Wait for Me, Day 5

This entry is part 5 of 23 in the series Playing "Wait for Me"

This is an entry in a journaling game I’m currently playing. An explanation, and my first entry, is here. I swear, I sort out a series link for these soon.

(And yes, I’m a day behind the prompts. Yesterday was my brilliant wife’s excellent birthday, so I took a day off.) 

… and when I stop tumbling, now, there’s an astonishing recoil, like a rubber band snapping inside me. I’m in my last apartment in Montréal, middle of the day, and it’s hot enough that I know it’s late summer. I go into the dark, cavernous living room—man, I should have appreciated the size of this place when I lived here, given what I was paying for it—and pick up the black hardback notebook on the low coffee table.

Oh… it’s about work. That makes sense, I’d have just started there, as everything that followed flitters through my mind, the good and the really, really messed-up. I open the notebook and start to write:

Hey! Congratulations!

Look, working hard is great, vision & mission are great. Work hard… on their time, but remember it’s theirs because its contracted & paid for. Your weekends and evenings aren’t. (This is a business, not a charity recipient.) They can hire more people as needed.

Also: when someone’s about to shoot themselves in the foot, sometimes warning them just gets you shot in the process.

Oh, remember dad’s advice: family businesses always put family first. (Not you.)

Oh—and one more thing: office romances crushes are 

Before I finish the sentence, the pen is gone. I flinch as I realize this, and then the book is gone, and the room, and I’m tumbling off alone the shadowy latticework of my worldline.

Ah well… I’m not sure how I was going to end that sentence anyway. 

Memories flutter through me.

It’s funny, though: I did take my own advice, on the first few points at least. (The crush, and the office romance—if it can be called that—went the same. Maybe some things are harder to avoid?)

But I did make my time my own. At the end, I had no hours banked, instead of two weeks’ worth. And yet things ended up pretty much the same. They put family first, same as they did when I’d worked harder; played the “family” card with the rest of us without a hint of shame; reacted the same way when I gave last-minute notice, even down to the tearful speech from the CFO. The company had spent itself to the verge of oblivion, had failed in the exact same way to do its market research. And they weren’t any slower or faster to throw non-family members under the bus, when push came to shove. How hard I worked hardly seemed to matter, in the big picture. But man, was my last year in Montréal better for it, even if I struggled to remember these lessons.  

Mentally, I think hard on that first paragraph I wrote, and suddenly my anger and frustration at last week’s policy announcement melts away. They’re the one making the dumb policies, failing to support us, refusing to respect us and let us to the best job we can. If they can’t even be bothered to learn something about distance education pedagogy… well, then it’s not on me to teach admin about this, much less work double the hours and give up all my free time to make things work. I did that last semester, and got nothing much for my efforts. This time, if my classes are worse classes, it’ll be their fault, not mine. Maybe they’ll sink this ship, but it won’t be my fault, and it’s not up to me to keep it afloat. (It certainly won’t affect my life either way, five years from now, will it?)

Will it? Maybe I’ll get to see, if I land sometime in the future? And as if on cue, just as I think that, I feel the rubber-band tensing of myself about to stop in another point in time, and brace myself…  

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