Will Work for Validation

As I mentioned in my previous post, yesterday was rough. I have been getting the feeling from bosses lately that they don’t appreciate my slavish devotion to feeding and exercising my puppy in the middle of the day.

So, yesterday morning I brought it up with my manager. I figured the best defense is a good offense, and I think I was right. I told him that it’s basically impossible for me to get to my house from work, walk the dog, feed the dog, and get back to work in one hour. It takes about an hour and a half, which is sad because my house is only 9 miles away from my work and it shouldn’t take me so long to get home but it does so oh well.

He responds by saying that not only has he noticed this but he feels like my focus has slipped at work as of late. Now, at this point my hackles start to go up and I’m about 2 steps away from reminding him that I have been responsible for finding/interviewing/hiring 5 people in the last 2 weeks. I’d say that speaks well of my focus but I guess since I’m not the CEO I don’t know best.

He tells me that I need to rethink my lifestyle. When he says this, he means that I need to adopt my company’s lifestyle. My company’s lifestyle is slavish devotion of another kind. It’s a 9-10 hour work day with no lunch break coupled with coming in on the weekends. That’s supposedly the lifestyle I am encouraged to adopt.

When I propose that I come in from 8-4 every day without taking a lunch break he says that this is impossible because supposedly the office needs coverage from 8-5. Even though I share the office with another person, who works until 6 every day for the sheer joy of working overtime for no ostensible reason, I have to physically be in the office from 8-5.

Seriously, the guy I share my office with works at least 9 hours every day so there is no risk of there being a lack of coverage during business hours for at least 2 timezones. This guy practically sleeps here and usually when I look over at his computer he’s looking up articles on MSN. I’m not judging him seeing as how I’m blogging while at work, I’m just saying that he obviously stays late because he likes being here, not because he has work to do, and so I see no danger in having a lack of coverage at the office from 4-5. But, my boss says no so I file my reasonable offer away into my “Rejected Ideas” file.

Anyway, the moral of this story is that my boss thinks I lack focus (which, judging from my hiring statistics I don’t) and that I need to live a less dog-centric lifestyle. So, Wes and I have had to re-think Doc’s schedule. We’ll figure it out, it’s just frustrating. I just keep thinking about how my paycheck goes toward paying off my student loans and it keeps me going. That’s the only reason I keep coming to work.

My job is very fun sometimes but it’s a very hard job to do. It fulfills me in some ways but neglects a core part of me. My boss is very good about correcting me when I mess up but never praises me when I do something right. If you know me at all you know that above all things I thrive on validation. After about 2 months of marriage Wes figured out that if he just flicked his fingers at me while saying “Validation, validation” it would do the trick. Seriously, validating me is a full-time job.

That being said, my job frequently frustrates me because I feel like I’m doing a good job and yet I receive NO validation for my efforts. In many ways my job could be worse. I get paid well for what I do and at this point it’s a means to an end. My job has many perks (one wall of my office is all windows, I’m sitting in a $900 chair, and there’s a Starbucks French Press machine 2 floors above me) so for now I’m staying put. I just can’t wait for the day when my student loans are paid off and I can move on to the next phase. I’m not sure which phase that will be per se, but I hope it involves a little less stress and a lot more joy.

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