28 April 2011

I think I did the right thing...

I think I did the right thing today.  I’m pretty sure I did.  I feel a little ambivalent about it though.

Earlier this year, I decided to initiate some changes at my place of employment.  My goal was to oust my almost non-existent manager and take his place.  I am the second in command in our group, after this manager whom we share with another department. 

Today I met with our accountant and one of the other women in the group.  I recommended this other woman for management over myself.  I believe that she will do a better job than I.  I have a definite skill set, and am really quite good at the things I do, but I think M will make a better manager.  Not in the people skills area, because I excel at that, but on the business side of the business.  M has great skills in things like contract negotiation, super attention to detail, organization and coordination of effort… you know, businessy business.  I’m better at people and words and schmoozing.  And, she will need me to schmooze this position into existence.

The other part of the equation is related to time and age.  M is younger than I am, by at least 15 years.  Add to that the fact that I intend to retire* in three years, and I’d rather have her jump through the hoops.  I will help her in any way I can, and will put my effort into helping her create the position, but after considerable consideration I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want the job.

The ambivalence comes in, I guess, because I have been doing the job of the manager for quite a few years and have not been adequately compensated for it.  I have spent a lot of time and energy making our department better.  I have assembled a team of outstanding employees.  I have eliminated redundancies, streamlined processes, fitted the right person with the right tasks, and generally kept things both efficient and serene.  I’ve been the manager.  I’ve just never been paid to be the manager.  I would have liked to have had the salary.

Overall, I believe that it is the right decision.

*I say 'retire' but in fact it will be a big shift.  I’ll be 55, I’ll have 20 years into the retirement system, but I won’t get enough money to live on.  I’ll have to continue to work but I am looking forward to doing some work that interests me, and preferably part time.  The funny thing is, yesterday, in the early morning fitness class that I take, the head of my martial art school, upon hearing that I would retire in three years, said that she would love to hire me to be her administrator.  So, already things are realigning to this new idea.  
That makes me happy.

21 April 2011

Update from the Rose City!

Wow!  What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! 

When last I wrote to you all, we had just returned from the Twilight pilgrimage where a good time was had by our quirky, blended family.  We had barely gotten the sand shaken out of our shoes and shorts when something so amazing and wonderful happened that I am still stunned. 

My daughter called two or three days after she got back to Iowa.  She said that she realized how much she missed living in Portland.  She missed her family and friends, she missed mountains and forests and the ocean, she missed the funky vibe of the city.  She asked if she could come back and stay for a month or so.

Yes, that’s right.  She wants to come back!  She asked me if she could stay with us for a month or two.  Ha!  I told her that she never has to ask, this is her home and she is welcome in it whenever she chooses to stay.  She insisted that I ask T if it was alright, which I did, and of course it was.

So, at first she was going to come back in a couple of weeks.  Then it was right after the boyfriend’s birthday.  Then it was the following weekend.  In the end, she left within a week of calling me.  She decided to drive out.  I offered to fly out and drive with her, but she wanted to do it on her own.  Well, I understand that.  A long solo car trip is a rite of passage, especially out here in the wide open west.  She wanted to have her car here when she arrived, and wanted to bring some of her things that would cost too much to ship.  She brought both her lap top and desk top computers.  And, more than that, she brought her cat.  Yes, let that sink in for a moment ~ she brought her cat.

Now, she has assured me that she and the boyfriend are not breaking up or separating.  Pity.  But, she has definitely matured in their relationship and is no longer doing everything his way.  We have had some long (and short) chats about that.  She told him that she is moving back to Portland with or without him and he needs to get on board.  I am so relieved to see her regain her sense of self and her stubbornness and her will.  She’s got all that, and it’s time to let it shine.

So, the last couple of weeks I’ve had my kid back.  Heaven!  This also means that we have a full house and lots going on.  It wasn’t too long ago that I was living alone in relative silence.  Sometimes, it’s true, I miss that quiet bookish existence, but mostly I am pretty darned happy.

Right now, the boyfriend is visiting.  It was Zoe’s birthday on Tuesday (27!) and he came out for a few days.  They are staying at a hotel.  Zoe told him that he needed to leave by Saturday since my birthday is Sunday (52!).  All in all, this spring is shaping up to be a pretty happy one.

I’ve got lots more to tell you, but so little time to write it down.  I’ll keep at it though, because I know that you all are on Pins And Needles waiting to hear how this saga plays out!  :-)