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Mistress Marilyn's POV
No shit, Tempus Fugit!
Oh, yeah, I'm satisfied! 
8th-Jan-2010 01:05 am
me-burger
(I missed midnite by two minutes because LJ seemed to be struggling, and I was in the middle of writing the script for next week's City Council appearance. So, even though I feel like it's still Thursday, the calendar says otherwise.)

I heard a statistic on the Today Show this week that only 45% of the working population in this country is satisfied with their jobs. (I'm still obsessively watching the Today Show every morning, two years after coming that close to getting Ann Curry, an Oregon native, to serve as our grand marshal.)

Even in a down economy when people are doing whatever they need to in order to get that paycheck, this is a sad stat. Aside from grim necessity, I can't help wondering how many people cling to their dissatisfying jobs because they really can't imagine doing much else. And how many *expect* to be unhappy in their work?

I'm one of the fortunate few. I have come to realize in the last year and a half that I have the perfect job for me. It certainly wasn't always true; I've had times when I would have been in that unhappy 55%, and as recently as two years ago I was pretty burnt out. But once I had time to recover from two years of adrenalin-pumping, 24/7 sweat equity--the labor of love that was our Centennial--I had a sort of epiphany. Last year I went to lunch with one of the young women who used to work on my team, and she honestly said to me that even though she knew I dreamed of a high-level communications gig that wouldn't involve event management, I was already in the perfect place for me.

She was right.

No, the job isn't perfect, and I'm not perfect in it. But I grew into it, and it grew into me. It allows me to be creative, to be constructive, to be controlling and to have an impact on the community. I get to play with all the tools in my toy box, my organizational skills, my sometimes Machiavellian strategy and tactics, my management, my writing, my speaking and my hard-won patience. I get to openly display my passion and honestly express my opinions. (And that toy box analogy is part of my secret to success. Work is still play to me, more often than not.)

I don't have to glad-hand much. And I don't have to suck up all that much. I get heard and I get to listen. I am allowed to take chances and sometimes to fail. I can admit my mistakes without fear and be forgiven.

And I'm well compensated and almost always shown respect and often affection. Better than that, I feel respect and even affection for dozens of the people with whom I have the privilege to work.

Charlie and I were chatting today and speculating that one of the things that keeps me from really striving to become a successful writer is that I already have such a satisfying career. I'm just not hungry enough to work hard enough at the writing thing.

And I may never be. And that's okay.

Today I got to sit and listen to the plan to re-vitalize our Memorial Coliseum, and to suggest to the manager that I'd like to have a hand in helping celebrate that venerable venue's 50th anniversary this year. (Just three short years ago, I got to climb up a ladder and be lifted to the roof of that building by a Navy Seal, during a site check for a parachute stunt involving the Leap Frogs. There I stood in the sunshine, looking around me at the west hills, the Willamette River and the cityscape, somewhere only a handful of people have ever had the chance to stand. And that was just one memory in a year full of amazing memories, including the chance to stand on stage in the packed house of a historic theater and say 'roll it' at the premiere of a motion picture I got to executive produce!)

This week I traded emails with a former governor of the state and spoke to the women who served as mayor of this city for 12 years, inviting them to participate in our big day at City Hall next week. And when we celebrate the vote that finally makes us the city's official festival (after more than a century), I will have had the chance to cast and script the entire event.

No, I'll never get in the 'Hall of Fame' of my industry's trade association. I've already been nominated once and rejected. My name will never be well know, even locally. Except for occasional speeches or interviews, I work behind-the-scenes most of the time, and I like it that way.

I'm like most people. I don't need glory. I just want job satisfaction.

And all I had to do to deserve the opportunity to do the things I do is work hard, be patient, persevere and occasionally stridently protest when ugly realities like sexism reared up to try to throw me. Especially the work hard part. Because I believe people *want* to work hard if they love what they're working on. The fortunate 45% know what I mean.

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Comments 
8th-Jan-2010 09:17 am (UTC)
What a FABULOUS entry! I can't say how much I enjoyed reading this.

