My posts have been sporadic for a while, but I’m still writing. I thought I would offer a bit of explanation for the randomness of my blogs.
Last Spring, I returned to full-time employment after a long medical leave. While the job gladly welcomed me back, the transition has been a bit rocky for me. It hasn’t been just the exhaustion caused by long hectic days while i continue to heal. Do you know the old saying about being volunteered? While I was on leave, I was volunteered for many things. In addition to new duties, I was moved to a new and busier work area. A person could learn to hate surprises!
Every day I sit in a grey box — commonly called a cubicle. I clock-in, smile at people, answer emails, schedule and reschedule meetings, handle hundreds of tasks, and fix other people’s problems. Despite working in a “paperless office” — “paperless” just means there are limited places to store documents — papers and folders stack up on my tiny desk. Between budget cuts and loss of employees, it has become an almost impossible job. While I’m at lunch, co-workers IM (instance message) me because they need something completed that afternoon. When I’m talking on the phone (working, just in case you were assuming something else), someone stands in front of me asking a question. Every day I do a great job meeting deadlines, handling those behind-the-scenes tasks that keep business flowing. Everyday I race to keep up with a bigger workload, lack of time, fewer employees, and increased demands on my workday.
Don’t misunderstand me: everyone around me is working just as hard as I am. I’m going to let you in on a secret. I’m a civil servant. Yes, one of those people. Often we are the brunt of jokes. Politicians rant about how easy we have it, especially when it is time for budget cuts, and the public blames us for the cumbersome system we are trying to help them navigate.
Do you want to know why some civil servants are so grouchy? The day I described has become a typical day for everyone at my job. In fact, when I talk to other people who do similar governmental work in other places, this insanity is considered normal by most. It may be typical, but it certainly isn’t healthy.
Every day, I sit in that grey box and, when I have a minute to breathe, I dream about the ocean.