Saturday, September 02, 2006

What to do?

I was going to write about the day and the misery that Ernesto brought. But honestly, we needed the rain - a fact that I would have brought up anyway.

But that's not what is on my mind at the moment. Not since checking my inbox a few minutes ago, anyway.

Over the past month, maybe a bit less, I've been interviewing for a promising new job. I don't want to give away too much about the place - you never know who happens to land here (not like it would be hard to figure out anyway) - but it would satisfy a lot of things that I'm missing from my job right now.

When I opened my inbox tonight, there was an e-mail from my contact at the place where I interviewed. It was vague, lacking any hints of a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Clearly, it would be presumptious of me to assume that a job offer is iminent. It's a job that I'm certainly qualified for, but who's to say there's not someone more qualified?

Still, the topic of this particular job has been discussed at length in this household. There's a lot to like about it: steady hours, no driving around to random events, a near-doubling of my salary, a chance to work in the city, a feeling that I'd be doing something positive with my life.

(I know that last factor sounds really random. But those who have talked with me at any length know that one of the biggest frustrations of my job is that, it seems, it exists purely for entertainment purposes. Not once have I ever had the feeling that I am contributing to the greater good of society or that I'm really, truly making an impact on someone's life. Perhaps that's not a concern for some folks, but for me, there's a void there. Secondly, you may wonder how my resume qualifies me to do something that makes an impact - a valid question, to be sure. But as I said, I don't want to give too much away, so you'll just have to trust me.)

So that's a lot to look forward to, right? Right. But there's a rub. There's always a rub. Otherwise, what would compel me to sit any type all of this out - and to type in such vague terms?

The hours.

As it stands now, I basically make my own schedule - something that could only work at a smaller newspaper. I come in, do my work and go home. Since my work isn't always time-sensitive, there's not always a reason for me to be in the office late at night.

The new job would be from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday. This would quash a lot of things - meeting up with my parents on a Sunday afternoon, Thursday evening softball games, weekends with my wife. And that doesn't take into account the random get-togethers we have with friends from time to time.

It seems hard to believe that one negative would outweigh so many positives. Yet here I am: After considering that there might be a job offer for several weeks, I'm as conflicted as I was when I was first told of the hours.

I've run through all sorts of scenarios, and all of the same questions and doubts remain. I've made a pretty comprehensive positive/negative list, which does nothing but show me that positives and negatives are equal in number. I've tried to discern whether I'm making a better quality of life for us, or whether I'm putting job ahead of family.

Some kind of breakthrough is needed soon if, in fact, this offer comes through. Perhaps the familiar feeling of deadline pressure will spur my brain into greater action; perhaps I'll just be more frantic in searching the corners that have already been visited.

My biggest fear of the whole thing - and my biggest fear in looking for a new job, period - is that once I move out and get into a routine at a new job, I'll find myself miserable. My current job has its good and bad, but there's comfort in the familiar. I know what's expected of me, and I know what to expect from the job on a day-to-day basis.

Then again, there's a certain excitement about new opportunities. Perhaps I'd look back at this and wonder what the fuss was about, and that we were making do just fine.

On the flip side, perhaps I'd look back and wonder why in the hell I turned down a job like that.

I haven't slept great lately, and tonight promises to be another one of those nights.

No comments: