I didn’t want it to come to this, but I have to be honest because I always try to be honest (it’s the only way to live). The truth is, I hate my job. Let me clarify.
For the most part, I love the people I work with. I’ve been here almost a year and I’ve just begun to feel comfortable with my co-workers. Not 100% comfortable because some of them are sort of prickly, you know and I 'm just not sure how to be around them. Be yourself, you say, and yes, I completely agree with you. But I don’t want to be myself around them. They couldn’t handle the true Nicole. She’s too jokey, too funny, too serious, too opinionated, too smart (as in, she intellectualizes everything), too everything. So, with some of them there seems to be a clash of personalities.
Anyway, the good news is that my last day is July 15th. It’s also sad news, because there are a few gems here, people I really love who I’ll be leaving. One of those people is, surprise! My mom. She works as a production manager (or something) here and one of her job responsibilities is to proofread all the copy. She’s very good at it. I’ll miss her. And the others . . . I’ve just recently gotten to know them better and have begun to feel more comfortable being myself. To feel like I’m sort of in my element, even though I’m not, really. My element is a cd/record shop, a bookstore, the library, a college campus (I have several elements). My element is being with my family, Stoker’s family, or alone with Stoker, or hanging out with my HEC (heterosexual eternal companion – coined by Christy Baugh, HEC). There are only a few people outside of my family with whom I feel entirely comfortable.
Work isn’t my element.
On July 18th, Stoker and I will head down to Phoenix, AZ and really, I feel like we’re moving there with the rest of the country. Chandler and Gilbert are apparently the fastest growing cities in the U.S. Not excited by that, you know, it feels like an exodus, like everyone is going there en masse and the highways and freeways leading into the Phoenix area will be jammed with moving vans and trailers Beverly Hillbilly style. It will feel like a Steinbeck novel. Though I must admit that I am looking forward to being in my own apartment with Stoker.
But we’ll only be there for 8 months while Stoker attends a school for recording engineering. Then we’ll pack up again and head somewhere else for his internship. Lots of moving. Yet nothing like my older sister and her husband who moved from Utah to Washington, D.C., stayed for two years, then moved to Irvine, CA, where they've been for four weeks, and in a week they'll move to Palo Alto, CA. Four weeks in Palo Alto and then on to Miami, FL. They’ll be there for a year and then they'll probably move back to CA. Jason, my brother-in-law went to Georgetown for his law degree. Thus, all the moving across the country (in a car, each time) for his internship. My sister is finishing her PhD and will be doing her internship in Miami. Thus the moving back across the country.
At least Stoker and I won’t be crossing the continent every six months.
So, why do I hate my job? Because I write copy for ads and stuff. Usually it’s monotonous. The same stuff every day. An ad to recruit a physician for a position in a hospital with outrageous pay and benefits in a prestigious hospital, and the ad will be published in the premier medical journal, the New England Journal of Medicine. Some days I stare at the information provided and think, I can’t write another ad. There’s no way. And then I can’t, because thoughts are powerful things. It takes me an hour to pull out of the rut, and then I spit out another, tedious ad.
When my boss gives me something a little more creative, because we represent several companies, I do my best to give him something good and interesting, eye-catching if you will. I try to give him what he wants. But I don’t love what I do here. I feel like a zombie and the work is mind-numbing so when I try to get my mind around the project, my mind lays cold and lifeless in my skull. Unresponsive to any urging. Besides, my boss inevitably uses his own copy in the end and I feel crushed and embarrassed that I even tried to give him the best of my creativity.
That’s what happened this morning. Due to an accident, one of the account managers left a folder on my desk with a request for some corrections. I looked at the design and copy and didn’t recognize the copy. It sounded like my bosses voice. And that style is something I’ve had a handle on before. He rejected my stuff like that and pretended to coach out the creative, advertising copy hidden within me. But all the advertising copy he coached out was also brushed aside in favor of his copy, probably because it was just too good and he sincerely doesn’t want me to “get outside the box,” all the while pretending like he does.
I’m sort of competition, you know. He competes for the same jobs I’m writing. And it pisses me off. So anyway, when the account manager came by this morning and asked if her request was clear, I told her Sure, but I didn’t write the original copy. Oh, she said, heh heh heh, realizing her mistake. Sorry, she said, No problem, I said, secretly feeling dashed to pieces upon the rocks of truth that I’m extremely expendable and extremely bland—because the original copy, the copy my boss's copy replaced, had been written by me. I had labored at it and given my boss what I thought he wanted. But he rewrote it without telling me and it is now in design.
I just feel stupid that I don’t know anything that goes on outside of my intellect-reducing cubicle.
When we move to Arizona, I will not be joining a large corporation where I'm overlooked, unneeded and expendable*. The sad thing is, there are about 600 people applying for my job. Creative directors, executives from Chicago, Seattle and Texas. What are they thinking?
I want to clarify that I like my boss on a personal level. But on a professional level? Hell no. We’re miles away from any sort of mutual understanding. He makes me feel like I’m on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder (damn the ladder!), which I am, but you know, he doesn't have to make me feel like I am.
*Though you can’t argue with the health benefits, 401(k) and company parties, can you?