work prospects and the lack of them

I’ve noticed that most of my recent ramblings involve work. It’s a subject that lingers in my mind and one which I am particularly neurotic about mostly because I feel terribly priviliged to have a job in my chosen field, but partly because my prospects were absolute crap for so long. No other way to say it but to be blunt. They were crap. I earned my BA at the height of the recession in ’08. There were no jobs available in my area, at least not for new graduates with little to no professional experience. I jumped straight into grad school–twice–in order to become a viable candidate. In many respects, I am a classic case of Gen Y or Millennial delayed adulthood. I’m now in the latter stages of twenty-somethingness. I live at home because I have too many student loans to pay. And I am incredibly pessimistic about job security (was there ever such a thing?). I actually learned I fit the Millennial bill during a teaching workshop where I was one of three young ‘uns among seasoned professors and suddenly found myself  being categorized as a sort of clingy child with tech skills that wants to be coddled by adults. It was an odd experience to say the least. I reject much of the Gen Y characterization, but the security of living  at home has certainly made up for the lack of professional security so I will fly my clingy child flag for now.

But back to my neurosis about work… I love my job but I have no real faith in my long-term prospects within the field. I’m a librarian; it’s a tenuous area if the library and/or institution it is affiliated with fails to adapt to changes in academia. The bchan (otherwise known as the boy I’ve taken up with) is going through his own lack of professional security and delayed adulthood. He’s in the social services field. If my field has taken a hit, it’s nothing compared to his. Social services are tied to all kinds of government and charitable funding that just isn’t there. They are also tied to good management and that is a rare gem among the organizations in our area. He may or may not get a pink slip this week in another round of cuts. My own negative outlook on work prospects since becoming part of the job market make me a poor candidate to offer blind hope in that area. It also makes me go all quiet when the students I work with discuss their hopes and dreams after graduation. I’m not sure I can ever get over this feeling of doom.

How do you tell your boss “No.” without making it seem that you don’t want to be a “teamplayer”?

I have this side job that I really enjoy. It’s in the field that I have chosen to pursue and I’ve met some great people. However, the director of the program has approached me twice regarding duties that are unrelated to my job and that I feel are absolutely wrong for me.

He first approached me about a possible teaching position, and I explained that my recent decision to quit teaching had led to my applying for this position; as such, I am not looking to return to that field.

Tonight he approached me to see if I would act as a sort of student motivator, making calls to students who have stopped attending class. I tried to tactfully explain that I feel that I am not an adequate person for the job, as I do not like making phone calls and am not someone with that sort of sales-pitch personality. He insisted and advised that I give it a try and see how it goes.

I don’t want to give it a try.

I know this is not something I want to do. Partly, because I have a laissez-faire attitude to teaching – if you don’t care enough to show up, that’s not my problem. And partly because I have no desire to bother people while they are working/eating/relaxing/whatever.

I don’t want to seem like I don’t want to be part of the team, but this duty has nothing to do with my being a library assistant, and there are others who are better qualified to handle such a task.

I am hoping that it will not come up again, but if it does I want to be prepared to tell him no in a professional and well-argued manner.

I don’t want to lose a job that I actually enjoy, but I know that this is a task that will stress me out and make me feel as anxious as I feel at my other job.

Is it wrong that I do not want to do this? Should I accept a task that is unrelated to my job and most definitely not part of my job description? Do I offer to not work on the two nights that the other librarian is there, if it is a matter of my being superfluous?

Mystery pain day #9

Mystery pain # 1 has multiplied. Mystery pain # 2 is now located above my left hip… somewhere on the inside 😐 . I definitely don’t trust the diagnosis that I received at the hospital. Looking back on it, I think the only reason I didn’t object at the moment, just signed my release forms and went on my not-so-merry way, was because I had been up for over 24 hours and just didn’t think to say anything contrary. Esophagitis, this is not. Which is why I went to see my primary doc today, and find that I am no more pleased with his diagnosis. Or the suggested exams… I’m starting to convince myself that they really are just gas pains 😳 much to my chagrin. I’m going to try an infusion of star anise tonight to see if that helps (it’s supposed to be good for gas pains, which are supposed to be absolutely awful… and if these are indeed gas pains, I totally agree.).

On a brighter note, I may possibly have a job soon. I’ve got a sort of interview, at least. It might be a job for the Fall semester (I work at a university), but it will be a welcome relief if I can look forward to a regular paycheck while I finish up my thesis.

In the meantime, in light of my current unemployed state, I got myself a final treat with the birthday cash that I received last week and bought myself a copy of Adobe CS3 for a shockingly reduced rate – being a student has its perks (as I got it on a student license from the uni for 87% off the retail price 😀 ). After this, not one more purchase!