Monday, March 25, 2013

SOLC 20: The Other Side of the Battery

Drafter's Note: I think I'm going to reframe my personal SOLC goal from writing every day of March to writing 31 slices as soon as possible. Because this weekend's travel, running a conference, and being sick, it should surprise no one that I haven't sliced in a week.

Drafter's Note, Part B: That was the note I wrote when I started this post 5 days ago. I am awesome at this.


My visual for this post is a battery. Your standard, copper-topped, AA battery. As I vaguely remember from Mr. Grabowski's science class, one of that battery's ends is negatively charged, the other, positively. And apparently that somehow makes stuff do its thing. (I liked Mr. Grabowski, really I did--it wasn't his fault that science just never snagged my attention...) Anyway, my visual is me, like a little dust mite, crawling on that battery. Because I'd opened Facebook on my lunch hour to post some snarky self-important thing about  work, but one of my goals lately has been to me less negative in general, and at work specifically, so I am, to coin a phrase, turning this frown upside-down.

Reasons Why I Actually Love My Job:

- The People. I work with some genuinely awesome people, and get to spend huge chunks of time cracking up, getting sound advice, and generally being valued. Having worked at places where this was not necessarily the case, I am particularly grateful and appreciative for that last piece. Put simply, we like each other, and it shows. Of course there are issues. Of course there are snags. But all in all, we're pals. And in addition to my coworkers, I've met amazing, inspiring, wonderful people around the country, from authors to distributors to customers, and I am consistently blessed & impressed.

- The Perks. I can't go far down this list without mentioning the obvious. I get to travel, and frequently. Because of this job, I've added six states to my have-been list, pounded the pavement of a couple dozen new cities, and been able to visit a smorgasbord of friends and family around the country. I've had amazing meals in great restaurants, experienced various sights, museums, and theater, and learned that I don't hate cities, and I love seeing the world from the air.

- The Profession. (Yeahhh, I'm rocking the alliteration. Who's surprised?) I do, in fact, love my actual job. It suits me incredibly well--a mix of introvert-ish, organizational, spreadsheet-ridden planning, and cocktail-party-hosting, booth-running schmooze. My mother apparently used to say that I was just looking for my own little world to be in charge of, and I have found that here, and an ever-shifting but semi-constant booth space that I should probably call "our" but in fact use "mine."

- The Purpose. A coworker was talking about teachers the other day, saying that while they are terribly underpaid, they are personally valued more than most--that no one will come to us years later and say, "That marketing campaign? I mean, wow. Such an impact on my life." Now, fair enough, but what I do matters. Not to a lot of people. Not in the grand scheme of things. But when everything boils down, my job is to take care of people, and that is something I'm pretty damn decent at. In the past couple weeks, three authors have specifically stopped to say how well-treated they are, how what I do helps them feel and do better. I don't say that to toot my own horn (though, let's be honest, that's something else I'm decent at), but to say I wouldn't be able to do something I didn't find some real, relational value in.

Okay, it's officially taken me nearly a week to write this post. That's a wrap.


  1. You had me at alliteration. Eheh.

    All joking aside, I think you're living my life and I envy you all your "P"s. The fact that you manage to travel and slice is also impressive. I think I must live vicariously through you.

  2. I think I should take your battery advice - it's harder but more fulfilling to focus on the positive!
    Sounds like you have an excellent job and workplace!

  3. I hope you are feeling better. It does sound like you have a good place to work and good work to do.

  4. "Pretty damn decent at"...Love it! You are awesome, and you are doing awesome work at this job. I mean, they should probably be paying you a heck ton more money, but as any teacher will tell you, the figure on your contract does not have to do with your worth in the classroom.
    Also I owe you an email! It's Spring Break, so maybe that will happen soon...