Oh, the Irony….

The day after I posted how much I loved living on site at my job, I found out I’ll be cut to 50% next June; that’s effectively a layoff. It was probably inevitable that the state budget cuts would catch up to me.

The thing I will miss most about this job will actually be the Trumpeter Swans. (This is a photo that I took near my front door.)   I never was a birder until I took this job; it was all about the bugs. But I completely fell in love with Trumpeters living on this lake.

They are big, not terribly bright, and incredibly soft.  They have HUGE feet. Add in a recovery from near extinction and fluffy cygnets, and they’re impossible to resist.

But, while it will be hard to say goodbye to my awesome co-workers, students, and the swans, I’m kind of excited about the possibility of a completely new start.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now know this job was waaay beyond a 40hr/wk employment experience; I wasn’t able to have much of a life other than work.  Aside from a rather spherical cat, I don’t have any dependents anymore; I am free to move anywhere I want.

I’ve spent some time thinking about what I want to do with the next 15 years until I can (in theory) retire.  I know what I’m good at; in fact, despite some considerable challenges, I think I’ve done some of the best work of my career in this job.  I’m good at social media and instructional design; I’m good with students, and I’m a good teacher and manager.  Somehow, if I can sort out how to combine that with bugs or nature-y stuff, I’ll be all set.

It’s clear to me that I need to do more hands-on stuff to really be happy. I’ve been applying for some very long shot jobs that I’m quite geeked about, but I don’t expect to successfully land.

The hard part is explaining why someone with a PhD wants to be a low-level flunky.  I’ve done the high-level admin thing. I climbed up the career ladder, and I found out the stuff towards the top is a lot less interesting to me than what’s at the bottom.

I would much rather be cleaning poop out of cages than planning a grant to fund the cages and poop cleaners, or create a multi-year strategic poop plan.

If you happen to know of any poopy jobs opening in the near future, please send them my way.

6 thoughts on “Oh, the Irony….

  1. Wow. 1. so sorry about job deflation. That sucks. I remember when I was a fed, state folks with an equivalent job got paid twice what I did, but their budget was WAY more variable, as was their job security. Scary! 2. I SO get that downwardly mobile thing. Higher up is frequently less fun and more and more distant from what you love/why you got into this in the first place/less inspiring. 3. I hope you get something so you are in the thick of it, get sweaty and dirty, and arrive home at the end of the day completely happy. =)

  2. Mmm, a year and a half ago I found myself jobless and did the poop-scraping thing at a zoo and then had to quit before I went completely batshit crazy… move to west Texas! Most everywhere is hiring, the pay is low, the housing is cheap, the flora and fauna are COMPLETELY understudied… yeah, hubby and I are minions at a motel and birding/bugging it up in our spare time =)

    http://bigbendtx.blogspot.com is one fruit of our groundskeeping, housekeeping and office-sitting labor. Agapema moths out the proverbial ‘wazoo.’ =D

  3. Sorry to hear about you job situation, but happy to hear about a possibility at Rookery Bay. SW Florida is an entomologist’s paradise. I’m a retired photojournalist that has fallen in love with the bug world and am having a ball exploring. If you’re interested I can email you a couple of my latest photos.

  4. A long time ago when I was in school, a professor opined that “irony” was one of the driving forces in the universe…or something along those lines. Secure in the arrogance of youth, I condescendingly dismissed the idea. Thirty years late, I’m not so sure.

    Anyway, I’m sorry for your cutback but I’m sure something good will come of it; I’m guessing it usually does for you. And at least it’s good to know that God still has a sense of humor. Hang in there. Chris

Comments are closed.