Thursday, March 24, 2011

Six Months Later

Six months ago today, my world changed. I had received the shocking news that I no longer had the worst job I've ever endured. Once the shock wore off (the following morning), I actually felt relieved. I felt free for the first time in four years. Free from the stress of working for the most obsessive-compulsive, micromanaging control freak I've ever met. My job search began in earnest and I managed to find one ("by accident") within 75 days. I actually preferred a three or four month "sabbatical" from work as I had wanted to take every workshop offered by the Employment department. I was only able to take half of them by the time I received a job offer. According to unemployment insurance, my six months of benefits would expire today and I would have had to apply for a six month extension if I was still unemployed.

One guy who was laid off from that previous employer a year before me is STILL unemployed!!! Based on his Facebook posts, he doesn't seem all that torn up about it. I guess leeching off the system is too good for him, as being unemployed didn't seem to prevent him from trading his truck for another one and buying a motorcycle. I still don't understand how some people are unable to find work. I've been working since I was 14 years old and I have never had difficulty finding a job when I was unemployed and determined to find a job. Well, except for the period of time after my internship ended in Washington, D.C. But that was likely due to my indecisiveness in whether to stay or leave and setting too high of a goal (I'd only stay in D.C. if offered a job in the White House or Congress). But that experience taught me to keep options open and to look everywhere for a job, not limit myself.

At work, I had my 90 day review already. Wow, I'm stunned. Its already been three months? Hardly feels like it. The great news is that by the end of this month, I will have finally caught up on the work and mess that my predecessor left me. Next month, after doing the lengthy process of running various reports for the first quarter, I will be free to engage in new projects that I can come up with. I enjoy my job and it has been a complete dream. So far, my supervisor has kept her word that she is not a micromanager. She rarely checks my work because she trusts that I'm getting the job done. My days are busy that I've never been bored. I've been able to catch quite a lot of errors that were made, which have cost the company tens of thousands of dollars. I'm a stickler for details. My impression is that my predecessor was lazy and sloppy. He didn't care about doing a good job and based on what I've heard, he was fired. His last day was on Veteran's Day, which happened to be the day that I spent at the LDS Employment Office applying to jobs and then eating dinner for free at a crowded Applebees (their annual gift to veterans). There seems to have been a long line of predecessors (perhaps as many as six in the past four years). The ultimate question is...why couldn't we have found each other back in 2006? It would have spared them the headache of incompetent employees that were either fired or quit (one predecessor lasted a week before she quit) and me the pain of being in the worst job of my life at That Awful Place (which will always remain unnamed).

So, what are my thoughts about where I am in life? Well, one thing I love about watching Jerry and Esther Hicks series of videos regarding The Law of Attraction is that Esther, speaking for a channeled entity known as "Abraham", says that each opportunity gives us a contrast to bring us closer to our dreams. Whatever we don't like in our current reality is simply a clarification for what we desire. Since most people have difficulty envisioning what a dream life might look like, we have to experience a lot of things we don't like so we can gain clarity about what we do want. Having said that, while my current job has been a dream come true regarding everything I had wanted in a job for the past four years of enduring the hell of That Awful Place, the low wage and the location of the office means that this is not meant to be my career. My dream job would contain EVERYTHING I desire, which includes a living wage that matches my age (times a thousand) and a good location (the three bus commute each way is getting old).

On top of all that, the managers at the office send emails about their travel plans (so people at work can know how to reach them or when to reach them). In January, a group of managers went to Cannes, France for an annual conference and one of those guys happened to be one of the predecessors in my current job (he had my job six years ago). My supervisor was annoyed the day before the group was traveling to France because she never gets to travel anywhere (and I can tell that she wants to be one of those lucky people who get to travel for work). I understand her feeling. When I was unemployed, one of my desires was to find a job that includes travel. That's still my goal.

A week ago on Wednesday, I decided to attend the World Affairs Council Young Professionals "trivia night" (which was held in place of our regular discussion group). I was iffy about going, but decided that a big reason why I wanted to go is because I have become interested in a Russian lady who has become a regular attendee of the discussion group. I wanted to talk with her more. At the last discussion group, there was also a Vietnamese lady who was from Decatur, Georgia. I didn't get a chance to talk with her as much as I wanted to, so I hoped to see her at Trivia night as well. At the Trivia night, held downtown at a restaurant in the lobby of my favourite Portland skyscraper, the Russian lady was there. I decided to sit at her table. When I was about to sit down in the chair, she noticed that there were some water drops on it. I didn't care, because I had thick pants and a trenchcoat. But she insisted on wiping the chair off for me, even though I could have done it myself. For some reason, that simple gesture on her part registered deep within my psyche. I definitely want to pursue this lady! The trick is figuring out a good first date. Johnny Clegg will be in concert on April 30th, but I don't want to wait that long to ask her out. I may see about asking her to coffee at Costello's Travel Caffe because I'm intrigued by her life experience (her family moved from Russia sometime between 1992 and 1994). Her personality reminds me a lot of Christine, as I learned from my friendship with Christine that kindness is the #1 quality I'm seeking in a lady love.

