Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year, New Wall, New Job?

Yesterday, I painted my wall red. Well, I put deep-coat primer on, which is almost as red as the paint. I got permission from the landlord, and G and I went to buy the paint on January 2nd. Ralph Lauren "Relay Red." Even with just the primer, it's gorgeous.

The yellowish-white walls in this place have been driving me nuts for awhile. There is so little color in this place at all. The floor is hardwood, the furniture is too. The sofa is fucking beige. The carpet we bought has colorful bands running through it, but mostly it's fucking beige too. We can't exactly install window treatments easily or cheaply. The mini-blinds are dusty white. I decided to do something drastic and paint.

G was totally on board from the get-go, which delighted and surprised me. I picked red because we both like red and there is some red in the carpet, but mostly because you can't get more energetic and upbeat than red. I settled down with a darker, almost brick red, but it looks plenty bright, I'll tell you. It's just bright enough. And this room has so much sunlight, it's not heavy at all, just all bright and happy and energizing and just RED!

While I was in the middle of priming, my temp agent called. Out of nowhere, this great temp-to-perm position materialized. I was surprised. I didn't expect her to find me anything, even short-term low-paying temp work, so soon after New Year's. But this just dropped into her lap. Maybe it was all that red energy shooting through my system, but I jumped all over it, and told her I'd like to interview first thing the next morning. She called me back about an hour later, and that was that. I was scheduled for (gulp) 8:30 am today.

It's a New Jersey pharmaceutical company, but not one of the big evil ones, so I think I'd be able to sleep at night. The best part is that I'd be supporting the team of people that works with the clinical trials, making sure the drugs are safe for the populace, and helping to ensure FDA compliance and all that. It's a sticky area, but the most important aspect of pharmaceuticals. I'd be thrilled to be part of that. It would be great money for me, and benefits, which I've been desperately needing.

This morning was the first time in a very long time that I've had to be up before dawn, and I was out of practice. I had laid out my suit the night before, so all I had to do was go through the motions, but I still was 15 minutes later leaving the house than I wanted to be. The place is in Paramus, about 1/2 hour drive away, but I wanted to give myself an hour to get there, in case the nightmarish traffic I'd read about on Route 17 materialized.

The drive was actually no big deal. I-287 to the Garden State Parkway to Route 17 to Route 4. I didn't make one wrong turn, I didn't get stressed at all. I guess all that practice from school has paid off. Plus the Garmin my mother-in-law sent us for chanukah was a nice help. I arrived with a few minutes to spare.

The people are all great. Very high energy, enthusiastic people, mostly women. They said all the right things, and the HR lady is fabulously straightforward. The salary range I was quoted by my agency is exactly what I would want. The commute is doable. Everyone there seems genuinely happy, enjoying their work, and working well together. And yet, I'm waffling. Big time.

I keep thinking about this post that Frank wrote before he took his job. Taking a job really does cause you to re-think everything. Will the money and insurance be worth giving up 50 hours a week? I still have the NY State Licensing Exam to take on the 25th. I just scheduled my first study session with my friends for next wednesday, which I now may have to move to the evening, and hope everyone can still make it. I have a lot of studying to do over the next few weeks. Am I shooting myself in the foot here?

On a deeper level, I haven't worked at all in two months. It's been heaven, and I'm TOTALLY used to it. Have I become so spoiled and soft that I won't be the office whirlwind I once was? For that matter, I've been loving the freedom of temping with my fabulous agency for two years. Will a permanent job, in one place every day, for who knows how long, bore me to tears? Can I be a one-company woman? I've been a committment-phobe for a long, long time. I got burned so badly by my job that ended in 2004... Do I really have it in me to do this?

I've been saying all along that the perfect situation for me would be a standard, structured corporate job with benefits, and a decent - meaning doesn't have to be high - salary, with some massage gigs on evenings and weekends. I can pay off my loans quickly, help fund the wedding, have that goddamn gum surgery I've been putting off, and hone my skills in massage, preparing for that day in the future when I'll want to be a Mom full-time. Implement my master plan.

However, the reality of this smacked me in the forehead today. This would be committment with a capital C, and frankly, I'm scared. I'm scared of what this would do to my life. I'm afraid of getting caught up in the workaholic rat race again.

I'm going to talk it over with G tonight. Gotta say, if I do take this job, I'd so love to see my agent get that commission. This decision will be much easier to make if the position is temp-to-perm. I'd like to date for awhile before getting hitched. Long engagements are good for me, as long as I keep my eyes open and my feet on the ground.

Then I'd better get that last coat of red paint on the wall.

It's funny... when G and I went to home depot a few weeks ago and brought home a bunch of red paint chips, I wondered if I wasn't getting in over my head. I've helped other people paint before tons of times, but never done it all by myself, and certainly not in a place that I'm only renting. Uh, make that, a place that I'm living in that someone else is renting. I was a little nervous, taping off the area, laying down the drop cloths, pouring that first puddle of paint into the roller tray. It took me a good two hours, which seems like nothing in retrospect. When the primer was done, it looked gorgeous. G complimented my work profusely when he got home. I seem to be up to this task.

I guess I just have to decide what else I'm really up for.

And it would be pretty funny if, after all this, I wasn't offered the job.

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