Change for the sake of change

19 May 2007

Almost two years ago, I was frightfully overworked, putting in 11-hour days on top of a 2-hour (round-trip) commute. I’d talked to my boss more than once, explaining that this was not a sustainable pace for me, asking what we could do to make the workload more manageable. Each time, he’d say that “in a few months” we’d get over the hump, “in a few months” things would calm down, “in a few months” maybe I could work from home (or from the office only 2.5 miles from my apartment) once a week. Finally, I’d had enough. I interviewed with another employer, after a recruiter described to me a job that sounded fascinating. During the interview, it became clear that the job I’d been described bore no relation to the job that was actually available, and in fact the person interviewing me said that as far as he knew, the job that had been described didn’t exist at all. The job that he had to offer sounded like the more boring aspects of the job I already had, and it was a step down (no office, no direct reports)…but I was so desperate for a change, I jumped at the chance. And from almost the very beginning, I was unhappy with the job, because it was boring, unchallenging, and stultifying. And one of my coworkers has had an undercurrent of animosity toward me since the day I started there, which has only gotten worse over time.

I wrote a couple of months ago about the conversations with my boss’s boss. In the end, he recommended that I pursue a position as a Project Manager in a different department. The job as posted is a bit junior for someone with my experience, but he said that it could be tailored to my skills. He, at least, is quite impressed with me and thinks I’m a valuable asset to the company. I never had a formal interview, which is a bit odd (though I did speak with the woman who is the head of that department — she’s the one I went to Texas with in March for the first day of my business trip). I never really got a sense of what specifically the job entails, which is also odd. On Tuesday, HR — not the department head — called me and offered me the job. On Wednesday, I accepted it. Once again, I’m taking a job almost solely because it will be doing different work with different people. I am just hoping I won’t get burned again. For the first time since college, I will not be working in the field for which I am trained. This new position, as I understand it, is far less technical. Thank goodness.

I used to love being part of my field. (Side note: yes, you all know what I do for a living. I’m avoiding the word because I don’t want somebody to be able to Google my field, find this blog, and figure out who I am.) I derived a great deal of joy and satisfaction from working in the industry I’d chosen. And I realized the other day, that my current job (and in particular, my coworker) has really destroyed all the joy I used to have in my profession. So this change is daunting, but I need a change, and this was the easiest one to make.

I will give this job a solid six-month try. And if I’m still unhappy after six months, I will either move to another city where I will have an easier time finding work in my field (the City of Angels is just not the place to be for my line of work), or apply to business school.

In other news, I went to a speed-dating thing last week with a friend of mine. It was, of course, a Jewish speed-dating event, though the company offers lots of speed-dating events, most of which are not specifically Jewish. Math Boy was there (he’d invited me to come along, which was funny since the friend I went with is the friend I’d wanted him to meet). When he began his four-minute “date” with me, he told me he’d put me down as a yes immediately. (Each person enters a Yes or No online for each of the eligible bachelor/ettes. If two parties put down Yes for each other, each is informed of the match.) I’m not sure if that was because we’re friends, or because he’s interested in going out again (he just took the exam he was studying for back when we had our last date), or what. But anyway, I put “yes” for 4 guys (including Math Boy) and got matches with all 4 of them. So far, one has e-mailed and asked for my number, and he subsequently called and left a message. One sent a “drink” through the speed-dating website, which I thought was kind of lame. A “drink” is like a “flirt” or a “tease” — it’s a non-committal way to show interest…which is kind of POINTLESS considering we clearly were both interested since we were MATCHED and all. The other two (including Math Boy) have not gotten in touch at all.

And a gentleman on the Board at shul wants to set me up with a lawyer in his firm. He’s planning to invite us both for a Shabbat dinner. Could be fun. I will wait to see how things go with this guy, and with the speed-dating guys…and after all of that, if none of them end up being more than a “one-date-wonder,” I will pony up $100 for another 3-month stint on JDate. Be still, my beating heart.

Oh — and for those who are curious, my friend put a Yes for Math Boy, but it wasn’t reciprocated. (Yeah, math joke. Sorry.) And far more interesting (or entertaining, at any rate) are the guys I said “No” to, rather than “Yes.”

1) “Hi. I’m not actually Jewish. I just like speed-dating.”
2) “I went to SDSU. I partied so hard, I failed almost everything.”
3) “Are you on JDate?” ‘Yes.’ “Yeah, the women on JDate all tend to be heavier than they say on their profiles.”
4) “So. Um. Hi.” “Hi.” “Um. Um. Um.”

Some real charmers…

Pre-prime musings

26 April 2007

Last year was the first (but hopefully not the last) time I had a date for my birthday. My birthday last year was amazing. It started the night before, when my ex and I said “I love you” for the first time. After work, he picked me up wearing a suit, and took me out for an exquisite dinner at a fabulous restaurant, and gave me a beautiful necklace, which I wore every day until he gave me a ring. (Then I wore the necklace maybe three or four times a week.) Haven’t worn it since the breakup.

This year does not appear to be a likely candidate for my second time to have a date on my birthday, since I’ve had one date in the last three or four months, just before Passover, and he never got in touch again after Passover. And I’ve given my phone number to two different JDate guys, both of whom I thought had potential, neither of whom has actually called — or even e-mailed — since I offered up the digits. (And in both cases, he had asked for my number. I wasn’t being forward or intimidating.)

But anyway. I have no actual plans for the day of my birthday. I am having my annual birthday party (one of these years I’ll figure out a way to have my birthday occur with greater frequency than just annually!) on the Saturday night after my birthday, so I am taking off that Friday from work to bake and clean and — perhaps — relax.

So my birthday this year will be less fairytale and more prosaic. As long as it’s not O.Henry, I suppose…

Sunday brunch

12 November 2006

Had two girlfriends over for needed catch-up time.
Baked French Toast modified as follows:

  • Cut the recipe in half
  • Reduced to 3 eggs
  • Reduced to 1 1/4 cups of skim milk, with no half-and-half
  • Skipped the butter / brown sugar / corn syrup topping.

Watercress-Citrus Salad with Grilled Figs modified as follows:

  • Used fresh figs, not canned
  • No tarragon or pine nuts or almonds
  • Did not soak figs in vinagrette before broiling
  • Next time, I’d top the figs with feta / goat cheese before broiling.

Smoked Salmon Roses modified as follows:

The basics

10 November 2006

As a starting point, this blog is just going to be a collection of recipes for meals and/or dishes I’ve cooked / baked / otherwise prepared. It may or may not get more interesting at some point.

Random recipe notes:
t = teaspoon
T = tablespoon
c = cup

I only use trans-fat-free pareve margerine (SmartBeat or Smart Balance). It says on the package not to use it for baking. I do, and it always works.

If I post a recipe, I post the quantities I used.

For linked recipes, I generally cut the oil in half when I made it. For baked goods, I often substitute applesauce for oil (measure for measure, using the original quantity).