I didn't make it to the Happy Hour tonight. I just couldn't. I desperately needed a night to myself, without anyone's expectations but my own. I came home at 4:20, took a nap, went to the gym, went to the grocery store, and now I'm home and ready to clean the place and watch some baseball. A great night.
Besides, it's depressing me to work so much and I'm not the greatest company at the moment. I've spent the last half hour looking up IB public schools in Chicago. A mentor of mine just sent this e-mail, after I said I was considering it: "There's a lot of exciting things happening in the Chicago Public Schools right now. Look up Arne Duncan (Chicago Public School CEO). The more I think I about it, the more excited I am about this possibility for you." It's something I'm considering. I don't really know how to start a job hunt, I just know I need an upheaval of some sort.
But the thing is, I know what's making me unhappy here in Baltimore right now. It's not hard to figure out. I live for others. I'm simply working too much. And the thing that has made me happy in recent years - my job at school - isn't making me as happy as it used to, because I feel like I'm surrounded by idiots. Or at least one - an important one. And I'm trying, I really am. I'm trying to like this person, and others that are making me think that mediocrity is steamrolling its way through our school. But I lose faith constantly. We're not striving for excellence, we're striving to please the higher-ups.
I think I'm someone who needs to be inspired by my leaders and, absent that, they at least need to get out of my way so I can do my job. Neither has happened. And every year seems to get worse, not better. I miss feeling the team comraderie I felt. And the older colleagues would tell me that it was rare, that our staff from around 2002-2004 was one of the best deparments you're ever going to find, when I felt like I was surrounded by collegial, intelligent folks I respected. And many of them are still there. Heck, most of them. But the cohesion isn't.
Then, all I do on the side to unwind is wait tables. I'm looking at thirtysomething hours there this week and next, and the only thing that happens if I refuse or if I quit is that my friends, my co-workers, get screwed over by having to work more. Just like has happened to me now that the Polish girl has quit. I'm not going to do that. The owner-manager knows my wishes about shifts. He's not a bad guy. But his hands are tied because it is nearly impossible to find decent help in this city. I mean, look at some of the servers you've had in your dinners here in Baltimore. There are a lot of servers who know nothing about their craft. And that's clear by the applications we get. We're training two right now; hopefully they work out so I can cut down to two days a week; this schedule, I actually like.
It was kind of nice to go to the bank tonight and deposit the $260 I made in tips this weekend. And that was after a $35 fillup of my car. At least I'm making a little bit of money, although it feels like it's all going to other people, with bills still being caught up from the summer and before.
My living situation has just gotten sucky, as well. It appears I'm going to be heading into the winter months with a 33% rent increase unless something miraculous happens. I can afford it, but it sucks. More of my money going to someone else, which is where all my money goes. Rent's still relatively cheap, but it sucks. Sucks sucks sucks. I can't even blame anyone. Not even myself - and you all know I'm pretty good at that usually. It just sucks. I could move, I suppose. But that's tough with a big dog.
Speaking of which, last night was a chilly night and I needed my electric blanket / dog. However, Holden decided he'd rather sleep in the basement. I woke up in the middle of the night cold and called to him, but he either didn't hear or ignored me. When I went downstairs to get my clothes in the morning, he's asleep on the basement guestbed, curled in a ball on a pile of laundry strewn on the bed, wagging his tail, shaking sleep out of his eyes, and looking especially sheepish. Like he knows he heard me at 4am when I called to him but he ignored me and now he's feeling guilty about it. In other words, I'm even being spurned by my dog.
I need a little happiness right now. At least next weekend, I'm taking Friday off and going to New York on Thursday night. New York City! My old friend Erin is going up with me after her conference in DC and we're staying with our friend Jason, who lives a few blocks from Times Square. My good friend Neil just broke up with his girlfriend of a couple years a couple of weeks ago, and he lives in Manhattan as well, and he definitely needs a couple nights of carousing. It's going to be a good time. I need it.
It's too bad that I have to go out of town to have a good time. But it's my own fault. Bah.
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