Ending an Era

Now, why should it be difficult for me to feel motivated at work today? After all, after today is over, I only have three days left at this job, and there is a lot for me to do here; documentation to finalize so that my replacement can fix the Cold Fusion applications I’ve written in case they break; training my supervisor on how to process grievances and run measurement reports (processes which both involve at least three different applications); and just general cleaning up. My supervisor has thanked me three times today for the work I’m doing on cleaning up one project in particular, as if she understands that as a "short-timer", I could simply slack off and hang out in my cubicle all day, doing nothing but working on my on-line journal and surfing the web.

Heh. Kind of like what I’m doing right now.

Wandering around the division, I’m beginning to realize that I’m certainly not the only one who has been feeling burned out, overwhelmed, and generally dissatisfied with their job; everyone has been congratulating me on my transition to a technical position ("breaking the clerical barrier", as a friend of mine put it last night), and more than one person has expressed to me that they’re kind of jealous. One woman even told me how much she admires me for pursuing the kind of job that I want. I have to admit that this last puzzles me, since I didn’t do anything that anyone else couldn’t do. And furthermore, I whined about it a lot while I was doing it (just ask Jennifer or any of my friends who were kind enough to put up with me). If I had done it quietly and stoically and with a minimum of fuss, then there might be something truly admirable in it.

Not to belittle my accomplishment, of course. I’m very happy that I was able to get out of my secretarial job and into the web developer position, and proud of myself for having done it. I just think that there are other people more worthy of admiration than me.

Now, I’ve been doing the clerical thing for as long as I’ve had "real" jobs after graduating from college (aside from a brief stint in circulation management at a local newspaper — and the less said about that, the better). It’s been a life of photocopying, correspondence, setting up meetings, taking minutes… and now I’ll be out of that. To think that I’m going to get paid now for something that I’ve been doing as a hobby before. How weird is that? As I sat here at my desk today finalizing some correspondence for one of the Labor Relations analysts here, it occurred to me that this was likely to be the last letter I ever did for anyone. The thought of that thrilled me.

So, in a way, this transition really marks the end of an old era and the beginning of a new one for me. Transitioning to a new career will be exciting, overwhelming, and fun; I’ll be learning a lot, and probably going crazy for a bit. But it’s good, and I’m really looking forward to it.

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