So, in a flight of fancy, I applied for a job at a company that’s opening up in my hometown. I’ve been contemplating lately a return to the boonies, waxing nostalgic for all things small-towny (less traffic, actually seeing stars at night, being closer to my family, having an entire farm for Ramona to run around on instead of being on a 12-foot lead in the yard, stuff like that), but I hadn’t actually taken any steps in that direction. And I sure as heck did not announce my plans to my mother, who would have shown up at my doorstep exactly two hours later with a U-Haul and a Shop-Vac, ready to snatch me back from the evil clutches of The City That Stole Her Daughter. (There are many blessings to being an only child, but the downright clinginess of your parents is not one of them.)
Anyway, I’m still trying to suss out exactly why I did this. I have secure, stable employment in a job that I don’t hate (whether or not I actually love the job any more is another question), and the arrival of a mature, responsible, and teachable employee means the nightmare of switching between day and night shifts (such has been the last 8 weeks) is just about over. I’m not accountable to anyone in my personal life, so I can live as I choose (see, wasn’t that a clever way to say that I have no social life?), though I’m coming to realize that zero accountability is maybe not the healthiest situation for my personality (there’s not a lot of incentive to keep the house clean if there’s no one to ever see it). And I also know what the next couple of years holds for me if I stay — our company’s financial position in an industry hammered by the recession is tenuous at best, so any promotions will be in the form of a new title and expanded responsibility rather than in salary, and having a 24/7 job means that there will be little change in my personal life.
If this pans out, and a move is in the cards for me, I dread the conversation I’ll be having with my employers — working for a small, family-run business means that long term employees (like my 5 years and 3 months) are treated like family, too, and leaving a family is never easy, especially considering that this family took me in when I was running from a remarkably hellish job situation at another hotel. And my immediate supervisor (whom I’m theoretically supposed to replace if we ever actually expand our empire and she takes over the new hotel which, here in reality-land, will probably never get built) and I are very close friends, which means I will feel incredibly guilty leaving, especially with no other employees able to take my place. But there never will be a “good” time to leave (though summertime, when we are at our busiest, is a remarkably crappy time to go)? And, not to sound all child-of-the-80’s-selfish or anything, but don’t I owe it to myself to seek the most advantageous situation for me; to fix whatever in my life is making me unhappy?
It was this kind of waffling that had me staring at the computer screen this morning, after having written a friendly, yet professional and grammatically-correct letter of interest and attaching my resume (sadly unchanged since mid-2007, when I was promoted to my current position). It’s quite one thing to imagine applying for other jobs, but it’s quite another thing to actually do it (I guess it’s kind of like the difference between fantasies and actual adultery). Do I click “Send”? Do I click “Cancel”?
I clicked “Send”. There’s no calling it back now.