Wednesday, April 01, 2009

So Much For Optimism

That is me under Delicate Arch during happier times. It is funny how quickly things can change. Just a little over two months ago, I was feeling pretty good about the way things were going in my life overall. I thought we were heading toward a new era in politics (surely the Republicans would see the need for bipartisanship) and my job was looking rather secure. Today, the last two months has show that it is politics as usual in Washington and my job has fallen victim to a combination of a bad economy and office politics. I find myself mid-way through my second week being unemployed and the chances of finding a job comparable to what I lost seem infinitely small. At 44, I am not thrilled with the idea of starting over near the bottom of the wage game.

One thing I will avoid, if possible, is working for a small business. My last employer was a small business and it is getting smaller all the time. Every workplace experiences office politics to some degree, but I have noticed that it seems to get much worse when working for a smaller company. I won't go into great detail, but I have learned that some people are very adept at deflecting blame to others, and others are equally talented at making themselves indispensable by becoming friends with the boss. I know that this may come across as sour grapes in light of my current situation, but these are conclusions I have reached after looking back on what happened with eyes a lot less clouded by the betrayal I felt two Fridays ago.

Now the job search is underway. My life has been turned upside down yet again, something I feel like I should be getting used to by now. I try to find the positives in what has happened. My wife tells me she was sure my old job was killing me; I think she may be right. It is hard to be productive when you are constantly watching your back. I have had some time to rest and collect myself a bit, and I have noticed that the stress of finding a job is much lighter that the stress I was dealing with at my old job. I also have more time to write, dabble in my photography, and do some things around our apartment.

Unfortunately, the facts that we lost a chance at owning a home and I will not be able to see my kids this summer are never out of my thoughts for very long, no matter how hard I try to keep them at bay. I have had a very difficult time not feeling hateful toward the person I see as ruining my life at this point in time. Some people are just not very good human beings, it seems. These feelings are not something I am proud of, nor are they something I am overly familiar with. I try hard not to let them poison me, but they are hard to avoid.

I keep telling myself that this must mean that better things are in store for me. I guess it is my way of trying to weather this particular storm without looking like I have been hit by a class 5 hurricane. We'll see what the future brings. I try to be optimistic and not listen to the voice that tells me this is what I deserve. I guess only time will tell which voice wins out. In the meantime, the job search goes on.