Last Sunday at workshop I told my fellow writers how I quit my job in the nice University town with the farmer’s markets and the white-washed library and many lovely restaurants in order to return to my old place of employment (under a different boss, though, and in a different department). One of our group looked at me and said “But, you haven’t blogged about that yet.” I nodded. “That means it hasn’t happened yet,” I answered.
But it has now. How to discuss how much I hated the job, to the point where I started smoking again and stopped exercising and spent most of my productive time crying in the bathroom? How could I react so viscerally to a job? I have no answer for you without being mean, and I will not be mean about it, at least today. Suffice it to say the values and work ethic promotoed at old-new job were such that I truly felt like I was floundering. I’ll find a way to discuss this at some point in terms that veils those I most disliked, but until that day I’ll leave it with this: apparently, I’m the kind of girl who cries over bad vibes and bad work and (to me) bad people.
Enter, fortune. My old-new job called me after I quit free lancing and offered me a raise, more vacation, charge of my own schedule, ability to work from home whenever I deem it appropriate and a whole different reporting structure if I would return to the cancer hospital. Quite frankly, those in charge said, nobody wants your job. People keep walking out during the writing exam, hands in the air, saying they’d rather jump off the top of the building than do your job. So…
every frog has its swamp and I’ve returned to mine. Detroit! I am in the honey moon period right now, with loads of welcome back emails and people hugging me and “Oh, let’s do lunches” and I know this will end but I do not care because I have seen the corporate world with acres and acres of white cubicles and everything conducted by instant messenger and no noise but the noise of computer harddrives whirling and it made me throw up. Now I’m back in Detroit, back in the hospital, back with doctors rushing around and anxious families awaiting news of their loved ones and patients being wheeled this way and that and all the many, many administrators that help the hospital run and I am here to write about how one day a perfectly normal cell in their perfectly healthy bodies took a detour and now there is just so much to discover about that cell – so much! And if I could kiss the floor in front of my office and bow down to it I would because I am among life again and no matter what boss they bring in if my current one leaves I will always now have the knowledge that I’m not a for-profit kind of girl.
Saturday night S. and I came downtown to celebrate my decision because neither he nor my parents nor others I consulted thought I should flake out like this but I did and S. says he is proud of me for knowing what I needed to do even if he doesn’t understand it. And Saturday night was a perfect storm of events that made Detroit look like a real city. First, Bob Seger was performing that night. Second – St. Patrick’s Day. Third – The national college hockey championships. Fourth – the Michigan State /University of North Carolina basketball game. On every street corner different bands were set up, and evening settled over the city in swaths of mellow golden sunlight, and people spilled into the streets. We had to wait for a table at our favorite Greek restaurant which has never happened. We ate lemon and rice soup and split a plate of lamb ribs and roasted potatoes and then met up with friends, at this bar and then that bar and it seemed like the whole entire town was on its feet, dancing in the streets, headed somewhere great, and I, drunk from vodka and sated from the lamb, in the company of good friends in a funky downtownbar, returning to a job I now recognized as really damn good, fleeing the corporate culture (okay, one mean thing: these are the kind of people who paper their cubicles in Dilbert cartoons because they so, so identify. Not just one cartoon, or five, which I could understand, I mean, Dilbert is funny, but dozens of said cartoons), I felt so thankful to be back in the grit and glamour of Detroit, where possibility and promise beat beneath my feet. I realized I would rather spend my days writing for something that matters to me, than writing for all the fortune 500 companies put together. No organic farmer’s market or trendy restaurant can change that.
I just thought you all would like to know.