Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Black Thumb

Well, a quick update. I'm killing the fern, the herbs never sprouted, and the orchids are sending out new, glossy shoots laden with unopened flowers.

Go figure...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ain't that a Kick in the Head?

I can feel it. I can feel the angry, sarcastic Becky boiling inside me. I had almost forgotten how this felt, being out of the workforce since October....
I was afraid that she would return as a result of being back in the workforce after so much time off, but the month of January came and went without any feelings of pressure or defensiveness. I thought that it was a sign of personal growth that I could be at work without being unhappy, without regressing into the angry, unsatisfied person I was in LA. I'm sorry to say that this is not the case.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with my recent history, I'll paraphrase the last six months of my life: I worked at Farmer John in LA, for three years. It was good, and I learned a lot, but I wasn't happy. I wasn't happy with the plant, I wasn't happy with the city (LA traffic kills you slowly, mile by gridlocked mile), and I wasn't happy that I was a smart, capable, 25 year old woman that had to live with her parents (if the traffic doesn't get you, the rents do). As much as I loved being close to my father and brother (and other family as well), there was always a part of me that longed for some space. Some little quiet corner that I could reserve for me and me alone. A space where I could let all my defenses down and just relax. Yes, I longed for four seasons instead of a perpetual summer, I longed for the freshness of rain instead of the unending pounding of sweltering heat. Some people called me crazy for wanting out of LA-LA land, but what did they know? I started at FJ thinking I would only stay long enough to get some experience and put in enough time so that my resume didn't look suspicious. Months turn into a year, then one year turns into three. I received several promotions, which was nice, and had carved out a niche for myself. My dreams of being back in the Northwest started to fade as FJ started to depend on me more and more. As time passed, I became more and more restless, more jaded, more frustrated. About May, I decided to start looking for something else. It took four long months of phone conversations with recruiters, sending out resumes, secret traveling for face-to-face interviews, and several devestating false alarms before I was offered a position at a pickle plant in Portland, Or. It was perfect! I would be able to afford my own place, in a city I loved. I would be in close proximity to Mom and Tanglewood Fiber Creations in order to help with the burgeoning resposibilities of the business, and, I would be close to my childhood and college friends. I couldn't believe my luck and promptly accepted the position. After some time off, I started fresh in the new year and was relieved to recognize changes in myself. Turns out, I'm a calm, resposible, and fair supervisor. Who knew? All of a sudden, I was happy. I didn't realize how much stress I had been under, until it wasn't there anymore. I should have known it was too good to be true.
Last week, some suits from corporate made a quick visit to the Portland plant to announce it's permanently closing. Our doors are closing June 1. Yes, I was lucky enough to sign on just in time for Armageddon. My boss was so upset, that she promptly locked herself in her office for most of the day, leaving me to face the devasated faces of people I barely knew. How do you comfort people when you don't have any information? How do you keep control over product that is now being packed by people who feel abandoned and betrayed? How do you keep morale up when you, yourself feel used and led astray? Well, I kept it together all day (amazingly), up until I got in my truck to go home. That's when every professional contact I knew got a slightly teary phone call with a plea for help. The thought of going through all of this again, when I thought I had finished is heartbreaking. I thought I was done with sending out resumes and interviewing. I thought I was done with the constant rejection of potential employers and recruiters who won't return phone calls. I thought I could honor the year lease I just signed with my landlord and I thought that it was now safe to recycle all the moving boxes still in the back of my truck. Apparently not. I'm disappointed and angry. No, I'm not just angry, I'm PISSED! Why would they hire me, only to close the plant a month later??? Why would they give me hope of a happy future, only to crush it????
Yes, I can feel the old Farmer John Becky returning. The pissy, negative self I thought I had shed is now back, with all new things to bitch about. Mainly the fact that I won't really be intitled to much of a severance, since the money you receive is usually based on how long you've worked for the company. I've only gotten three paychecks so far, and I have to start looking for another job!
God, I wish I could retire already....