Saturday, May 31, 2008

I can't see the answer.

So on Wednesday, I find out my dad is sick again and has to have surgery Monday.

And you know what?

I wasn't even surprised. As craptacular as that is (or as that makes me, I don't know), I wasn't even surprised. Upset? Yes. Surprised? No.

Because my entire existence consists of waiting for the next assault. I never know which room it will be coming from, but I know it will be coming.

The next day, Thursday, I have a job interview.

The guy interviewing me just happens to be from my hometown, where I grew up. We hit it off immediately and half-way through the interview I begin to think, "Oh my God. Oh my GOD. This is perfect."

The company? Perfect for me. Small and friendly and casual. Everyone works hard (so do I!) but because they want to work hard, not because someone is standing behind them shrieking at them. Everyone helps each other, because they all want the company to do well, not because they are forced to help each other.

Everyone is accountable for themselves. It gives them a chance to shine.

I want a chance to shine.

We talked more and he said, "How are your writing skills?"

I said, "My writing skills are excellent. I'm an excellent technical writer and I just finished my first novel."

He put his pen down and stared at me.

"I've never had anyone give that response before!" he said, laughing.

Job interview are hard for me. I don't like to talk about my accomplishments or achievements. It always feels like bragging.

But I want this job. So I told him how I taught myself HTML and how I taught myself to type 100 works a minute (never had a typing class) and how I learned the entire Microsoft Suite by going in and figuring it out.

I told him how I had trained everyone from Janitors all the way up to company Presidents. I did it and I got good reviews. I'm a good trainer. I'm a good teacher. I love to help people learn new things.

I told him, with complete and utter confidence, that while I don't know SQL, I can learn it and I can learn it fast.

It was going well. Really well. He asked my salary requirements. He nodded and wrote them down.

Then he said, "This job will involve travel. Up to 45% of the time."

And thud.

My heart hit the floor.

He continued on and said that sometimes you'd be gone for three weeks, home a week and gone for three weeks again. Then other times, you'd be home for a month and not have to make any trips.

I inquired if it was local or regional travel.

It's not. It's Nationwide. It's hop on a plane with a company credit card and we'll see you when you get back travel.

I got in my car when it was over and I started to cry.

I mean, really, really cry.

Because this job would be perfect for me. Absolutely perfect. The money would be better. The job itself would be better, much more suited for me. Much more creative rather than analytical. I freaking love to travel. I would love to hop on a plane with a company credit card and see people when I got back.

But how can I?

I have two ten-year old children. They don't require or demand a ton of my time, but I like them. I really, really like them. I like to be involved in their lives and in their activities. I like to know who their teachers are and what they are doing in school. I like to cook them dinner and help them with their homework.

For the first time in my life, I really felt like I couldn't somehow fix this so that I could have it both ways.

I've always been able to do that. I had to work and I wanted to go to school, so I worked it out that I could do both. I was tired a lot and it was hard, but I did it. I've always been able to work anything out, if I tried hard enough.

I can't see how I could work this out.

I started driving and the thought of having to go back to where I work now was absolutely soul-crushing.

I told Jason about the interview and how well it all went and he said, "Well, maybe in three or four years when Boy Child and Girl Child are older..."

And I thought,

If I have to stay where I am? I will be dead in three or four years.

I'm not suicidal or anything. But that, immediately, popped into my head.

So I got scared.

Really badly scared.

Because I don't know how to fix this.

I do know that I'm probably the luckiest girl in the world though. Because my friends in real life didn't really come through for me yesterday, but my in-box has been clogged with messages and support and help and hope.

So thank you. For all that. Sincerely.

And if anyone knows how to fix this? Please let me know.


BandK said...

What a cool job!

What sucky timing.

In eight years? When Boy Child and Girl Child are out of high school? Perfect. As long as Jason is perfectly secure and OK with your being gone for three weeks out of each month. That is tough on a marriage, too.

And as much as this job may seem like a lifeline? If you took it, you may end up with children you don't even know and no husband. And then you'd have a great job and fun travel and junk? But you'd be all alone.

Don't jump on it just because it is a way to get out of your old job. Its kinda like a kid who escapes a terrible home life by getting married the nanosecond they graduate high school and realize that they are in a WORSE situation than they were at home because they jumped at the first thing that came along. Right?

So. Before you said you had TWO job interviews. And you said you'd be dead in four years at your old job. Well, keep on job hunting! Don't stop! Maybe this really cool company will have another job opening that doesn't involve travel.

There's always hope, honey. As long as there are jobs to be interveiewed for, there is hope.

