Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Going About this Whole Life Thing...


I think I've spoken about the whole "changing careers" thing already, right? I'm too agitated to look. Let's just pretend I've linked to something and nod in agreement.

I had a short conversation with the head of HR for the library job I applied to. You know, the one where I bombed the interview far worse than even I feared? Right, that one. There was a mistake in the FORM letter they sent. I get to apply again after November 8th of 2007. How nice. After today's telephone call, however, I'm sure I've been tagged as a "DO NOT HIRE, EVER" or something.

See, I asked what I did wrong. I had to. How does someone like me, with 12 or so years of library experience NOT get into a Library Assistant pool. What more do I have to do? Her response was that it was felt (by the first interviewer, I think) that I get "frustrated" in multi-tasking and fast-paced work environments.

I laughed so hard into the receiver that I think she thought I was a bit insane. (Yes, I am going to say what I think she was thinking, why not, I mean they obviously they feel free to state what I must be feeling (frustrated), so touche', bastards.) I went on to say that I must be some kind of masochist then as certain jobs I've held (Hi, MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER jumps to the forefront) were filled with multi-tasking and making fast-paced decisions that are 10xs as difficult as what I experienced working at any library on my list! In fact that as one of the reasons I felt I could do the job of a library assistant so well!

But no, they didn't think so, thank you very much, enjoy your snow day!
(insert plural expletive of choice here)

I've been on the verge of a migraine all day. This kind of news is not helpful. I spent a few hours sitting in the dark (yey winter with your 2.374 hours of sunlight a day) reflecting on what it is I'm trying to do with my life. And why I am so not wanted in the job market right now.

Then I laughed some more.

You know I'm one of the few number of people I know who became a teacher right out of college? Most of the teachers I know and love and have adopted (or adopted me) were once high level accountants, Longs Managers, SAHMs, Computer Techs/geeks, Novelists, fish packers, factory workers, you name it...they went from a lifetime's career of that to teaching and no one raised an eyebrow! In fact they received accolades and laurel leaves...or something.

All I get are sideways looks and questions up the wazoo. Why don't you want to continue teaching? Why the big career move? What is wrong with you???

Cuz you know, it's okay to do "something else" for lifetime and then become a teacher, but woe and sorrow unto you, teacher, if you decide otherwise. And that just bites, people.

So I'm living my life backwards...why all the flak? So what if I did spend all that time and energy on a degree and credential I no longer wish to use, why do I get persecuted for it?

Please, do not tell me to go look into teaching night school, or adults, or becoming a teaching assistant, or a tutor...what part of the "I don't think I want to be a teacher anymore" do people not understand? Please oh please stop giving me the names and numbers of the private schools in the area as you ignore me when I say, "I'm thinking of looking into something else."

I blew it the other day when I said it was too stressful to teach. I was told that being an executive assistant was VERY stressful, in one of those defensive tones. Not when compared to teaching. The telling pause (I was on the phone), I was about to get it. I had to justify what I had just said. "Dealing with the lives of 160 12 and 13 year olds on a daily basis with the drama and the hormones always on the edge, and then trying to teach them grammar? You've got to be kidding me. How will assisting one executive be worse than 160 drama queens AND their parents?" Laugh, laugh a lot. Laugh it off. Did it break the tension? A little. What it tells people is that I'm a failure. I couldn't make it in the classroom so now I'm looking into trying something else that I will probably fail at as well. Again, my thoughts.

But really, why else would I not be teaching? Not be pursuing my career? Not be wading through the mounds of paperwork in order to get that Washington State teaching credential and going back into that classroom! Come on! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!

If I can't even land a job as a receptionist, what makes anyone think I will land a teaching gig when HI, I don't think I can do it right now? I have said this before, countless times I think, I don't have it in me. If that makes me a loser, so be it. If I've disappointed you, find someone else to live your life through. This has not been an easy "throw away" decision. I'm not sure why I'm being made to feel like it is. Like I'm wrong, wrong, so terribly wrong.

I never promised anyone I would be anything other than myself. Label me what you will, just don't expect me to live up to who you think I should be.


Bezzie said...

Do you know how many teachers I had that should have given up a long time ago because their hearts just weren't in it? I personally don't think you did anything wrong by ending your teaching stint.
I wish I could give you good advice, but I'm just a chick who's a year short of her damn bachelors, soon to be supporting a phd and kid on a state employed paper-pusher's salary.
The whole "follow your bliss" shit is so damn complicated.
You do have an open invitation to live on my self-sufficient Potato Commune in the Canadian Yukon that I'll be setting up when my disillusionment hits 100% or another republican gets elected president. ;-)

ellie said...

Hugs! Also, people are stupid. (though not you of course)

Beth said...

Teaching is incredibly stressful and I don't blame you at all for not wanting to do it. Assuming you applied at the county library system, are there positions available for school librarians instead? That might be too close to the teaching thing, though. Or what about a college librarian? Do large corporations have libraries? Something good will turn up!