The Big Decision.

One of the reasons that I’m able to work part-time at my old position at the telephone company this summer is because a full-time position in the group recently opened up. I enjoy working for this local telecommunications company; it’s a family owned business that does it’s own thing in a very cookie-cutter world. That last point can occasionally be frustrating, but there’s a certain organised chaos in the atmosphere that I enjoy. I have mentioned before that I love the people in the group that I work in and this latest incarnation of staff seems very cohesive. I enjoy going to work.

I often say that when people tell me to look at the “big picture” they soon realise that I am not even looking at the same painting and sometimes I’m browsing a completely different wing of this proverbial art gallery. My “big picture” is often different than what other people see and I enjoy this quirky nature I have.

Over the past several weeks I have been re-evaluating my schooling and career aspirations. Thinking over my goals began early in the last fall semester; I was learning that I had a good chunk of schooling ahead of me: my two-year degree would get me a position that paid less than the job I had left, a four-year degree would get me in the ballpark and then I would have to do several years of working with the Department of Transportation or a consulting firm before I could take the required exams for the position that I was striving for. By then I would be in my late 40s and, as I sensed at a recent job interview, the industry is looking for young bucks and buckettes that they can shape into something wonderful and more importantly, long lasting. Couple my age with my lack of health insurance, an increasingly struggling economy and a retirement fund that wasn’t getting added to and a sense of responsibility (drat that common ‘big picture’) was starting to rattle it’s keys in my direction. Earl and I are doing fine financially but since I started school we’ve been playing it close. Contrary to the chaotic fiscal past of my youth, I don’t like having debt looming over our heads. You never know when the house of cards is going to come crashing down.

I threw my name in the hat for the full time position at my old job last week. As a person, both personally (of course) and professionally, I feel that I have grown considerably since I left the full time version of the gig one and a half years ago. I feel that I still have a lot to contribute to the team and to the company and I honestly miss my daily dabblings in technology. Things _happened_ at my old job whilst the position I aspired for appeared to move at the speed of flowing molasses.

So this morning I met with the department head who made me an offer I just couldn’t refuse. When I threw my name in the hat, I added some numbers to my slip of paper. Their numbers and my numbers surprisingly matched. And faster than Brett Somers can write “BOOBS” on her Match Game card, I strongly considered the position. “I’ll let you know in the morning, once I talk to the big guy.” (That would be Earl).

We had the talk tonight. Weighing the pros and cons, adding a few tears of love and punching a few numbers on the calculator on my iPhone1 I’ve decided to become Mr. Telephone Man again. The position allows me to play with technology, pays the bills and more importantly, makes me happy. Some may think I’ve lost my mind completely by jumping back into the controlled chaos but I’m really excited about the opportunity. I’ll work part-time through the summer and then I’m back to full-time the day after Labor Day.

And as I moved from one painting to another in my separate gallery, I took a glance back at the painting I had been looking at for the past 18 months and saw my passion for that painting to be fully intact. Had I stared at that painting for too long, I have a feeling that the passion may have turned into “just a job”, destroying my inquisitive nature of discovering highways and construction projects and journeys across a smattering of countries.

I know I have made the right decision.

1 Here is my obligatory iPhone reference on ‘iPhone 3G Day’.