Hugs to you!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Wait for the job offer, then tell them the truth and hope for a miracle. Maybe work out in your mind an amount of travel you and your family would be okay with, and present that to them simply. I know it's a one in a billion chance, but better to take it than not. And then, if they say no, that doesn't work for them, it's not personal. They already showed they wanted you, you know? And as messed up as it is that it won't's good to be wanted. ~hugs~ So sorry, Chick. I know it's been one blow after another lately, but I feel hopeful for you. I don't know why, I just do.

Jill said...

seems like you're getting some 'downer' thoughts, but i would see this as a good thing. finally! you'd be doing something for YOU. it probably feels selfish, which i imagine is the real problem (what, me get something I WANT?!?) what if your kids were great for Jason while you were away? What if the salary they offer makes it easy for you to come home on weekends on the closer destinations? What if it makes them more independent and strengthens your marriage through the 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' ideal? What if you were able to take an extended vacation or have the kids come to Florida with you and go to Disney World, etc etc? There are all kinds of possibilities. Don't just say 'nah' until you've had some real time to think it over, discuss it with Jason, and yes, see if they'll offer you some sort of deal to work some from home/home office some of the time, so that your travel is reduced a bit. After all, technically, you'll still have 55% at home, and some people work shift work and never get to see their kids ball games or piano recitals, let alone be involved in their lives in any significant way. This may allow you to be happy, fulfilled, and give your family room to grow as people.

Tarasview said...

Oh I wish I had a solution for you... but I don't. That just plain sucks.

I really and truly hope that there is an even better job waiting right around the corner.

frannie said...

this just sucks.

I know the perfect job (without travel) is out there for you.

God, I wish I knew what to say. I am staring at the entire alphabet on my keyboard and no words are coming.

I really wish I could do something to help you. I wish I could figure it out.

Because you deserve it!

Denise said...

Hugs to you chick. I dont know how to fix it but I want to hug you anyway. Chin up girlfriend!

J said...

I am sorry all this shit is happening to you at once. It seems like when it rains it pours. If I come up with any solutions I will be sure to tell you!!

And, I wanted to mention something to you. You said your real life friends didn't come through for you. I know you mean the people that see you IRL, but I wanted to tell you that you are my REAL friend. I hope that when you need me I come through for you. You deserve it.

Julie said...

I'm not sure you really have to decide right now. Why not wait and see when the offer comes. And you know, you could always TRY it and if you find the travel is just too much, you can always quit. You don't have to stay in a job forever. You never know - you may LOVE the travel and the job might provide enough benefits to make that sacrifice for a year or two.

Julie said...

I'm not sure you really have to decide right now. Why not wait and see when the offer comes. And you know, you could always TRY it and if you find the travel is just too much, you can always quit. You don't have to stay in a job forever. You never know - you may LOVE the travel and the job might provide enough benefits to make that sacrifice for a year or two.

Anonymous said...

MY stupid ass opinion? Do as a few others have suggested. Work out in your mind an "acceptable" amount of time to travel. Sit Boy Child, Girl Child down and lay it all out there for them. Tell them you may get an offer for a great job that will make YOU happier, will make you feel better and that will be able to give them more (NOT saying they don't get now). Ask them how they TRULY feel about it; if they'd be okay with yu being gone 3 weeks out of the month. Your kids seem pretty fricken awesome, I bet they'd be super supportive. Get Jason's true feelings on it. Will it be tough? Yes. But, I don't see you being without a husband and children you don't know in 3 years. I just don't see that. You'd kick so much ass in this job, you may not have to travel three weeks. When the job offer comes in, lay it out there: that you KNOW you'd be awesome at this, that you're cool with travel, that they NEED to hire you, but you're not cool with THAT MUCH travel.
A company may be willing to work out something if it means getting someone in a position that they know will excel at it. They probably want you as much as you want them.

Whatever you do, do NOT give up. If this isn't THE job for you, you keep searching. You keep sending out resumes, you keep going on the interviews. You do NOT give up.

I'm sorry your real friends didn't come through for you. But, as my girl J up there said: WE are your real friends, too. We may not have the honor of knowing you "in real life", but we know you in another way. We care. We love you. We support you, whatever you do.


Gerbil said...

Is the travel totally necessary? Could some of it be handled with Netmeeting? Video conferencing? It's cut our travel expenses down a LOT.

Something will happen, I trust this.

Birth Sister Doula Services said...

The right job will happen at the right time and under the right circumstances. I promise.

Angie said...

