Saturday, November 8, 2008

4 years at the mill

Happy Anniversary to Me

On Day One, I didn't think about how long it would last. At the beginning of the 2nd month I tried to resign. At the end of the 1st year, there was nothing to resign from. At the beginning of the 2nd year, I was nearly fired. In the middle of the 3rd year I slid back into the arms of workoholism in a pointless attempt to herd the rain. Not only did I fall off the wagon, but I fell off "the train," a term down-the-Mill that stands for being "onboard." Part of the future. A keeper. Lost my "flawless" status, my top-performer ranking, turned in my lieutenant's bars, threatened to move to Texas.

I could never have predicted marking a 4th anniversary at this clown college.

I've never lasted much longer than 4 years at one of these institutes of higher drudgery. I get Senioritis, and by the time some drama occurs (lay-off, buy-out, takeover, relocation) I have divested so much emotionally that I just pack a bag. The same event occuring during my bedazzling first year or my kick-ass-and-take-names 3rd year would see me leading charges up every available parapet. By the time the 4th year hits, I usually slurp my coffee, look over my glasses at whatever sophomore is caught up in the mayhem and say something unhelpful like "What are you going to do about it, though?"

So I am both nervous and calm about this upcoming year. I am pleased to know that very little rattles me anymore, but concerned that my history suggests I may not last much longer anyway. But I won't worry about that now. I'll just take a day of R&R and not check the email, bank up my rest for next Saturday's working day, and look forward to my next vacation. Count the blessings of my Delta Force teammates, my unbelievably gifted boss, the friends I have hung onto who don't ask about The Mill and spend our time together as if we were all blissfully unemployed.

And take it one day at a time.


  1. Congratulations on 5. I nearly made it that long at The Factory annex till the bad guys came in. Before that I was 12 years at the same place -- but 5 now seems very long. I do have to say I envy you your unbelievably gifted boss. There are not that many of them around, certainly not enough.

  2. Oh dear, misread totally, got 5 out of 4, and went on and on. Congratulations on 4 which is also a very long time.

  3. Congratulations on 4 years!! In the past 20, I've been able to make it 5 before moving on. While this one is better than the others from which I resigned, it does have its moments. Because I'm much older than you, I've reached the phase where I don't offer suggestions unless asked for, sit at my desk with 'busy'work and laugh all the way to the bank. While it is not for everyone, it works for me. At least you have outside activities and friends for the non-work hours and that is good. M.

  4. Congrats on 4 years - a very respectable amount of time to give to a company and learn from the peep you work with.
    Thank God we are not in the pack of lifers we have known and worked with.... I had to teach a director how to cut and paste an email the other day (she's been here 15 years!) and thought about how we used to say at EC "I think this is his/her first job." I am coming onto 4.5 and feeling the itch. The "what do I want to be when I grow up" feeling again. Yes - senioritis - funny that you mention that ... I really have experienced that as well... getting my very first less than stellar review this year. I took it like a man though and have been trying to get back to "indispensable" status - but not sure I care anymore.

    See you soon!? Pete

  5. I still believe that with as many folks as there are on the street these days looking for work, if you have a job, you better stick with it at least for awhile longer. As for "lifers" -- they are not all 'needy.' I've been using a computer for over 20 years and frequently have to show 'youngsters' how to do some things!! I learn something new every day and I'm over 70!!! M.

  6. Blissful unemployment sounds dreamy! Have you learned more in your four years at The Mill or four your undergrad years?


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