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I tried to be as optimistic as is humanly possible in getting ready for my review with my boss today. I caved in to first panic and then complacency toward it; I toyed gleefully with the idea of just being brutally honest with him, about how I feel about him and how I *REALLY* feel about this job, but then decided against it.

Somewhere through it all, I realized I haven't been totally honest with myself. The fact is, I really hate working for WOOD TV-8. I mean, don't get me wrong; I can't complain about the perks, and that's not what I have a problem with. I don't want to seem like I'm biting the hand that's feeding me ... but I am questioning whether or not the diet is even right for me! I've been giving serious thought to just running away to Florida and taking a job as housekeeper at a Marriott on the beach or something. I found myself lustily envying the job they have (hotel housekeepers): they don't have to think so much. Sure they clean toilets; but if you're happy doing that, then what harm is it??? I mean, really -- what is wrong with enjoying your job???

Therein lies the trouble. I do enjoy my job. It's my boss I have a problem with. And today I was faced with sitting down with him, one-on-one, and talk about my job performance here.

I decided to take the honest approach, although not brutally so. Still came up with the same end result, which is: I still feel like my best isn't good enough for my boss. And it never will be. Would it do any good to show this guy the reams of statistics proving what a morale-killer his attitude is? Probably not.

Now, in all honesty, I could probably stay here another couple years and not suffer any consequences for not living up to my boss's impossibly high standards. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels the way I do about it. But I can't help wondering, just the same: I just confessed out loud to my boss that I'm ready to think about "moving on". Perhaps this also means I am ready to move on. I have given serious thought to anchoring and reporting. That would give me an excuse to bump down to a smaller station for a while. Maybe then my tax refund will get bigger again, when I'm making less money!

Yeah, see that's the other thing, my tax refund. Curiously, I've noticed that the more money I make, the less of a refund I get at tax-time. There's only so many deductions a single gal with no dependents and perfectly good health can take. And yes, it makes me long for the days when I made less money -- not because I enjoyed having less things, although ... I don't HAVE anything!!! I don't have anything. That's the whole problem. Supposedly, here I am working this "great" job, but I have no friends, no new car, no life, still looking at the same, tired old thrift store furniture that I bought six years ago when I still had some hope of actually finishing my bachelor's degree ... I have nothing to show for all my efforts here. And my boss doesn't like me. In many ways, life really was better when I was making less money, back when I still lived in Toledo.

All this adds up to not a whole lot of convincing me that moving to a whole 'nother city again, to start over again is a great idea.

And yet ... I feel like there is a place for me out there, and it definitely ain't here. I need to move; I just wish I knew where to. And I'm pretty sure if I stay in the news business, the next place I go to is going to put me on camera, one way or another. Or else I might be able to produce, except I have no experience producing. Although it's not like I'm switching from farming to practicing law.

What do I *really* want to do? Good question. I *REALLY* want to be a reporter -- I think. I want to report because I'm a great writer, I'm not shy in front of the camera, and I'm not afraid to strike up conversation with people. I want to anchor because I know I'd be good at it. But how do I find a station that will hire me with no practical experience, and be understanding enough to allow me to make mistakes and grow? I would need to find a station filled with people that I really click with in order for it to be a success. But deep down I really fear ... am I kidding myself??? Hell, for all I know, maybe all news stations, large, small and in-between, maybe they're ALL as narrow-minded and unfriendly as this place is!!

I mean, I don't have any illusions about the reporter's job. It's tough work. Maybe I wouldn't be able to hack it. I don't think I'd have as much of a problem anchoring a small "Podunk" station, but I also know that any station hiring ME to anchor will also have me reporting and/or possibly producing, if not also doing weather. Which is hilarious, no matter how you slice it, but it's the truth. And they'll have me doing all that for the nice tidy price of less than $20,000 a year. If I'm lucky.

Then again ... it probably wouldn't matter if I was surrounded by people who appreciate my strengths, people I can actually be friends with, people who don't have ridiculous expectations of me.

Well ... time to go scare up some 'dinner' ...

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