Monday, June 20, 2005

I used to be indecisive…

Ever since I moved offices and into a new department I’ve been less and less happy with my job. Most of it is to do with the fact that for the first time in 8 years I don’t really know what I’m doing.

When I joined this company back in 1996 I didn’t know the language I was being asked to program in and I didn’t know the business that I was writing the systems for, but I was given training in both and had a few wonderful colleagues. One in particular was J. J was a more mature man and a true gentleman. He was about 7 years away from retirement (and he’s retired now) and had been with the company for years. He knew the business inside out and back to front and was also an excellent teacher. He thought nothing of taking a couple of hours to explain how things worked and I always understood things after he’d explained them to me. I then spent the time between then and now writing two very large corporate systems (as part of a team of about 40-50 people) and became one of the acknowledged experts in the language and systems.

Now I’m in a new department, doing support. This department supports 192 of the companies systems (yes it’s a very big, international company) and that number is going up every day. Now the language I’m expected to use here is RPG and I have had a little training, but nowhere near enough. At the moment I’m supposed to be investigating and fixing a problem on a system I know nothing about. I’ve been given links to documents and Intranet pages that are supposed to be sufficient to enable me to understand the problem and sort it out. I have been given the impression, by the guy who gave me the task, that it’s a fairly simple fix and all the documents etc. should provide ample information for me to do the work.

So here I sit feeling like a complete idiot, because I’ve looked through the documents and the intranet pages and even looked at the libraries of code and some of the code itself and I still haven’t got a clue what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve had the same problem with other things I’ve been asked to deal with over the last few weeks and I have to keep asking this guy for help. I’m convinced that he’s getting fed up with me, although he’s always nice and helpful when I ask, and I’m also convinced that he thinks I’m an idiot and not worthy of my Senior AP status.

I. Hate. Feeling. Like. This.

Even before I started working in this department I had been considering taking a 3+ month extended break (unpaid) to do all the myriad of things that go undone at home because I just don’t have the time. There’s all the stitching I want to do, my jewellery business that I’d like to get going properly, there’s still unpacking to be done and loads of other things round the house, and of course there’s the housework, which goes by the way because I’d rather spend what free time I do have on my hobbies. The problem is that I know if I take an extended break, I won’t want to come back to work afterwards, and I have to be working for now to pay the mortgage. I have savings that would cover my loss of income for a break, but they would run out eventually.

So more recently I’ve considered going part-time. Only working a four day week. I could take the pay cut and still be able to pay all the bills and everything, I just wouldn’t have as much disposable income left over each month so I would have to curtail my spending habits a little. I’m sure it would be the best thing for me right now, but for some reason I still can’t bring myself to take that step, I don’t know why.

I’ve mentioned it to Wookie and he grumbled something about having to get up and go to work when I get to slob around at home. Of course it wouldn’t be like that (well maybe at first it would) but I would have to put up with that resentment at first, until he realised that the house was cleaner and tidier, and I was making and selling my jewellery again and maybe even starting to design and sell cross stitch patterns, then maybe he’d realise that I was spending my time working in another way.

I just need that little push to actually take the steps and do it. Unfortunately my little pushes usually come from Wookie. So maybe you could all give me that little push this time, what do you say?