Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Or IS it the Mob?

Today is my 13-year job anniversary. I can hardly believe it myself. This is the only real job I've ever had, I started the summer after college graduation, and Mike started his last job that day too. This is the first year we're not sharing the anniversary, and that's A-Ok with both of us. When I started here, it was nowhere near what I wanted to do - I was hoping to go into publishing, but time was running out and I needed a job and nobody else was offering. Maybe someday I'll go into the story of how I got connected here in the first place, but the important thing to know right now is that the prospect of a salary and benefits was mighty appealing to me at the time. All of that is still true, obviously, and publishing is not exactly what I'd call a growth industry. But I had no inkling I'd still be here all these years later. If I did I might have jumped off a bridge - 13 years sounds like such a long time. My job's old enough to be bat mitzvahed, for crying out loud. L'chaim!

I'm not a fate person, or a believer that there's a larger plan or, ew, that things turn out for the best. Things CAN turn out for the best, but I think that's where it's up to us to make the best of what we've got. And with that in mind, even though I've gone through bouts of feeling trapped and sick of being in the same place for so long, I feel like it's where I belong. I know I'm lucky to have a job at all these days, let alone one that's so fulfilling and that values its employees so clearly in word and deed. And that's a big reason why I'm the one kissing the bean on his wee head every morning and leaving him with his dad instead of the other way around. I believe in the mission of the place, and it's a bonus to have such a connection to the ultimate purpose of my work. Plus we're like a family here, my coworkers, bosses, our Board of Directors - we interact with mutual respect. We all have each other's back. It's not all sweetness and double rainbows every day, there are disputes, and things that go on that are part of the job itself can be very discouraging. But the majority of the time it's a wonderful culture in which to conduct a professional life, with the occasional veer into the personal. When I went back to grad school (even though it was just for my own sick thrills and not remotely job related) my bosses were super supportive, and I can't even get into how amazing everyone's been through my pregnancy, maternity leave and return to the job because I might just cry. I'm endlessly grateful to do what I do, where I do it, and for the company I get to keep.

My ultimate goal is to be able to sustain myself through writing and quit this job. I hope it won't take another 13 years before I can make it happen, but it's worth noting that in a staff of five, I'm the fourth most senior by a gap of at least 10 years. And even if/when I no longer need the income (HILARIOUS), I'll be here on a volunteer basis, no doubt. There's no real leaving this place. I won't tell you what I do or where (most of you who read this already know anyway), but even though it sounds like I'm in the mob I promise it's not the mob.


  1. Congrats! That's a long time to be at one job. Rare, indeed, these days. Ha, I came *thisclose* to moving to NYC and entering the publishing world right out of college. My life would have been quite different if I had done so, no doubt. But I don't regret not choosing that option out of many that I had. It would just have been a very different life. Glad the dad-home-with-baby arrangement is working out so far. HR is a lucky kid to have you guys as parents.

  2. "No Fate But What We Make"-Sarah Connor.

    Also, congratulations. You rule.

  3. As you know, I completely understand your mindset, chica. It's nothing but good to believe in what you do. Don't forget that you can mix and match as I did--mission with publishing.

  4. You DO 'do good'!!! One of my favorite bragging rights is talking about you and your employer. I was thrilled for you that your maternity leave was so readily worked around. I am proud of you and the gang you work for. Thank you! ~LA