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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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it never hurts to have a reminder...
Like ambug666, I love my job... and like him, no I'm not being sarcastic.

But it's been really weird around here recently. My boss's wife spent several weeks in the ICU at Johns Hopkins, which means he wasn't around work much. There were some co-worker issues that weren't getting addressed because of that, and it was just generally odd. Then he comes to me one night about a month ago and basically tells me that he and his boss are being fired. He made it sound like it was happening right then, which was massively uncool...

That night, one of my favorite people around here, MrLarry (our Trans director) said "Let me drive you out to your car". He told me that a lot of people were being let go but that I wasn't one of them- I'm apparently just as essential around here as I think I am, which is a validation I suppose. ;-) He told me that we'd had some bad financial news and a whole raft of changes that were going to be phased in were going to take place all at once... there was an all-staff meeting the next day, and he told me, "be there." The next day, I got a call from someone who's account had been yanked and he didn't realize why. Also uncool...

The meeting was actually fairly promising- the reorg actually made sense, and many of the changes were things that I'd wanted for years. Oh, and my boss was basically told that, yes his position was being eliminated but he should get his wife home and healthy before even worrying about when. Much cooler, that. Also, apparently the employee who called me had been told, but was kind of clueless...

In the weeks since, it's been strange. There's been a lot of meetings about refining things around here, making us more effective. My boss got his wife home and situated, then found a new job. OTOH, he was still pissed off and decided to dump a whole lot of doom and gloom on me on his last day, which doesn't bloody help anything. I have no-one really in the managerial structure now between me and the COO, which is also kind of odd.

But still... it's slowly starting to look a bit more secure here. I was on a committee that actually did work- and some of our recommendations were things I've wanted to do for a long time. Our benefits are being examined and some improvements are being planned. The guy who is my effective manager is very down-to-earth and we get along just fine; he's actually turning out to be a pretty good advocate for us. And the difficult co-worker issue has been resolved, albeit with some rather surreal aspects...

Today, we had the end-of-program-year awards session. Some very good people got recognized. A lot of it was for the program instructors- the people who actually work with the students on our programs. Listening to them was just amazing- like some kind of specific antivenin for cynicism and burnout. The energy and dedication of the PIs is just amazing, and to hear the stories they told... wow. Getting students to read aloud the "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial; getting them to alchemize their anger and tears after a difficult speaker session into a letter-writing campaign... I was constantly getting choked up during the session, and I wasn't the only one.

I know what we do here is important. I know that our work changes lives, inspires people to get involved, to change their detachment into dedication. I know that I made the right decision to come here and to stay here, even though I could be making double my salary in the private sector. But it always helps to be reminded.

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You are very lucky. What kind of company do you work for?

We're a civic education non-profit, focusing on getting people (especially students) engaged in and involved in the governmental process. Our focus is a week-long intensive program where high school students come to DC for a week-long intensive program where they see and learn about historical sights, participate in workshops, meet their elected representatives, go to seminars with speakers with appropriate knowledge, etc.


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