As we waited for the festivities to start, our table filled up with two more ladies from Russia and one guy from Estonia. There was an attractive American lady as well, who spent most of the time talking with the Russian lady I'm interested in. The trivia game consisted of four parts, under the categories of Revolutions, Spies, World Leaders, and Photos featuring obscure locales around the world where various members of the World Affairs Council have visited. Each table had anywhere from four to seven people. The questions (and photos) were projected onto a screen. Ten questions per category. Each team wrote the answers on a piece of paper and turned it in to be scored while the next category went underway. I liked this format better than having to be the first to answer the question.

Anyhow, the Russian lady seemed to be impressed by my intelligence. There were a lot of hard questions, though, so we didn't do as well (out of about eight or nine teams, we finished fourth). But on the answers where others were uncertain, my certainty impressed them. For example, on one of the questions about spies, it was about which music artist did Bradley have written on the CD in which he downloaded info to give to Wikileaks? All the answers were multiple choice. One lady thought it was Beyonce but I was insistent that it was Lady Gaga. She wasn't sure, but I kept on insisting with absolute certainty. I knew this story because I found it hilarious when I first read about it, because of how ironic it was. A soldier with a Lady Gaga CD is going to have his sexuality questioned by other soldiers. I know that much about military culture, and it seems as though Bradley probably knew it too, because he did not want anyone to steal his CD and realize what he did. Writing Lady Gaga on a burnable CD was probably the safest artist he could pick that would repel any soldier from wanting to put it in his computer.

The evening was enjoyable and as I looked at the three Russian women, I couldn't help but think, its obvious from looking at them that they are foreign. You wouldn't mistake them for being an American. I don't know what it is, though, but it confirmed for me what I've known all my life: I really do find foreign women more attractive than American women. I'm certain that I'm meant to marry a foreign-born woman. I also find it much easier to talk with them. They were all attractive, and in my life experience, attractive American women have tended to be snobby towards me. Attractive foreign women aren't so snobby towards me. Plus, there's the life experience and intelligence that makes it easier to talk with them. After the event ended, I got to talk to the Russian lady just briefly, but before I could ask for her number, the guy from Estonia came over to talk to me. The first thing he said to me was, "You're really smart." When he told me that he was from Estonia, I asked him what he thought about "e-government" (thanks to my ghostwriting duties, I was able to learn about Estonia being the first government to go completely online with all of the services it provides to its citizens). This seemed to impress him that I knew about that, so he explained the problems with it (there was supposedly a cyber-war as hackers shut down the system). He also told me that he was looking to move overseas, even though his wife is American and they have two young children. He's tired of life in America because he's a committed socialist.

When I returned home after an amazing evening among foreigners, it confirmed for me that my heart is still in international work and living. I really want this for myself. I'm growing tired of life in America as well, with our shallow politics (the culture wars perpetuated by evangelical conservatives is ridiculous). So, I decided to make this a priority...looking for jobs overseas. I'll spend one day a week looking to see what's out there and applying. I did find one already and I'm really excited about it. I would be perfect for this job!! Hopefully the hiring manager will be impressed with my resume and give me a call. This change in direction is not because I'm not happy with the job I have now. I'm committed to my job for the next two years and will continue to do a great job, eliminating the mistakes of my predecessors as well as writing an easy-to-read guide on how to do my job (for the next person who will have the job when I inevitably leave). Each day, I will continue to bask in the glow of loving my job, where I'm allowed to set my own pace and workflow, and where I get to listen to an awesome variety of great music (my latest discovery is Bhangra music, which is Bollywood on techno-trance). In my free time, I will focus on how to manifest my real dream job: which includes the pay I deserve as well as a better commute and the opportunity to travel.

Life is good. Amazing how different my life was more than six months ago. I'm definitely feeling gratitude for the blessings of my life. It truly is fantastic to leave work feeling refreshed and energized, which is the complete opposite of my previous job. With a sustained good vibe energy level, there's no reason why I should not be able to manifest an even better employment scenario for myself this year.

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