Posts Tagged 'sanity'

Busy

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve written anything. I’m writing this as I wind down from a run – something else I haven’t been doing with as much frequency as I’d like. Turns out having a 40-hr/week job cuts into the free time.

Between writing (as in screenwriting) and rehearsals for a short film that may have just fallen through or may have just gotten much better – in one of two ways – and working and driving to work and trying to finish Infinite Jest (I promise no David Foster Wallace tangents tonight) and catching up with all the big Oscar nominees in theaters (“Crazy Heart” and “A Single Man” are both good but not great) and on DVD/Netflix (“The Girlfriend Experience,” “Humpday” and especially “In the Loop” are all really good. The latter-most being so good it makes me angry and exhilarated how much I want to emulate it) and movie nights on Saturdays w/ friends Tyler and Josh (this week: anti-V-Day with “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?” and “American Beauty”) and then little annoying things like taxes and bills and sleeping – between all these things, I have so little time to blog it’s not even funny. I had to finish an article for “It’s Just Movies” at work today (read it here).

The Man I Want to Be…?

All that’s to say, it’s been a long start to the year. Which is fine. It’s also been good. My temporary position at the Insurance company is going to extend into March, which means more money in the bank for after it ends. I have to keep telling myself that my bank account balance only looks big, and that it won’t last once the job ends. There’s still the chance of moving into a full-time position, but it would be back out in the field doing the inspections instead of in the office. Listening to the field adjusters when they come into the office reminds me of all the things I don’t miss about that position. They’re all so incredibly stressed out and angry and bitter. The worst moment of recognition is this low-voiced swearing every time the phone rings. What was once an innocuous ring-tone becomes a unending nightmare of stupid people asking annoying questions that waste your time and eat your soul.

The thing is this: when you’re a field adjuster, your job doesn’t just follow you home, it takes over your home. When you eat the same place you work at a job you don’t like, boundaries get blurred and things can get internally destructive. Right now, I’m super-busy at work. But when I leave, I’m gone. It’s humanly impossible for me to work without being at the office, and for me that may be a necessity. If they offer me a field position I may try it out again. But I’m better outside of work when my workplace is the office. Today my boss let me know that some Temp people have stayed on for over nine months, even though their position was supposed to be up after two or three or six. That’s my preference. I’m not tied to the company, I can explore other options, but I also have some temporary stability.

And now I have to go hang out with my roommate.

Same Old New Job

A week ago I started a two-month temporary job with an insurance company. I worked insurance in Kansas, and I can honestly say that when I quit that job last July, I never intended setting foot inside another one like it. Not that this one is much like it. That one was huge and involved an immensely complex, intricate electronic filing software. This company pays me almost twice as much money per hour due to the higher cost of living in CA (my monthly expenses are nearly identical) and files its claims by hand. As in a physical, real, manila folder with documents in it and color-coded numbers on the side. They also have filing software, but it’s remarkably tiny and frustrating in the way out-dated things are. Frustrating not because we’re confused by them but because we’re not used to thinking in such limited terms. If my previous company was Windows 7, this one is DOS.

They All Look the Same

And for the time, I’m liking it. I’m a little less bitter and burnt out now than when I left my old job. Also, it’s a nice thing to realize you have acquired a set of skills and understanding in a complicated area. My first day I had nothing to do so they gave me a couple claims to look over. Looking at the estimate a contractor had submitted, I got out a pen and started marking next to all the superfluous line items. Extra hours of labor for simple tasks, completely unjustified roofing materials when their report didn’t even mention the roof and they took no photos of it. I don’t know that I feel comfortable, because it’s still the insurance business. But I do feel capable. And now that I’m handling claims again, I’m finding that my previous job’s training has paid off and my documentation is extremely thorough and precise. In the insurance industry, this is never a bad thing. The only trick now is learning this new system and seeing how things go.

This isn’t my career. The final three months working in Kansas were awful. I was bitter and angry, partly because the job was getting worse (my company started treating employees like crap) and partly because I didn’t want to be there anymore. I wanted to be gone. As good as some things were in Kansas, a lot of things weren’t. Two months from now, if I can’t stand it, I walk away. If I like it, think I can take it for a while and am doing well, it can become a permanent position.

One thing that helps, too, is that I’m, also making a new film. It will occupy as much mental space as the job does. Making sure I pour myself into what I ultimately want to do makes going to work every day a little easier. Oh, so do the paychecks.


It Has Come to This

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September 2014
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