One year, One Month: An Ode to Unmet Expectations

Note: I’m going to try to keep this short but it’s bursting to come out. I may ramble. Sorry. (not really)

It’s been a year since I posted about my hiring as a ‘full time’ employee of the Applied Research department at SAIT Polytechnic. In fact, I was quite enthusiastic. I was kind of hoping to do a retrospective of how things are now, how my attitudes have altered and how things have, or have not, changed.

First off, I’m still as busy as ever.  I didn’t leave work tonight until 1900. I’m not sure why I thought that wouldn’t happen as often as it used to but I did. Now that I’ve spent the past two months since I returned from summer vacation running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I’m starting to realize that this is unsustainable.  I’m not as young as I used to be and my energy drains more quickly than it has in the past and takes longer to refill.  The vacations I find myself taking with Sly aren’t quite keeping up with the deficit I’m running in the energy and enthusiasm department.

Second, the level of responsibility that I am saddled with doesn’t really jibe with what I agreed to, on paper, when I signed on.  This isn’t completely a surprise to me as I’m always the schmuck ready to aid when someone says they need an extra set of hands to do something and then, miraculously once the task has begun, the person I was helping can no longer help and I’m left holding the bag.

Third, I’m accruing an inordinate amount vacation days. By default we get 4 weeks a year of regular vacation and I’m almost back to that level after my two weeks over the summer.  Should I be taking more breaks? Longer breaks?  I’ve never been in a place where I could tell my boss I’ll be taking a week off and having them nod, smile, remind me to get any loose ends tied up and then just go so I’m unsure if I’m doing it right.

Yes, I know the first two were negative and the third seemed positive but that’s not how it feels.  I see those numbers sitting in my HR info page and realize they are just sitting there, mocking me. I can’t actually just pick up and go when I want. Our next trip isn’t until Xmas for a quick jaunt to Vegas for a few days where I hope to burn off a metric fuck-ton of steam.

WTF is my problem? Am I burning out? Am I losing drive to be the best I can be while being slowly, inexorably, ground down from the pressures of my job? All of the above?

Sly always says I should be thankful for what I have and not be pissed off about what I don’t.  Am I in the wrong to think this should be (somewhat) easier? And if it’s not supposed to be easier yet when does that start so I have something to look forward to?

Fuck it. Movement is life is a motto I enjoy keeping in my mind. I’ll keep moving and see where it takes me. But for how long can I maintain this pace?