Plans for Change
During the movie "Closer", two of the characters talked about what they were like when they broke off a relationship. One character, Alice, said, "I just say, 'I don't love you anymore. Good-bye.' Then, I leave." The other character was aghast at this, asking how she could do it like that and Alice said to him something along the lines of, "How can you not? To drag it out would be cruel." Today, I completely identify with her.
Mom: *picks up the phone* "Hello?"
Me: "Hi Mom."
Mom: "Hi honey. What's up?"
Me: "I'm selling my house and quitting my job... and I'm not joking."
Mom: *pause* "You don't sound like it. So... what happened?"
This may seem sudden to some people but it has been a long time coming for me. Last Tuesday was the breaking point. A switch was thrown and I no longer had any doubts about what I wanted to do in regards to my home, my job, my life.
For months, I have been agonizing over my increased house payment due to the special assessment levied by my home owners association. I've gone through a whole range of emotions from fear to optimism. In fact, last week, I sat down with my budget and proved to myself, without a shadow of a doubt, I could make the monthly house payment and still live fairly comfortably. It wasn't pretty but I wouldn't be eating ramen for meals unless that is what I wanted eat.
For months, I have been grumbling over my job situation. Three different bosses in one year. One terrible. One fabulous. One decent enough but tainted by the fact that I have a fundamental unhappiness with his boss' management style. Recently, I received my second year retention bonus and suddenly, all obligations to stay in my current job vanished. Though, just a couple weeks ago, I had convinced myself that all would be well and I could deal with what was coming down the pipe.
However, last week, I found out something about work that was happening to a friend of mine. During it my name came up in a less than complimentary fashion that hinted at bad things to come for me as well. This caused me to talk to my boss. Tuesday, he got back to me about the situation and the feedback. The short of it is that I am being screwed by two things: First, the switch from STE to SDET and the demanded skills increase to go with it. Second, the team's perception of who I am and what I do for the team. There is little I can do about the former problem. As for the latter problem, I have serious doubts about its validity since, even now, I am still being confused for another member of the team.
Officially, I am not in trouble. There is no formal anything coming down the pipe. But, my boss, who has been happy with me since I started working for him has to fight with a perception of my lack of consistency from outside that started with the Uber Boss Beast. After I was told all this, I discovered that I just don't have it in me to fight against this perception anymore. I just don't have the interest in the product after 5.5 years of working on it. I just don't have the energy for this constant conflict. I -thought- I was doing good but, apparently, that counts for nothing around my team.
Tuesday, it all came to a head. I thought, "I can't do this. I need a new job. Something different. But, with my house payment, I have to bring in a certain amount of money every month just to live. An amount that is not insignificant. I can't get a job I want because I have to support a condo that I love but no longer believe is worth what I'm having to pay for it. I'm trapped. I am completely trapped because I felt I had to have the American Dream of owning a home. I don't want this anymore." That is the moment when it all was decided. It was time to sell my condo and switch jobs.
"I don't love you anymore. Good-bye."
Once the decision was made, I started feeling better. I called my fabulous real estate guy and we talked. He gave me better news than I was expecting. It will be possible to sell my condo at a price that will allow me to break even or possibly make a little money. It will all come down to timing. I won't be able to put it on the market for 3-6 months because of the construction going on around here. He wants my building completely done and ready for showing before it is listed.
On the job front, I've had the fabulous ex-boss shred my resume for me while I put it back together. It is ready for submission. Also, I have spoken to another friend who is showing me how to put together a skills based resume instead of job based resume because I am looking to get out of Test and into something like web content management or tech writing. A third friend, who works at SolutionsIQ has already hooked me up with one of their people who already has two jobs for me to look at. Internally, I've already started making queries for such jobs inside MS. This weekend or Monday, I will be submitting my resume to some of the other jobs I'm interested in.
Yes. I am moving fast. I know it. Once I make a decision, that's it. I go for it. I have already said good-bye in my heart to my condo. I will miss it a great deal. I know it. It has so much to offer. But, I've already picked up some boxes to start packing up things. I will begin in my library/junk room. I suspect, I will be tossing out a lot of stuff. Mostly because I didn't have to pack myself when I moved up here from CA. So, I didn't have the chance to do the traditional moving purge. I'm looking forward to it. "I haven't needed you in two years. Good-bye. Off to the garbage-friends-charity-etc you go." I will also be purging my book collection. My friends get to come by and have first dibs, of course. Then, the rest goes to Twice Sold Tales in the U-district.
At my job, I've already started discreetly cleaning out some of the personal effects out of the cabinets and I've nuked my "personal" folder on my computer. I am being careful to get all of my work done on time and to plan for being there longer than I want to be. I am going to try not to burn this bridge because my boss has been decent to me. Plus, he can decide if I can interview elsewhere in the company. I'm really hoping he doesn't try to block it. I don't think he will.
I am feeling so much better than I have in months. I have something to look forward to. After months of inexplicable rage and a depressed attitude, this is a wonderful change. It's not going to be easy. Change never is. But, by the end of the year, I will no longer be trapped and that means the world to me.
Tarot Card for the Day: Seven of Wands