Somebody Walks in LA
And yes, that somebody is Me! I’m having some car problems at the moment so I’m walking around town until I get the money to have my brakes fixed. [Disclaimer: I will attempt to draw for you in this post].
Today, I walked to the library (3 miles), twice to CVS and once to Trader Joe’s (2 miles). I expect to be the size of a reed of grass soon, which of course, would be an awesome byproduct of having a broken car. I take the bus to work. It’s not so bad. The ride in the morning is quiet and filled with sleeping passengers. By the time it gets to my house from downtown, there’s nowhere to sit. I don’t mind standing. After only a week of riding at 6:35am, the driver knows me. It’s interesting to watch him. Some crazy dude wanted to get on the bus yesterday morning but we were at the light and not the bus stop across the intersection. He just looked at the dude through the glass and shook his head no. The guy on the street did a weird dance and then laid down on the concrete. The bus driver’s a cool dude.
Before all the walking today, I went to work. I know. I made a friend at work recently and we discovered we live very close by each other. She had to go in today and I went with her since we’re working on the same project. But no sooner did I sit down at my desk did I get sleepy.
I like what I do as a day job. I’m a project manager. It soothes the non-creative side of the brain; the part that likes to compartmentalize things. I’m good at it. But, my hours are out of control – as if you couldn’t tell. I just said I went to work on a Saturday. I know I’m not the only person to do that, but one Saturday has now become many. I’m tired all the time. My pace at work is so fast I never change out of my sneakers. That’s right. I’m in a suit with sneakers. I’m like Ellen. Except without being gay or owning Santa Barbara or having a wildly successful talk show and looking fab while aging.
The other morning I seriously thought I was losing my memory because I couldn’t remember completing certain tasks the day before. After sneaking outside for a few moments of fresh air, I realized it’s because I’m tasked with so many unrelated assignments all due at the same time, it’s impossible to remember the little steps. I felt so scared that morning. I read a note I wrote myself and couldn’t remember writing it or what it was about. So naturally I hit up Google for symptoms of early memory loss and remedies. Luckily, I couldn’t find anything pertaining to myself specifically memory loss due to project management of a sinking ship.
My boss has always been supportive of me since I started in the department early this past summer. He even went to my old manager to tell her how wonderful I am. So, when the brakes went out on my car, I sucked up my pride and confronted him on his plans for my future since he’s always hinting bonuses and raises and promotions. That’s what has kept me going all this time. I’ve busted ass; put in LONG hours; taken on additional work. I’ve been there in the time of need. Eager. Hungry.
I told him my situation and then asked for an advance. So now he tells me that I’m low on the list of raises and the bonuses at this Company are really small, but all I hear is that I should get a job somewhere else.
It’s no secret the company is going down in flames but I thought I was… well… I don’t know what I thought. Maybe that I was an important cog in his factory wheel. I closed his office door on my way out and that, my friends, is when I finally, finally, finally checked out of this job.
I scurried to the ladies room to flush my feelings of betrayal because this is business and glass and steel and marble don’t have feelings. I ran into a coworker who stops to tell me she just gave notice. We talk. I blob out my story to her. She wants to help me she says. I tell her where I want to work and guess what? She knows someone there!
This is a first for me in LA. No one ever seems to know anybody anywhere here. So stay tuned as this new job search is fueled with passion and confidence.
And… I know that what my boss iterated is done daily and others experience it and maybe I shouldn’t have expected anything, but I just thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel of being broke; that someone finally recognized my skills and talent and felt strongly that I should be rewarded for it. Indeed, I was crushed but I also knew profoundly where I stand and all at once I became strong.
In my mind, I’ve already quit and the relief is unequivocal. I look forward to walking out of this chapter.