Thursday, August 19, 2010

A New Hope!

I'm back! No, I did not succumb to despair, but rather threw myself into activities that properly distract and enthuse me.  That plan is working out splendidly.

As for the job front, there was a sad lull after I found out the latest job prospect was being scrapped.  My spouse tried pretty hard to work a whole lot and spend whatever time he had with me being the sweetest ever.  A few days ago, he found a rumor about another job in NewTownX, one that he knows through some high academic muckamucks.  So, he actually emailed the professor in charge and asked about something. Took initiative!  Tested the waters! This gives me hope.   And he seems excited about the research and is just waiting to see if the position will solidify (they're currently waiting on funding, but pretty sure).  I know I shouldn't get excited, that there are other lovely, brilliant people (with lovely brilliant spouses) applying for the same thing.  I just like having something to chew on.

In my own job front, I'm bracing myself for the start of a new semester. I work on a University campus, and employ student workers.  All summer I've spent my breaks and lunches peacefully on a bench in the shade, but now that will all be obliterated by horny, loud, excited and idealistic students, lured to join various activities and groups by horrible music (also horribly un-diverse) and the grilled meats I can't eat.  No one ever remembers the vegetarians during free food week.  Except the pizza places. Thanks free pizza people.

This is the time of year where I really shine, that's really hard, and really tires me out.  All I am doing is training, training, training.  I can focus on that and power ahead, and when I don't have anything immediate to do, I don't feel guilty about seriously lazing.  I lose my voice during these weeks from so much talking.  I've got a handful of completely new people to turn into fantastic representatives of my organization.  I usually succeed at this, but I don't want to rest on my laurels.

Shout out to Alison Green of the Ask a Manager blog.  She's given me some great advice for what I'm doing now, and also about how I'm going to go about in my next job.  Reading this blog helps me remember that my job can actually be something that makes me feel good.  This may sound dorky, but I probably recommend this blog more than any other.  That may also be because I'm of the age where my peers are almost always thinking about job stuff.

So, with an end looming near, you are probably thinking that I am just winging it.  You are only sort of wrong.  It's hard for me to put in 100% for so many reasons.  But for all the things I hate about my job I love that I do what I do well, people recognize that, and we're well-known for a great training infrastructure.  I'd like to keep that reputation until far after I'm gone.

We had dinner with another couple a few days ago, who are sort of similar to our situtation.  The husband is a grad student in a close field to my own husband's, and the wife works closely with the University but not in academia.  Unlike me, she got a degree in something useful, but is looking to get into something new.  It ocurred to me last night that maybe she would be a good person to talk to about all this, so I'll update after I get in touch with her again.  This seems like a great excuse for a happy hour drink.

So, things are good.  And I don't mean for now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Floating in space

I wrote a pretty harsh post about the husband's job search, and for some reason forgot to post.  I just got a really sweet email from him, apropos of nothing. It made me remember the hate-rant, and thank god I didn't publish it.  I know this thing is anonymous, but it still would have been wrong.  He really does love me as hard as a person can.  And likewise.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"I need to pin my hope to something new"

The Spouse heard back about his first application today: thanks, but no thanks.  In a way, this feels even better, because having applied and been rejected, he's already experienced two of the major parts of looking for a job.  Now it won't seem to scary.  He didn't seem to hurt about it, but I'll admit I felt a little sad.

But also sad because that means he doesn't have any feelers out right now.  I do NOT want to wheedle him, but I can't help but ask every few days about the application to NewTownX.  Today I asked him how long it would take to complete it, and he said not much time.  So do it!  Though that How to Help Your Spouse Finish a PhD Degree Quickly article was a little silly, it certainly stressed that it's not really nagging if you're nice about it, becasue it's your damn life, too.  Somtimes it seems the opposite of nagging is what's called for, but that opposite is self-effacement and the bottling up of your own desires.  That is just as bad in the long run.

So, I told him I was glad I knew, and that it had really made a change in my happiness (for the better) when he finally applied for something.  I also told him now that it's been rejected, he needs to get the other application in.  I told him I need to pin my hopes to something new, and that I know an application doesn't equal a job. But it means he's working at it, and really that's all I need right now. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to Help Your Spouse Finish a PhD Quickly

This just made me giggle. As if it's as easy as frying potatoes correctly, if you just follow the right steps. 

Don't get excited!

I ran into an old classmate/friend/colleague on Saturday visiting town.  Putting two and two together, I realized she lived very close to NewTownX.  She was really enthusiastic about it, and it was good to know if we moved there, I would at least know one person.  But I know not to get too excited about it. The application hasn't even been sent in.

I am bugging him gently but not often.  Never accusing.  Using my super-supportive voice.  He's been doing more work lately, acting more like what I imagine a soon-to-finish PhD would act like. 

I won't say I have to hide my disappointment when I come home from work and he's napping on the couch. Believe it or not, I look forward to some time by myself to do my work.  It might not be academic, but I enjoy it, and I just can't get stuff done when he's around.  Why is that?