Thursday, March 24, 2016

From thrown under the bus in less than a week

This will be brief.  So I can remain polite.  

If you read the last post, you know work changes are a-comin'.  Can't say I'm overjoyed by it, but change in life is inevitable.  Or in the views of my employer, "You have two choices: take it or leave it."  (As an "At Will" state, they have the perrogative of showing me the door, whether I want to use it or not).

This morning a senior put her head in my door and said, "Have you seen today's newspaper?"  When I shook my head, she backed up and said, "Um, maybe I shouldn't say.  If you don't know....and all."   I assured her if it was about our Center, I probably had an idea.

As was requested, I've been quiet, haven't mentioned a word of this to the seniors because the Boss and I agreed when the time came, he would speak to them.  Ease their fears...especially of change.  Give them the "carrot approach", with the promise of something new to embrace.

Problem is while I kept my promise, the Boss forgot seniors could read.  On page two of today's local paper is the headline, "County Council approves sale of (our) Senior Center." 

Oh joy.

In a pre-emptive strike, I told the group here this morning what was going on.  I began with the headline, paused as they gasped and waited on the million questions to follow.  This time they were stunned into silence.  Hopefully I sounded upbeat and reassuring stating the facts.  Sure,  I had to dodge a couple of questions about location.  (Because I plan to keep my word and not tell "where" until there's a groundbreaking case that plan gets changed too).

So as I go answer my ringing phone for the umpteenth time to calm their fears, y'all remind me that this is a holiday weekend.  That's one less day to answer the phone.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Ides of March...came yesterday

All I can say is this.  After FINALLY getting the floors refinished at my Center (which took 2 years to get around to) the Big Boss came by yesterday.   I knew it wasn't to inspect...because before his promotion to Top Dog, he was my boss, the one who hired me for this position.  I recognized behind the small talk (and photos of his first grand baby, who was cute, so I didn't have to exaggerate) there was SOMETHING ELSE.

After years of having to work part time to help another Center (8 to be exact), being "displaced" for 18 months for our Center to be renovated (the Inmates who worked there had it better than me) and finally getting the floors done, I thought maybe I could finally work in peace.

*Insert dramatic music here*

The Big Boss came by to let me know someone has made an offer on our building and land.  And they will probably take it.

Et tu, Brute?

*That sound you hear is my heart breaking before it hits the ground*.

I'm not sad at the possible (because no contract has been signed yet) loss of this historic building.  I'm not upset because seniors don't like change and this won't sit well when it hits the fan.  I'm not even worried about my job, because I was actually given the opportunity for input on a possible new home.  No, the truth is...

I'm tired.  

Tired of going the extra mile, doing the extra work, turning projects in on time, always being asked to do more because I am dependable...while my co-workers simply show up and work if they feel like it.  I feel as if I'm in a hell of my own choosing and have lost the key to my cell.  Even the Big Boss was shocked to realize that in May, I will have worked for my employer for 29 years...meaning I could've retired last year, but they don't pay me enough to do that.  The truth is, working in local government, even with a college degree, doesn't mean bringing home a paycheck on the Federal Government level.  The first thing cut was Merit raises, meaning no matter how well I do, someone may yell "Thanks!" before handing me another project, but that's it.  I topped out of my salary range a few years ago and trust me, 2% cost of living raises might've been helpful in 1930, but not today.

I'm at that "awkward" age: too long where I've been and not quite close enough to retirement age.  So what do I do?

Probably what I always do.  Encoded in my DNA is the need to do the right thing, even when it isn't the easy thing.  I will try to find the silver lining, or a rainbow or something corny to remind me that this little bump in the road is just that...a bump.  One that doesn't even require a band aid.

But should you see me on the road, you might want to just keep on driving if you see me yelling at the top of my lungs that life, at times, can suck.

If we're both lucky, you'll just see me singing along to whatever's playing on my radio in the comfortable sanctuary of my car...where I'm actually in control, for a little while.