A couple of weeks ago, I sort of threw my had in the ring for a writing position at a corporate healthcare entity. I wasn’t sure if I wanted the position or not – it’s more responsibility, longer hours, etc. etc. But it would also give me incredible experience, the kind of writing experience sort of akin to Andy’s position with that magazine in “The Devil Wears Prada” – if you can do it for a year, you can write your own ticket upon completion.
A week after I applied, the company contacted me and set up an interview. I interviewed and took a writing test last week – both of which left me sort of cold and appreciating the warmth and heart found in my non-profit, flexible schedule, cushy-hours job. The bosses at potential new job didn’t impress me, nor does being on call or owning a blackberry or getting really psyched for casual Fridays. But…but…the smallest part of me keeps saying this job is the equivalent of medicine…a pain in the ass to take but oh so good for you. It’s the kind of job that could lead to national and international work, fairly quickly. And so for all of my determination not to take the position, a small part of me still…wondered.
Well, I received an offer yesterday. An okay offer, but just enough under the amount I said I’d move for that I can’t help but wonder if the company is flat-out dicking with me. According to EVERYONE (ie, S., A., my parents, and my old boss who is now a vice president) I HAD to counter offer because said company specifically asked what I would leave Current Position for and then ignored what I said.
I HATE this sort of thing. I’m already anxious about the very possibility of taking Fancy Job (where is the bathroom? will I be able to read blogs on my lunchbreak? will I be randomly fired? will anybody be my friend?) and bargaining, egods, well, it’s led to a lot of comfort bagel-eating today. At the same time, I recognize the necessity in not selling myself short, in believing in myself (S.’s words). And really, the offer, if you could see the numbers, well – you’d understand the distinct puppet and master situation occurring here.
So I countered, via email (as instructed, all of this has basically been done via email except for a couple of phone calls), and also asked some questions, like how is success determined in this position and what’s the evaluation structure like and oh yes, that salary seems bunk to me, how about a few grand more?
And I’ve heard nothing. And it’s been one full work day. And I might have to swing by a Panera on the way home and buy the vat of Cinnamon Crunch bagels. I’m all nerved up about this even though I know how ridiculous it is to be so…either they’ll come back with an offer or they won’t but I have a good job, a job I believe in with co-workers I like. I have a coffee shop I go to every morning for a medium cup, every wednesday I eat lemon rice soup and spanikopita for lunch (5.95 for the special) and my gym is right across the street. Fridays alternate between yoga and happy hour with coworkers. I’m comfortable. I believe in the work I do. I love my scrappy little gym and my big office and all. that. stuff. If my salary isn’t met by Fancy Company, what does it matter?
So why am I tied in knots? Why to I even care? If I were anyone else I’d talk about my untapped potential and pushing myself as far as I can go but really, that’s not me. I think I’m nervous because I’ve never, ever said to anybody, ever – no, that’s not good enough. I’m worth more than that. I’ve never put a dollar figure on my skills before, and it feels wrong. If I’m a writer, shouldn’t the art of it matter? Shouldn’t finding the story, identifying narrative, be more important than a few thousand dollars?
But then, I think, three grand to an international company is nothing. Three grand, to me, is the balance of my student loan from graduate school. And that’s not insignificant.
And so I wait. Oh, I’m on the second book in the From the Stacks challenge – I’m reading The Awakening, by Kate Chopin. Upon beginning it I was immediately reminded of A Room with a View – is that an incredibly obvious thing to say? Are they often taught together, and I’m just sounding uneducated, like the time my dad called me up after deciding to teach Disgrace and Things Fall Apart in the same class and he thought it was an entirely new idea? The Awakening also reminds me of Anita Shreve’s earlier writing.
At any rate. Wish me whatever it is you think appropriate. I’m going to pilates in an attempt to distract me from donuts disguised as bagels.