Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Ain't Passed the Bar But I Know A Little Bit...

After running into my old boss on the street (something that took longer to happen than I would've guessed seeing as my old and new jobs are two blocks apart) and having the girl from my old office come to my new office for a meeting I decided to stop by my old job and say hello.  So last week I did just that.  It was...weird.  While working there we had taken over the office next door and the building guy had come and put a door through to it, but tra la la we just left it sitting there empty.  I walked through the door and the room was not empty, the walls were covered in sketches, a couples of tables were in there for brainstorming.  My initial reaction was this pang of "Oh of course things start getting into motion as soon as I leave".  I struggled for a long time with my decision to leave and do something else because I did feel like it would be a step in a different direction, quite possible the wrong direction, or even a step backwards in terms of ever having a career in the design world.

Then my old coworker walked me out and proceeded to tell me his life story from the past three months and I started to remember that feeling.  That stagnant feeling.  Being around people that I neither particularly liked or disliked, feeling stuck.  I left there with a twinge of what might have been, but the more I thought about it the more I felt I would still be in the exact same spot I was three months ago, there would just be more shit on the walls.

Today at my current job I have just passed the three month 'trial period' mark in which I am no longer an almost employee.  I now have my benefits, etc. etc.  I also got to have a meeting with J.  J is the kind of person who is motherly-ish.  She kind of makes me feel like her niece sometimes.  She's paranoid that I am unchallenged and will become miserable at my job and leave her.  She hints at this regularly telling me to always let her know when I need more work.  I've gotten into this weird position now where I feel like if I'm not crazy busy all day she'll get nervous and fret.  It's to the point where I feel like I can't even take 5 minutes to check my personal email without someone walking up behind me and thinking I need more stuff to do.  

She gave me the big "What is it you want to do?"  "Where do you see yourself?" questions today in our meeting.  I never know what she wants me to say.

At one point she referenced how it could be perceived as a step backwards to be an admin person at an architecture firm when my education lends itself to being a designer in an architecture firm.  For a moment I felt like crying.  I am well aware what it looks like J.  What did she want me to say?  "You can be honest with me" she says, taking on that weird aunt-like familiarity.  No J. I can't say that I took this job because I sat around and did nothing for hours on end at my old job, I can't say that I was making less money as a "designer" than I was in my trial period here as a glorified receptionist, I can't say that I hate when people ask me what I do because the answer makes me feel like a huge failure.  I'm busier, I make more money and work in a nicer office.  That's why I'm here.

I'm happier, but I'm certainly not doing my dream job.  In fact, I wouldn't really have a problem with what I'm doing if my education didn't imply that I should be doing more.  It would be nice if every time someone asked about what I took in school and I said that I have an undergraduate degree in design they didn't immediately follow it up with "Oh so you're an architect?"  No you f'ing moron you have to go to school for 7 years, intern at a firm for 3-5 years and pass a bunch of really difficult and expensive tests.  It's a small miracle for anyone under the age of 30 to be a full blown architect.  Idiot.  Stop asking ignorant questions that make me feel bad about myself.

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