Another Day, Another Dollar

Another Day, Another Dollar

It’s 2:30 pm on an overcast, chilly Sunday and I’m sitting here at the plant. We work here 7 days a week – and at least 8 hours a day. So, the whole concept of the weekend is foreign to me when I’m out here. It’s kind of like the whole “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear a sound, did it fall” thing, except it’s more like “If you work on the weekends, did you really even have a weekend?”. I’ve gotten used to this though and it doesn’t bother me much, because after all, I am getting paid. Plus, whenever I have to be here over the weekend, I’d prefer to work. If I wasn’t working on the weekends here, I might as well be back in the A for the weekend.

Anyways, things tend to slow down a lot after lunch, and today is no exception to that. I was busy in the morning, but not nearly at all in the afternoon so far. My co-worker (The Son of Sam) has had it much worse than me. In all sincerity, I feel for the cat. He’s been predominantly out here since September (the last time he was in our Norcross office was on September 11). This guy works 10 hours a day for 7 days a week every time he is out here. He does usually get to rest an entire week or two when he goes back to Atlanta, but still, working 2-3 weeks consecutively can be very draining. He has his moments of uncontrollable frustration, but it is understandable sometimes. Anybody in that situation is liable to get maddeningly agitated.

I’ve finally finished editing and updating my resume (for the most part) and have posted it on various websites in hopes of garnering enough interest to land an interview or two with some prospective companies. I’ve already received 5 junk emails from some bullshit companies who viewed my resume (life insurance, management, etc.). So, I’m assuming that I will receive much more illegitimate emails in the coming weeks and months. I think that this job search process will take a few months at the very least. My field is specialized and it isn’t as if there are hundreds of companies out there that suit my skills well. This grind feels so familiar to the one I had to go through a few years back before I landed my current job. Searching for employment can be a bitch.

I’ve only been out here a week, but I’m ready to go home. Contrary to how I expected to feel if made to travel greatly, I have adjusted to this lifestyle and no longer hate being out here. I’ve learned to live with it, but that doesn’t make being away from home any easier. The next month, I’ll probably be in Atlanta about a week, maybe a week and a half at the most. I’ll have one week in the A before I head back to Chester and then I’m headed to Savannah and ‘Frisco (those trips are for leisure), and then a few days after, I’m headed back out to Chester. So, as you can see, I’m going to start feeling like a stranger in my very own home (as if I don’t already).

So many companies that do what my current company does travel a decent amount (up to 25%). It is something that comes with the territory of procuring employment in this field (the controls field). Damn. I got an uneasy feeling that if I leave my current job, I may have to travel at least as much as I do now (not looking forward to that at all). I don’t know yet if that is a deal breaker for me. I guess it will all depend on what options I have laid out in front of me.

I don’t think that I want to leave the A to work. I have considered it, but not seriously. I mean, I have a life settled here. My family is here and my close friends are here. I don’t know if I want to start over in a different city. Plus, being close to my family is a great benefit to have, even if I don’t visit them as much as I probably should. I have to find time to start studying for the GREs – I wanted to take them before the summer, but now, I’m not so sure if I will be ready by then. I haven’t even started studying. I’m hoping to get all the necessary materials from a friend so I can take them out here to Chester and study while I’m wasting away over here. I like being busy, but sometimes, I miss the monotony of just spending a quiet night in my own place.

I am already scheduled to be out here routinely for 2-week time frames through the month of April. That will probably go on longer than that, maybe even into June. If that’s the case, then that is ridiculous. That will mean I will have spent nearly 4 months (maybe even more) out here on site. I don’t want to get too used to this, I need to remember why I was so pissed off at being routinely sent out here in the 1st place. Sometimes I wonder if I am just bitching too much. If it’s going to be like this at no matter what job I will have in this field, I’m not sure if I want to do this for too many more years. I don’t like being out on the road this much. Some people I talk to think that it’s great – but they don’t know. This shit is not great. There is no glitz and glamor to being out here in Chester, VA – I assure you that.

I feel a lot of trepidation in my search for alternate employment. I got an uneasy feeling that if I leave this company and find another job – I will HATE that job. Call me cynical, but I have that feeling. I will probably get paid more and probably enough to keep me happy in the short term, but I know that eventually, like a good conscience eating away at bad habits, I will start to re-evaluate things. I can’t really explain this foreboding sense of fear, but it’s something that has gnawed at me throughout my professional career. I have this fear that I have become consumed by the lure of money, by the tantalizing opportunities of financial advancement. I need to be very cautious and rational about how I approach this job search process. I don’t want to be blinded by any financial ambitions. I’ve never been about the money – but then again, I’ve never been in a position where a significant amount of money was offered to me. I haven’t really been tested; haven’t had to balance the pros and cons of getting paid. These are the mind numbing subtleties of the professional world that have been floating around in my head over the past year.

But as for now, another day, another dollar.

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