I wouldn't stop the process yet. See what happens. See if they offer the job.

Then, get a good, firm "REALITY" travel schedule from them.

If this really IS the job that you want, you might have to make sacrifices. BUT. . . and this is a big BUT. .. (only one "t" on the but). . . if the travel makes this a non-negotiable, STOP the process.

And keep looking. God knows that this is not the ONLY job out there that you would love. . . and I have to believe that this is designed to give you hope.

I've got a longer story. I'll try to email it soon, and hopefully it will give you something to smile about!! : )

judy in ky said...

You are inspiring a lot of us readers out here. You remain articulate even in the worst of times. And we have seen your wonderful sense of humor, too. We don't know you in real life, but a lot of us out here have come to care about you. I hope "moral support from a distance" helps you through.

Pgoodness said...

When the offer comes through, find out the rest of the details: when, where, how long EXACTLY you have to be other places. And perhaps, just perhaps, the longer trips can be split into smaller trips. And your kids, as awesome as they are? Would probably be thrilled their mama was doing something that makes her astoundingly happy.
Besides, that's what they made technology for - laptops with cameras, chat rooms, cell phones, video cameras - you can be far away and not feel far away. People do it all the time and if it's something you really want, then you should. Your kids will get it, your husband should get it. When the offer comes through, do it. You need this.

Girl from Pennsylvania said...

I always read, but haven't commented in a while. But on this one, I had to.

I am a married woman with a dog and cat. I travel two to three times a month, am gone two to three nites at a time. I questioned my travel at first but decided that the pay, new career path, etc would outweigh the travel.

I wish now I had really thought about it and not glamorized it in my mind. I hate it. I miss my husband before I walk out the door. I dread each trip and it makes it harder to want to do the work I know I can easily do. So in my mind, I say think about it. Think about it a lot. Think about eating at a hotel and hearing your husband's voice on the phone.

I know lots of people probably look at this differently than I do and other people can handle the travel, but for someone who is in similar shoes as you (minus the kids) I just want you to hear the honest sucky truth.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how blessed your kids are that you are even contemplating not taking such a job when you are so obviously miserable in the job you are in? It really is about the kids, isn't it? Being a parent is about responsibility, love, unselfishness, committment and sacrifice. I like what a few of the other commenters had to say about waiting to see what comes with the offer and I also think what the commenter just before me had to say is the "other side of the fence perspective" of all this. Great, heart felt post! I hope all turns out better than you could have hoped for.

Doug said...

Because this job would be perfect for me. Absolutely perfect.

No, it would not be perfect, with that much travel, it wouldn't even be good. Forget sacrifice, responsibility or any other descriptors that even imply you're giving something up to spend time with your children.

Because as much as you are good at your job, and would rock that new job like nobody's business.. Your Kids Rule and you don't want to miss out on one moment of their lives you don't absolutely have to.

You would be completely miserable if you had to be away from them for even one week a month, for that matter three. It's not that you can't have a job that would do that, it's that you don't even want a job that would do that.

Keetha said...

Oh, dear. Honey. I don't know what to say. Except I'm thinking of you and hoping that somehow, some way this will work out.

(Don't I rock. I just gave the lamest advice in the history of the world.)

CPA Mom said...

I had a job in my 20's (pre children and pre marriage even) and it was a ton of travel and I HATED it. You are right to turn down a job with travel but I know it feels soul crushing since the job is perfect otherwise. Keep looking, keep your chin up, and know we love you.

SJINCO said...

If they really want you that bad they will accomodate you in any way, shape or form....


Keep your chin up. Even if it feels like the perfect job for you, something better WILL come along.

StrawberryParfait said...

Just starting reading your blog today and came across this post.

I don't have kids yet...but a youth group that's wonderful and my husband and I love the kids. Now I know it's not the same as having your own...but it's still something I love to invest my time and life in.

And I'm in a same boat. I've got the end of grad school, ministry stuff, my husband's in seminary, a long commute to work every day.

And a job I don't always care for.

I look at other jobs, etc that would be better suited for me...but not better for where I'm at in life.

And it's frustrating...because I too have always made everything work....and right now it just doesn't want to do it.

Best advice someone ever gave me was this....Pray and know that God directs your steps even when you can't see them. And that the right thing at the wrong time or the wrong thing at the right time is still wrong. It takes having the right thing at the right time in life.

Hang in there :) God will direct your steps :)

Rachel (Crazy-Is) said...

I don't know that I could tell you anything that everyone else hasn't already said.

I know one thing, you do rock, that's why they offered you that job.