So, I was at my desk at work and some saliva went down the wrong way. Now, you know when that happens, it’s horrible. Not terrifying, because you know that you’re not going to choke to death. But for a few seconds, breathing is almost impossible and you end up making these wild noises as you try to suck air into your lungs.
My co-workers saw me in distress and asked if I was all right. I couldn’t speak so I gave them hand gestures to indicate that I was okay and they should go on about their business.
My co-workers are off-the-charts insane (all women, by the way). A lot of zany, wacky, sometimes juvenile stuff happens. Well, at this point in my story, one of them decided to feign serious concern and came up behind me to do the Heimlich maneuver, practically lifting me out of my seat (she DID lift my boobs up to my chin). Then she blew in my face, patted my back, and fanned me. I was helpless to do anything but laugh.
Afterward, she said that she didn’t want me to die at my desk. I told her that was probably going to happen anyway. And that got me thinking.
April will mark my 5th anniversary at my job. This job was supposed to be temporary, something to pay my bills until something better came along. And here I am, 5 years later, still sending out resumes, trying to make contacts, struggling to build my credentials into something that will be attractive to prospective employers.
It’s frustrating for so many reasons, but it’s particularly hard when I see people with jobs that I would kill to have and I ask them how they got their job and they tell me, “Oh, I got lucky. I met so-and-so at an event and she told me about this position.” Or they give me the old “I was in the right place at the right time” thing.
There’s a person who I used to work with who was the only one not laid off in a massive downsizing. We were a very small staff of editors editing and writing 4 travel magazines per month. They outsourced all our jobs to India and kept on this one person as a staff writer. She was the least experienced (and by that, I mean NO experience), was the last one hired (in fact, I interviewed her), and had a difficult time with the work. So, what is she doing now? She gets to travel around the world (like Africa and Australia), stay in some the finest 4- and 5-star hotels, do things that the average person doesn’t get to do (like go on safaris and ride elephants), then gets to write about it all and get paid for it.
It makes me want to put my fist through the wall.
This applies to writing as well. There’s one author who told me that she pitched an idea for a book to a publisher who, simultaneously, just happened to be looking for such a book to publish (we write in the same nonfiction genre). Of course, she got a contract, has put out 5 books in the last 3 years, and is now being represented by one of the biggest literary agents in the country. Really? I didn’t know that serendipity like that really existed. Consequently, I hate her. She makes me seethe. I have no real reason to hate her. She’s never done anything wrong to me. But she has what I want and, by her own admission, didn’t work very hard to get it. I’m not saying that she doesn’t work hard to keep it, but I still hate her.
In fact, I hate them both. It’s completely unreasonable and irrational, but that’s how I feel. And it pisses me off that I feel that way because I always try to rise above my emotions and act logically. But in this situation, I am failing miserably.
The only solace I take is that I’ve made some very good friends at my current job. A few of them will always live in my heart, no matter where we end up. This is why I’m always talking about the idea of whether or not things happen for a reason (I talked about this on my own blog as well HERE). Getting laid off from that other job was really a blessing in disguise because it was making me sick, literally. I was actually relieved when my boss gave me the news. And maybe the relationships that I’ve formed in my current job is the reason I was brought there. I don’t know.
And if I really do die at my desk, I know I can count on my co-workers to put some flowers on my head.