Thursday, April 28, 2005

"They tell me he was lonely, he's lonely still..."

I’m a loner in most respects. Like a good systems-oriented person, I have the knack of enjoying being left to my own devices to do my job. Some call it anti-social tendencies but I find it’s just an efficiency technique. Because of such, I sometimes find myself looking inside rather than out. My desk faces my door and at times it really feels like I’m looking out into the workplace rather than belonging in it.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not think of myself as some luminous figure. I’m not. One day, I went to work, plopped myself in front of my computer and began to work. The next day, I look up and I’m in a new office with non-system related work staring into a work environment where everything involves a meeting.
I feel like the manager in The Office; somehow I got thrown into a new position. I wasn’t planning it. I woke up and I’m sitting in at my desk wondering how the hell did this happen? Thankfully, I’m not an idiot like The Office Manager nor do I have a need to ‘be one of the guys’.
It’s just that I’m in an office where I’m totally in-between. I’m not an executive and I’m not an assistant. At systems, we had levels but because we had our own specialties, we never fell into any standard totem pole. I’d work my butt off to try to get executive but I really don’t know if that's what I want. This scares me a little because I never thought I’d say that.

The other day I was discussing benefits with some colleagues. Apparently full pension is given after 22 years of service. A co-worker, who’s wife just had a kid, totally freaked out. He did the math and the idea of working here for that many years, sent him into a funk. The other one, a newlywed, confidently stated he’s not working that long and that he’s invested everything so he doesn’t have to. He apparently has a map of when he’ll have kids, how many and where the money will come from. Ah, youth. I wish I had that confidence. Hubby and I have plans but the confidence of a stable market and status quo lifestyle has waned. Maybe I’m just tired of the rat race.
I read an article about a train conductor who is a self-made millionaire. He keeps his day job though because he loves the rails. What? I’d hop off faster than a hobo can hop on.

At what point in my life did work and career seem unimportant to me? You spend the first half of your life focusing on your career and then one day, bam, all you think about is how long before you can stop running. It’s slightly depressing.
The experts speak about the need for woman to invest early for their retirement because of their shorter careers due to family leave. Well, that seems totally unfair. To make it worse, we have longer life spans then men. So we make less, have shorter workforce time and live longer than men. Why not make the playing field a bit more level? Start women at higher pay or bigger benefits so that they can invest more for their retirement. Also, companies should offer personal business management courses geared towards women. So many females come fresh into the workforce without realizing the need to invest early and wisely. In your twenties, you have room for risk. Go for it.
Essentially, as it stands they are telling me that if I want my female offspring to not deal with this worry, I’ll have to start investing for her so that she doesn’t have to feel this pressure. Come on people.