Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I am without a partner. And I will continue to be in said state indefinitely.

While on a personal level, I am trying (in sort of a vague way, but still - effort is effort). On a professional level, I'm entirely screwed.

"Did you mean it?" I asked Adam, eyes narrowed accusingly.

"Probably," he replied cheerfully, already laughing at me. "What are we talking about?"

"You replied to an email and said that you weren't hiring a buddy for me. Instead, you were filling another vacant position." I gasped with melodramatic dismay when he nodded. "But you said I'd have help!" I cried.

"You're doing fine," he said, already looking at the next set of documents.

"People warned me," I continued to complain though I was secretly flattered that I was doing well enough to not appear inadequate, "that if I did well enough, the business would consider the two-person role a one-person role and I'd end up getting screwed." I paused for effect and he glanced up at me, not unsympathetically. "Have you any idea how hard - and how much - I work?!"

"I do know," he finally replied. "And I've told you to set limits and priorities and to let some things wait. You're incredibly," he paused until I narrowed my eyes in warning, "driven." He grinned at me and let me smile back before he continued to explain that there was more benefit for the business to fill this other spot before pairing me with someone.

"This sucks," I pouted and he patted my shoulder once more before telling me to get back to work.

I'm doing better than I was - I do what I can, tackle what seems most important, and try to remember to stop sometimes. Yet I still start conference calls at or before 7AM and am currently listening to one that began at 8PM, scheduled to wrap up by 11PM. That's a long stretch of time to be thinking about my career, even if it is delightfully split into different projects so I rarely become frustrated or bored.

What I do, however, is grow exhausted. And I'm still wounded when people are disappointed in me - when I need to push a deadline back because I couldn't get to something or miss a meeting because something else came up. I'm dropping balls left and right, watching them bounce around me with regret but little energy to chase the suckers down and toss them in the air again.

I get - no exaggeration - about 250 emails every day. At least 4 hours of each 10 I spend at the office are in meetings, often far more. I am delighted when I can spend more than 30 minutes at my desk in silence, just thinking about a project or completing a document. I took this weekend off so I could submit shamefully old post-doc papers to a couple of journals and work on this chapter I was asked to write.

I went out for drinks last night with the girls, receiving scolding glances each time I answered my phone between sips of wine. I apologized after two hours, noting that my evening batch of calls was soon to start.

"Skip them," my friends urged and I shook my head.

"I can't," I noted regretfully. "I just can't make myself do it."

Hence, Katie = Totally Screwed. And in need of implementing this 'I have a life outside of work and therefore other priorities' plan.

No comments:

Post a Comment