Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Work Ethic

First off, I want to say straight out. I love my job. Beyond that, I have discovered something far deeper. Something that I feared I did not possess as it regarded my chosen profession. Passion.
I used to have a phrase to describe a job – It’s a place you would rather not be, doing something you would rather not be doing, with people you would rather not be with. So they pay you for this unpleasant arrangement. Lather rinse repeat for some 40-odd years, then retire.
Rather morose, no?
Well, fortunately for me, life can be a great head-rearranger. What I have discovered was that I wasn’t in a boring profession, I was in boring jobs within that profession. I was a size-10 foot trying to fit into ballerina slippers. When I left my previous job it was this very mis-fit that ultimately led to it being, well, my previous job. I then tried consulting, which was a better fit for my metaphorical foot. Problem was, I couldn’t make enough money. That was a problem. Now my foot was getting frostbite. Daddy needed a pair of shoes.
My profession is public transit management. I am a transit planner. I decide where buses go. It is a small, niche industry. Also not known for its glamour. But I do enjoy it. The problem with the industry is, there’s only one employer in a given area. Which means a job change likely requires relocation. Knowing this, I literally did a nationwide search: Kansas City, Richmond Washington, Dallas, San Francisco. I damn near got a couple of those jobs. But I didn’t, and thankfully so, because I was finally offered a position that required a relocation of two hours – Orlando.
And it was here, in Mickeyland, that I finally found a size-10 comfortable Italian leather tasseled loafer to slide into. Decide where bus routes go? I got 65 of them with 280 buses. Picture when you were a kid & you got one of those Lionel train sets and you would set up the track in different patterns to see if you could make the locomotives synchronize. (Okay maybe only I did that as a kid) The point is, as I said at the beginning, I love my job. Love it.
Know how I know I love it? The days fly by. I don’t clock-watch because I am too busy. Often I have checked my watch only to bemusedly realize that it’s time to go home. It is exciting, engaging, challenging, at times frustrating, satisfying, fun. Fun!

And that is the ultimate yardstick. A job that I consider fun. Kinda blows that morose viewpoint to bits doesn’t it?