Southeast of Disorder


The Seven-Year Hitch
September 29, 2007, 7:22 am
Filed under: Work | Tags:

(Parenthetical remark alert!)

Now I’ve done it. Friday was my last day at a job I’ve enjoyed (mostly) for seven years. Although I’ll be paid for the almost six weeks of vacation time I accrued during the adventure (which may explain something about why I left the job), I’ve already begun obsessing about where to find my next meal.

No matter how much one enjoys his or her work, an odd mixture of complacency and restlessness tends appear (somewhat like a vulture) at about the seven-year point. If one can ignore the piercing stare, foul odor and occasional jockeying for a better shot at the carcass (oddly evocative of a Chinese fire drill with wings), one may be able retire after an extended career with one employer. My sister did that, retiring some time ago after 25 years in public service (albeit in several different positions). I, on the other hand, seem not to have her stamina. Although I try not to make a habit of taking a job and then un-taking it soon thereafter (I was with one company for more than 10 years and another for five before I began the most-recent seven-year crusade), I never seem to have found one place, position or group of people capable of convincing me I belonged there forever. Maybe that’s because I was a military brat, and my family moved 21 times before I graduated high school. Maybe it’s because I’m an adrenaline junky (not a bad thing for a journalist), and something always seems to beckon me from just beyond the horizon. Maybe I have a self-destructive streak that one of these days will do me in (to no one’s real surprise).

It’s not terribly bright in most world views to leave a comfortable salary for the vast unknown (and possible starvation). Still, I approach this change with (possibly misguided) excitement and anticipation (in addition to disquietude that verges on abject terror). My dog doesn’t seem to be worried, and I’ve decided to accept that as a sign everything will work out. Of course, if I had his ability to convince people to wait on me hand and paw because I’m excruciatingly cute, I’d feel at least a bit more secure.

I’m counting on his loyalty remaining steadfast right up until the moment we share the last mouthful of his food.