I took Friday off, and for the first time in a long time, I really did take the day off, meaning that although I brought my laptop home, I didn't open it. This is a good thing, because no matter how much I work right now, I can never really be current. In a little over 3 years, my case load has doubled, in addition to which for the past 3 weeks I've been assigned a significant portion of the work of one of my colleagues who is out indefinitely with a broken wrist. Management offers only the stick, not the carrot, and all of us get the stick, no matter what.
I am deeply unhappy with my job. The atmosphere is grim, and getting grimmer. But looking for another job is depressing, because in this economy, there's not a lot out there, even for workaholics like myself, or maybe especially for workaholics like myself: I'll be 62 on September 11. So to take the day off on Friday was good; it was exactly what I needed. I worked on my flower beds out back, no small task in this summer, now officially Dallas' hottest summer on record, with 68 days over 100 degrees so far, 40 of them consecutive. All of the annual bedding plants I put in this spring were dead by the first week in July, as were many of my perennials, killed by the awful combination of horrendous, relentless heat and drought. I'd pulled them all up and the beds were empty, but it was too hot to work on them. Friday, I finally finished putting down landscaping fabric and then mulching the empty beds; Saturday I put in a new row of yellow mums, having found them for $1.25 per pot at Home Depot. I also splurged and spent $32 on 8 glorious hanging baskets of petunias. I transplanted all of those into my own baskets and pots, and for the first time since early spring, my patio is an inviting place, with pots of blooming petunias in red, pink, white, and purple. Today I repainted the deck outside my front door. For a little over a year, it's been a hideous sort of rust color, a bad calculation on my part after I bought a gallon of solid stain without bothering to try a sample can first. Today, after trying 4 different samples, I settled on a wonderful, understated, subdued taupe, which looks great; I've done 2 coats and now I'm just waiting for it to dry hard before I put my pots of flowers back on it.
I'd love to be retired, because I could get used to this. If I enjoyed what I were doing; if I felt that my job made any sort of difference whatsoever, I wouldn't mind working, but I know better and even if I didn't, all of us are regularly reminded of this fact by management (I'm not kidding). Personally, I'm in the position of the kid who makes good grades and doesn't get into trouble, but who is treated as if she's a juvenile delinquent because some of her classmates are juvenile delinquents. That's not a way to make me want to stay, not that I delude myself that management gives a damn whether I leave or stay. It's no good to whine about it; in the end, the choice is mine, to move forward or stay in this miserable situation. Well, it will probably take a while, but I've begun looking. There's something better out there; it's up to me to find it. To cheer myself on, I imagine giving my notice and holding exit interviews, in which I tell various men above me (the company has become a very big Old Boy network once again) what I really think of them and their so-called management techniques.
Happy Labor Day.