We ARE lucky to do what we LOVE as work. And I do feel you're an incredible success at your job. And I'm far from the only one who thinks that (which goes without saying).

Not many people can claim to love their job, find respect and affection and to be able to have an impact on the world around them. Nor can they claim to have so much fun and use so much of what they're good at -- and I couldn't wish anything better for you.

Admittedly you EARNED every single bit of what you have. It wasn't easy getting there (and I know better than anyone). I know you have a lot more to give and share, but you've already come so far. Go, YOU!

I do feel really sorry for that 45% out there (and I bet it's even higher than that...).

You never toot your own horn, and that's okay. But you do deserve a little more glory. Sure, I'm biased, but it's true, even so!

I'm really proud of you. I can't say that enough.

(hugs)
11th-Jan-2010 08:36 am (UTC)
Thanks, Charlie. As always, you're my biggest fan. But you're part of the reason I love my job. It's been fun working on stuff together (like all those PowerPoint presentations ~ and now one will be played at City Council!!!).

8th-Jan-2010 10:57 am (UTC)
Good for you! I'm also someone who likes to go back to work after a holiday. How great is this?

Some people are just afraid of the unknown; "if this job is as bad as this, what will the next be then, huh?". Sad but it's their own creation.

And let's admit, the only thing missing from our job is the dancing, right? ^^
11th-Jan-2010 08:33 am (UTC)
And let's admit, the only thing missing from our job is the dancing, right? ^^

And sometimes there's even that!!!!
8th-Jan-2010 02:09 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I am so lucky to be your sister and participate in your life. I love reading your blogs and Charlie's and while I don't always comment, it keeps me more in touch with you both.

I am so glad that you do what you do for the Rose Festival, and while I think you couldn't be replaced, I know that some day you will, just like I was. That is not a bad thing and hopefully you can mentor someone to fill your shoes some day.

But not soon, as you have so much more to give. I am so proud of both of my sisters and feel we are closer than ever now. I know Mom and Dad are smiling down on us glad that we continue to have a tight relationship.

I hope your planning for next week is all going well and I want to talk to you over the week-end to finalize plans to attend.

I have had a busy week and am trying to tackle cleaning up my room. There is always a lot to do, but I should make better use of my time. I think I am starting in a good place to accomplish some things for 2010.

I have been to Our Daily Bread twice since the beginning of the year and had great talks with two of the waitresses who have been there 20 and 13 years. Of course they loved Mom and Dad and we talked about them a lot.

I love you so much Marilyn, but respect you more than you will ever know. Last night I re-read the letter you wrote me about my self-worth and how to handle my new place in life. It is so well done and means a lot to me because you took the time to put it in writing so I could keep it forever.

Have a great day and I hope you can get some rest this week-end. Sue
11th-Jan-2010 08:35 am (UTC)
I'm replying to my anonymous Sister Sue! Glad we've taught you how to log in for your comments now.

You're always cleaning your house. I wish I'd do as much.

I'd like to go to Our Daily Bread and have clamstrips sometime. I could eat those. Or I could have breakfast. We should do it, maybe over the three-day weekend.

Yes, I got nothing but rest this weekend. Geez. I should be slept out!
8th-Jan-2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
great read :)

And how wonderful!

love
t
11th-Jan-2010 08:32 am (UTC)
Thank you!
9th-Jan-2010 01:12 am (UTC)
I agree when you said that most people will work hard if they love their work. unfortunately the majority of people do have jobs that they hate or at best weakly tolerate.

You are very blessed to have the kind of job that gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment, one in which you have found yourself, in which you have grown and gained confidence with.

Also the fact that you are the type of person who can find the strength and will power to push through and arrive at the place you are in now is a blessing.

I'm happy to be your friend.
11th-Jan-2010 08:32 am (UTC)
Thanks, Kyra. I agree. I am blessed. In many things, including my friends!
9th-Jan-2010 05:35 am (UTC)
This post gave me such a jaunty grin. :) *gives you the fortunate-45 high five!*
11th-Jan-2010 08:31 am (UTC)
I know you're one of the 45%, too. Hurray for us!
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