Wednesday, September 19, 2007

a thankless job

"Fuck my life, I want the credit" -- "Wag the Dog"

I know, dear readers, it's been about 6 weeks since I last posted, and a lot has happened since then, both in my life and in the world... but I want to talk about something from the end of July and now.

I left my previous job at the end of July. Because of the nature of the job, the nature of the blogosphere and my semi-nonimity, I decided to keep a lid on it here. Because of my work on Jewschool and the fact that I worked for a Jewish org, I didn't want their to be any conflict of interest, any appearance of conflict of interest, or even any damage to this organization because of my fairly large sized frustrations with it.

I left at the end of July; it was kinda like playing job no-limit holdem. I want to go to grad school and work 3/4 or half time. I raise your half time down to 1/5th time. I raise your 1/5 time to 2/5 time during the summer and 1/5th time starting in september. Oh, and raise you recruiting a professional with a serious degree, much higher payscale to begin asap and introducing him as such during a key conference happening while you're still full time. Fine, I raise another job that fell in my lap and starts beginning of august.

While this wasn't fought out with bitterness or yelling, perhaps because my boss sensed that we hadn't quite clicked as a unit, it was kind of tense. And I was asked, by my boss, to not let folks know that I was moving on just yet, to wait until things were in place with the new person. Okay, fine. my final act of not voicing my own position.

I left. No announcement of my departure. A week. No announcement. Two weeks. No Announcement. A month. No announcement, and not even a "good luck" on my new life. When do I finally hear from my boss? when he's upset that I haven't connected with my replacement.. except my replacement wants to meet in person during Tishrei while I work part time and take three grad classes. I'm not sleeping enough, already falling behind on the reading, and these guys want two hours of my time. I barely give Knucklehead two hours of my time at a time these days.

So on the left, we say our resource is the people. The right may have the money, but we have the people. I didn't sign up for social justice work to get rich. I just wanted to make a decent living that allows me to support my family and occasionally do something sweet. Now I don't quite feel how the Dustin Hoffman character from Wag the Dog felt, and besides, that sentiment got him killed. But some kind of recognition, a thank you, a something, would have been nice. We're supposed to be the people movement, and we don't even say thank you before we part ways.

maybe that's one of the reasons I'm shifting careers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sucks, but I don't think it's that unusual. I received no thanks/announcement/recognition when I left my last job. I am afraid that that's the norm, actually.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Ruby K said...

hey anonymous!

so, i hear you on that. i mean, part o that is the problem with america and its culture of work: we should expect no thanks, if someone else has something we don't have, why should they have it (and not "why don't we all have it").

but part of it also the feeling of non profit work. I took a substantial salary cut, after I was already offered the job. I busted my ass, many times late at night, early in the morning. And you'd think, after asking me to wait to tell people I had left that my boss would've at least said, in his introduction of the new guy, "and hey, thanks old guy".

Maybe I just expect too much of work.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous feygele said...

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a "thanks, good bye, and much luck!" upon leaving a job like yours. In fact, I feel that it ought to be the norm, not the exception, to be thanked for the time and energy we've put in, whether in a non-profit or for-profit job, since salaries so seldom match our actual input.

Specific to your circumstance was the secrecy that you agreed to, when leaving your job. Because they added a final uncomfortable condition to your (former) job, I think they especially should have said something.

Thanks for putting in the time and effort with them, even when it was a pain in the tuchas.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The job that I left and from which I received no thanks/recognition was also a non-profit job for which I busted my butt, although perhaps not as much as you did. It paid okay, though, and I guess I see the pay as the thanks I get for doing work. I do my work, they pay me and give me health insurance. That's the thanks I get. It's not overly nice, I guess, but I do think it's reasonable and fair. (I will note that I was pissed off that I got no recognition when I left, but since that was over two years ago, I've chilled out over it. So, I do hear you. It doesn't feel very nice.)

2:04 PM  
Blogger Ruby K said...

hey feygele!

thanks for the love, man. yeah, I don't really know what else to say or do about it, I feel just annoyed to hell about it all.

hey anonymous,

Not sure what kind of hours or pay you got. I was frustrated, because the deal changed as time went on with this gig. I don't want to go into circumstances, but I believe what I dealt with, on top of the work that I did, could've used a thank you.

i think everyone who's doing something decent in the world deserves a thank you. we don't just need bread, we need roses too.

10:34 PM  

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