I have helped to conduct nine interviews, and while I am learning a ton about the organization, I am also learning a lot about myself.
I have known my whole life that I am an introvert. I am not secretive about it. I work in a profession (HR) that is very customer-service focused. During my busy contract season, fifteen or more different faculty members could come to my office or call me. I am ok with it–I like talking to our instructors and hearing what they think of the university, the students, and Summer Studies. A few of them have been here for years and have so many interesting stories. There are about two months out of the year that I am super tired all the time and I thought it was just the gigantic workload, but I also think it’s the amount of people and interaction. Doing these interviews, I am talking a lot, listening, taking notes, reflecting, and it’s exhausting. I am ready to take a week off work, drink several bottles of wine and watch a whole bunch of crap TV alone.
Even though my supervisor has been through this program (she is also doing a very similar project at VCU right now, GEHLI) and is understanding of how I have to be gone so much doing these interviews I kind of feel like it’s affecting my relationship with her and my job. Maybe she’s finally realizing that I am definitely on my way out and she is sad I am leaving. I’m likely reading too much into this and her change in attitude is not even related to me but I can’t help but think that. I am also very emotional because of all the interviews I’ve done.
One of the things I have been able to reflect on with this project is how I tired I am of my job (though I cannot stress enough how much I love the people I work with) and how I do not want to be in this role anymore. I think seeing another organization, and knowing that there are other jobs I can actually do that are not at VCU or are in Human Resources (Carmen’s job comes to mind), I am ready to move on.
* I think the double shot of working for the state and in HR is giving me paper/form overload. There are so many levels of approval for every little thing and it is totally exhausting.
* I have zero agency over my position. I cannot affect change. I pretty much do whatever people tell me. I have been in roles like this for over ten years and I think with my experience and educational background that I can do something else. I was never confident enough to go after non support staff positions but I think that is changing.
* I need to “Peggy Olson” this place. If you don’t watch Mad Men (you should, Peggy is my favorite character on TV), Peggy began as a secretary in Sterling Cooper (Draper Pryce) and worked her way up to copywriter. After several years, she realized SCDP did not appreciate her work, because they had seen what she had been. She left for another agency where she made more money and had a much more important role. I don’t think I can fulfill my potential at VCU, because my resume clearly shows what I have done and there are certain trajectories for people with my experience (more paperwork!) and I don’t want that.