Monday, February 10, 2003

{inhale}……hold it, hold it….{woosh}….hmm. So THAT’S what it feels like to breathe..


I hate whiny co-workers. And I have several. Every time some minor issue occurs, they act like the world is coming to an end. Of course, this necessitates that I immediately drop everything and tend to their issue. It’s probably the most frustrating thing about working here. Well, after the political bullshit.

This morning, one of my co-workers, “Betty” (obviously, not her real name) comes rushing over to tell me that, over the weekend, someone booked a journal entry, and the corporate numbers have changed by $150K, and she needs a new allocation right away. Never mind that this is a $150K on thirteen million (or 1% of the total expenditures for the month), or around $15,000 per site. No, the fact that it’s financial peanuts doesn’t matter, she needs her allocation right away. This is someone you can’t rationally discuss this with, either. Last week, a discussion between her and another co-worker, Julio (not his name, either) got out of hand in a hurry. Julio, admittedly, got a little short with her, but still gave her enough info to do what needed to be done. Not good enough. She started to run, not to her boss the Manager of Financial Reporting, or his boss, the Director of Accounting, but his boss – the VP of Business Operations. So when she came over, I looked at what she wanted, and gave her a short, terse “fine”. She went away, then I went and pled my case to her boss. Not that I’m whiny, but that we’ve already moved on – the invoices have been sent to the stations, and other parties have made decisions on what we put out last Friday. To send out a minor change now, and expect everyone to revise their presentations based on it would seriously damage our credibility, to say nothing of making us look foolish. We true-up the numbers next month anyway, so there would be no great loss to waiting until then. And he agreed. It’s nice to have one person I can talk rationally to…

Moving on….

Nikki, Esq. wrote last week about some self-doubt now that she’s in law school. Nikki, I know how you feel. All too well. I make pretty good money doing what I do – around sixty thousand dollars – and I supplement that with money I earn doing tax work, which varies depending on the level of effort I put into showing up at the tax office. And I’m putting it all on the line to chase this lawyer fantasy of mine.

At some point, probably sooner than later, I’m going to have to give up this job. That means giving up twenty paid vacation days a year, a (fairly) regular schedule of 7:30-4:15, good health benefits, an excellent pension plan, and the convenience of being 1.5 miles from home to work for an uncertain future, and the hope that someone out there will want to hire me, despite the fact that, when I graduate, I’ll be 40 years old. I’m hoping that some law firm will find my CPA and my MBA valuable additions to my background. Otherwise, the time I dedicated to passing the CPA exam and the five years (and twenty seven thousand dollars in loans) I invested in getting an MBA would be a total waste of time and money.

I’ve signed up for the Rome and Oxford programs offered by Loyola, which means that I’ve committed myself to spending two months in Europe. I have no idea how I’m going to support myself, and, more importantly, I’m sure I won’t be allowed to take two month’s leave, either, which pushes the discussion of the previous paragraph into the “sooner” part, rather than the “later” part. I originally wanted to wait until next year to leave, so that I’d have five years in here, and be vested. But there are a thousand things swirling about in my head right now, and I don’t know how to resolve them all so that I am totally satisfied. The drive from work to school is an hour, and when you factor in parking, it costs me $25 a day. I could take the train, which would be cheaper, but then I’m tied to the train schedule, and it won’t save me time – it’ll actually take longer. Plus, research after class is out, since there’s only one free shuttle in the evening, and it leaves after class. If I hang around, I’m stuck with cab fare, which wipes out any savings, since it costs as much to park.

So you get the idea. I’m going through the same angst you are, only a little differently. What gets me through? Well, as an athlete would say, “keeping your eye on the prize.” In other words, remembering why I decided to pursue this, despite all the stress that I’m under. In the end, I think it’ll be worth it. At the very least, my job won’t be as routine and unchallenging as it is right now.

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