Hey it's a post from that ridiculous/amazing/this is the worst idea/this is the best idea Make-Your-Own Meme "blog every day of November" thing! Original post/list of topics. Feel free to add more: LJ | DW — anon and openID welcome!
thebaconfat: I am interested in hearing about your job and what you like and don't like about it! (here)
My job! I work as a web designer/developer as a contractor for the U.S. government. This means I'm not an actual government employee, but but exclusively on government stuff (if you want me to get into the whole "contractor vs. fed" thing, haha, that is enough for a separate question and also it's both boring and wanky). The actual work I do is designing and then coding interfaces for web applications. It's about as exciting as it sounds!
Don't get me wrong — I do enjoy the work. But I gotta say I am pretty tired of the job.
The work itself is very neat. I consider myself pretty good at it (those of you who were in this year's round of ff_exchange, I did the front end of the website — everything but the signup form was pretty plain, but I WAS rather proud of the form). My work has nothing whatsoever to do with my degree (linguistics) or with my education at all, really — the only programming class I ever took was C++ in 9th grade. I've been making websites since I was... 12 years old, I think? Maybe 10-12, somewhere in that range. That was pretty early in internet terms, so I've watched the technology grow up around me. I'm a big advocate of web standards and accessibility and I do have fun figuring out how to get exactly what I want with the available tools/languages.
However, two problems! For one, my attention span is abysmally short. I'm not talking about my day-to-day, per-task attention span (though that's pretty bad, too) — I mean my attention span for LIFE. It's about two years long: that is the longest period of time I can do any one thing (school, a particular job) without becoming pretty restless and miserable.
I've been at this job since 2003-2004.
The other thing is that the job is sucking more and more.
( blah blah office politics )
SO I actually still work for G but have to waste loads of my time attending P Team meetings and dealing with P Team stuff even though NONE OF IT APPLIES TO ME. It. Is. So. Dumb. Your tax dollars at work, U.S. folks.
In addition to that stupidity, there is J, my cubicle neighbour. J has no indoor voice and is on the phone at least 70% of each day. About half of that is work-related, ALL of which is calling various help desks because he is clueless and/or has not heard of google. Many of his help-desk issues are not difficult to solve on one's own, which I know because I can HEAR them. The other half of the calls are personal. Often REALLY personal. I get to hear all about his problems, personal, medical, emotional, psychological— everything. All in his loud, loud voice. He also eats very loudly, which is a personal sound-squick of mine, AND he eats many times a day. There's nothing wrong with that (I prefer to eat several smaller meals and/or graze all day, myself), but it does mean I get to listen to his chewing all day instead of just at lunch.
Incidentally, he's on the P Team and I had to work with him extensively for a while. During this time, I learned that J is one of those people who thinks the world and/or people owe him things. For example, people OWE it to him to be his friend. If you are not his friend, he gets all passive-aggressive and catty.
I am not his friend.
On a more technical job-dislike note, we work in the ASP.NET framework, which is not my friend. I hate it.
But for all that, it's not a bad job. It's slowly transitioning into being mentally/emotionally unhealthy, but it's honestly pretty cushy. I make enough to support my somewhat extensive household, and I like my REAL team and boss. My real team is far from perfect (and I have some awesome conflicts there, including someone who can't respect my personal space AND someone who is terribly ageist!), but I largely respect them and their abilities. We work well together.
The work itself is, like I said, pretty interesting, though for me it gets REALLY stale working on the same projects for years and years. Honestly the biggest pain is the attention span thing. If I weren't tired of the job on an absolute scale, I could shrug off the annoyances.
So it's a mixed bag. I'm lucky to have it, and I know it; I'm grateful. But honestly? If a different job came along, paying significantly less but of a decent type of work? I would take it in a heartbeat.