buttercup, if you quit, I think you can still keep your insurance for the next 18 months through COBRA. Worth checking into. Of course, you wouldn't be able to keep the groovy paycheck, but I bet you could find a job before the 18 months of your COBRA would run out. Just a thought. I'm very "pro find a great job" and very anti "dragon lady being mean to my blog buddy".

wordnerd said...

Tracy said it best!

I think it's important to keep focused on the fact that you always have a choice...sometimes some choices are more palatable than others...but alternatives do exist.

Bean said...

QUIT your job. Granted cobra would probably be 450$ if not more for yourself. If you are making enough money, why don't quit your job, enjoy your life (u have many aspects to cover that you have not had time to pay attention to), have cobra, and continue your journey for a better job with your therapist.

pas said...

You can also get inexpensive insurance through the state bar association --

If you quit your job, I would be very supportive.

Buttercup said...

Pas, How inexpensive and are you sure? Maybe this is just a Carolina thing?

wordnerd said...

OMG, I hadn't even thought about should also check the in Canada we can get good rates through the CBA.....and most ppl don't even know!

Buttercup said...

Wordnerd and Pas - I just signed up to get some information on the ABA's short term medical insurance. Apparently it lasts for 1-6 months (30-185 days). I don't know how much it costs yet, however, this could be an instance where being a lawyer works out well.... we shall see. Thanks for the tip.

Ally Bean said...

About 10 years ago my husband (a lawyer) just up and quit a job that was killing him physically and spiritually. He took a year off from formal work (did wills and pro bono work on the side) and-- to use a phrase from the '60's-- found himself.

We did COBRA for health insurance. And travelled some around the US looking at places we might want to live in the future. It was very fun.

After one year he found a different, more meaningful job. But here's the thing-- he had to wait one year to even start to look for work because he would violate the non-compete clause in his employment contract. And the company he previously worked for was like a bunch of vultures waiting for him to goof up.

Something to keep in mind if you do choose to quit. Those you leave behind might just try to make sure that you don't succeed in the future. I don't mean to be a downer here-- just passing on info re: the good and the bad of just walking away from hell.

Gypsy said...

I was thinking about your plight today and wondered if you have ever looked on for jobs? Might be a good resource for worthwhile jobs. :)

Buttercup said...

Thanks Gypsy. I recently discovered idealist and you're right, it's a great resource. I also check pretty frequently and have had some luck finding positions there.