Tuesday, May 15, 2007

the threat of a brittle brain

I guess it's kind of a good thing, that I'm starting to clench my teeth again. That means the new teeth are starting to fit, and ceasing to hurt? Hope I don't just crack them again. They are essspensive!

So apparently, my boss thinks it's a good thing that this work is unchallenging. As in, he told the office manager as much when she started here about a year ago. Something to the effect of "The pay is good, and there's not much work to do. It's easy." (first off, he's wrong about the first part, but given that he's worked here forever, how would he know that? Actually, his pay is good, it's the rest of us that suffer.) He is basically retired in place here. He has been here for a looooong time, and will never leave. Where would he go? I think after too many years in one place like this, you really can't transfer to new jobs very well. This is one of my driving factors in wanting to jump ship. I could easily stay here forever. They would never fire me and my work would just get easier and easier. But the longer I stay, the more stunted I feel, the less able I am to jump to something challenging. My skills will get stale, my mind brittle. I already wish I could go back five years and start over then. What kind of person would stay in this place for that long? Doesn't he realize that while he finds it a benefit, the younger people in the department keep cycling through because growing old here without growth and challenge scares the crap out of us?

I've been reading a bit about the supposed difference in the workplace between Boomers and Gen X (am I Gen X? I can't remember). There's a lot of stereotyping about Boomers resenting us for job-hopping, and there's the correlational frustration X'ers supposedly have at Boomers for not retiring or letting the Gen X'ers grow into more responsible positions. I do not know if I am an X, but I do have frustration at the idea of staying here forever just to wait for someone to finally retire, all the while being bored and unchallenged. Of course, younger workers are also more accustomed to the idea that the company may just "restructure" us at any moment. That wouldn't happen where I'm at right now, but I almost wish it were a possibility. It would force us to be more nimble, more growth and challenge oriented. It would keep my boss from sitting in his chair thinking only of how to keep from rocking the boat. It would keep my mind active, learning and creating new ways to be useful and productive and eminently un-restructurable.

The water is too still. Aren't there any sharks to slap?

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