Push-Me, Pull-You

So mad and frustrated right now.

I was going to write a bit about reasons why leaving one job and starting a new one is scary to me. Kind of like a Pros and Cons list. Only now I’m angry – again – and so frustrated with how this work day is going that reasons for staying are harder to remember. Which will make writing this more of a struggle now.

However.

It still would have been easier if they’d just lay me off and package me out, because that one decision would be made for me, and I’d take care of the rest out of necessity. It’d be the boot to the butt I need, rather than constantly trying to weigh the options and figure out which works best for me and the critters. Because that is stressful.

Adulting sucks.

Lots of reasons to cut my losses and move on. My sanity being right up there, along with my sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Even when I accomplish some victory here now, even biggish ones, the sense of ability and value as an employee is fleeting at best. And after more than 15 years in the same place, not only have I moved steadily DOWN the ladder, but my annual income is less now than it was a decade ago…in the same place. That takes some talent, methinks! Only…not.

So why stay?

Even though I struggle month to month, I am not confident that I could get as much or more working anywhere else. I’ve been here so long that a huge part of me isn’t sure I actually have any marketable skills that would be of value anywhere else. It’s like I learned to speak this language fairly well, but no other employer in the world speaks this same language, so why would they hire me over someone who speaks several languages? And I can’t afford to get by on less. Expenses go up every year, but my salary has not. I can’t take a chance on making less anymore.

Benefits – though many employers offer them, I’m concerned with how quickly MS-related prescriptions burn through my current annual allowance, and I’m not sure how well that would go over with another employer. Not to mention all the appointments I have to keep through the work week on a rather frequent schedule. I’m not sure how much leeway I’d be afforded anywhere else to come in late or leave early before another employer got tired of it, and of me.

Vacation time. I don’t really take a lot of it, anyway, but because I’ve been here so long, I accrue 3 weeks a year instead of the usual 2 weeks that I used to get, and most people still do. It’s not a deal-breaker, starting over at the bottom again somewhere else, but it’s definitely something to consider. I have about 3 weeks banked right now, mostly left over from last year, and starting over somewhere else would likely mean I wouldn’t have any paid vacation available at all for at least the initial probation period, let alone anything in the not-too-distant future I might want to take time off for. Right now, I can pretty much take any time I want (except for blackout periods), but I wouldn’t likely have that freedom somewhere new.

I think it’s definitely a safety blanket scenario, and I think it has been for a very long time. I was unemployed for about a month and a half before I got a job here, and I am terrified of that happening again. I was homeless and riding friends’ couches for a few months back in 2009, too, which I could only do because I didn’t have my cat with me at the time. I am also terrified of having that happen again, and I’m really only one paycheque away from it at any given time as it is. One missed pay and everything could be lost. That’s a crazy heavy burden, when you think about it. I have a responsibility to the critters who depend on me to do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t happen, and so I keep staying put, for fear that whatever choice I make for something new will be the wrong choice and land me back in an impossible situation.

At the same time, though, this safety blanket isn’t really keeping me warm anymore, and feels like it’s coming apart.

Maybe it’s time to retire it and set out on a quest for new accomplishments, instead.

Of course, for that I would need a little confidence boost, and those are pretty rare in my current situation. Push-me, pull-you.  Stay or go?  And the world spins ’round, and life floats by, while I stand in frozen contemplation.

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