I Have Stealth Mode!

I discovered today that my car apparently contains super secret Stealth technology, not unlike that pictured in the photo of the plane to the right. On the way to work today, both a school bus and a semi-truck pulled out in front of me, apparently without even seeing me. If I hadn't locked up the brakes for the second one, I'd have wedged my car underneath the trailer and possibly decapitated myself. I have now said enough bad words in a single day that there is no way on earth that I'll get back on the "nice" list by Christmas. So, it looks like I won't get that pony this year. I did not, however, spill any of the coffee in my travel mug. *That* would have really ticked me off.

The trip home was no less exciting as a FedEx delivery truck decided that its stop sign was optional and nearly t-boned the passenger side of the car. My options were to swerve into oncoming traffic or to hope that the FedEx truck saw me and stopped in time. Have you ever tried to suck the sides of your car in so that it's narrower? Fortunately, the FedEx person decided at the last minute that the stop sign might really mean stop (not to mention the bit about yielding to cross traffic). I said more bad words, but I also failed to spill any of my open can of diet Pepsi. When I got home, I went to the backyard and smooshed grass between my bare toes until the homicidal impulses faded.

The work day in between was not all that great either. It's really wearing on me to spend 90% of each day filing paperwork, week after week. I had really hoped that getting a PhD might qualify me for something a bit more mentally engaging than that. I tried to distract myself with podcasts and audiobooks as usual, but it didn't work very well today. (My brain kept trying to come up with ways to better organize the data and/or to analyze it.) I'm becoming increasingly discouraged and depressed. I have finally given up on actually getting to do anything I have actually been trained to do or which appears in my job description, which also depresses me. It is frustrating to watch people without formal training do the things I spent years learning how to do with a high degree of competence, while I remove staples and alphabetize. I'm trying very hard to not have a bad attitude at work, but I know I'm not doing a very good job of that. I spent a good chunk of the day crying in my cube, actually. I am meeting with my boss tomorrow and I'm considering asking for the fourth time to ask for help, but a large part of me doesn't know why I'd bother. Needless to say, I'm kicking the job hunt into high gear. Here's hoping the tanking economy and housing market don't get in my way too badly.

On the other hand, I am willing to sell my Stealth car for the low, low price of only $500,000 USD. Lump sum cash payment only. Tax, title, license, dealer prep and destination charges not included.

Update: My sister has informed me that it's not a Stealth car, it merely has a cloaking device that randomly activates.

Two words that should not go together:
Beef Slurry. Also Meat Smoothie.

I made the mistake of watching the National Geographic channel this evening while they showed how hot dogs are made. These two terms were used to describe the meat product after grinding. A not terribly attractive looking product.

I'll stick to my veggie dogs, thanks. :-)

On the other hand, I now know how/why there's that funny seam line down the side of a hotdog. It's where the casing is slit before it's removed. In this particular plant, the dogs pass under a steam jet, then pass the knife that slits the casing the length of the hotdog. A blast of air from the cut side blows the casing off the hotdog and the released dogs are ejected from the end of the "skinner" en route to the packaging station.

More Job Thoughts
Thinking a bit more about it, the problem is not that the job is not mentally engaging. I can do mindless jobs. I spent a couple years working part-time in a print shop, running the trimming, binding, stapling and sorting equipment. I wrote essays and research papers in my head while I worked. It was great! I can also knit miles of stockinette or garter stitch as needed and spend 1.5-3 hours per week mowing the lawn or weeding. The frustrating part is that I wasn't hired to do mindless filing and data entry. I was hired to do some very specific tasks for which the minimum job requirement was a master's degree. Frankly, a high school dropout could manage what I have been doing for the past several months, perhaps with the exception of the week at the shelter and I'm not entirely convinced of that, having worked in emergency medical services with folks whose highest educational level was high school. They'd have managed that setting with no sweat whatsoever. I really expected, based on the job description and job requirements, that I would be using the degree I spent 8 years and tens of thousands of dollars to earn.

Now I am torn between trying a similar job in a completely different place or trying a completely different sort of job entirely (and a completely different place). I am unable, at the moment, to separate my frustration with the current job from the frustration of being unable to use my degree. I am very tempted to turn my back completely on my degree and training if I can find an employer who is willing to hire someone with LOTS of energy who wants to work at 70-80% of capacity for 80+% of the time and to work at 100%+ the rest of the time. I am capable of working on my own or with others. I am a fast learner. In fact, I love to learn and would welcome having to learn new things regularly in a job. All I need is some direction and guidance to get me started, with perhaps a few checks along the way to make sure I'm on track toward meeting the specified objective(s). I would really welcome a mentor or someone from whom I could solicit advice or critique along the way. I am well-organized and am very particular about keeping data neat and documented, in both digital and paper formats. I can write fairly clearly (see my blogs) and also manage public speaking fairly well. It would be nice if I got credit for the work I did, but mostly I just want a sense of satisfaction at a job well done and the knowledge that I have made a significant contribution to the organization--I need to know that I have made a difference. A paycheck at least as large as the one I have now would be nice too. Most of all, I like challenges and I truly believe that boredom *is* the enemy.


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