Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yesterday's post

I wrote a post yesterday which I did not publish. When I write a post, I try to imagine various people in my life reading it over my shoulder. If I regret my choice of words with those friends at my side, then I know I need to edit a bit. I also imagine reading the post out loud to my tenure committee in a few years time. If it makes them shake their heads, I know I probably shouldn't post it.

Basically, I had a bad day yesterday. For those of you who missed that part of the story, I recently moved from England to a town whose name starts with a P, ends with an O, and has an O in the middle. I am working at a university here in the town of P-o-o, which I like to call Good-Ol'-Dudes University.

I am somewhat conflicted about my choice to live in P-o-o. On the one hand, the job seemed ideal for my interests. On the other hand, I am afraid of P-o-o. I am afraid of the people in P-o-o. I am afraid of people who choose to live in P-o-o. People like me, I guess.

Anyway, I had a bad day yesterday, and got depressed about living in P-o-o and working for my university here in P-o-o. There are aspects of my university that are depressing. But really, it was mostly just a bad day.

It started with the dentist. I had an appointment scheduled for me and for my boy. By the end of the appointment, I needed to sign up to get my gums peeled back and my roots scraped, and Jonathan, due to incurable thumb sucking, was slated for orthodontics in a few years. Maybe I want to try a new dentist.

Later, near the end of the day, I recalled that now that we are back in the US, we want to dump my health insurance in favor of Tim's. I called the HR people to get the dumping going, and went over to their office to sign paperwork. The HR lady basically did everything in her power to convince me I was not eligible to dump the insurance until January. Since I was, in fact, eligible, I was steadfast, and did finally sign the paperwork. However, the HR lady got pretty annoyed with me. So I left annoyed with the annoyed HR lady, and annoyed with the fact that this university and their insurance provider would be so difficult in what should be an easy situation.

Next, I got all annoyed again over childcare here in P-o-o. A colleague who lives in a more child-friendly town told me several weeks ago that she always put her son into after school programs and day cares, because nannies are unlicensed. But that doesn't seem to be an option in P-o-o. This town is so completely backwards that they don't seem to have anything like that. Certainly not at Jonathan's current preschool. Good-Ol'-Dudes University, my employer, has nothing to assist faculty with childcare. Grandma, who investigated daycares within reasonable commute distance, reported that they all looked gloomy and depressing. Which is gloomy and depressing.

The attitude of the people in this town seems to be "we live in the shadow of G.O.D. University. Therefore, we are perfection. We do not need to change."

Even the stoplights here in P-o-o are depressing. Traffic for three directions sits parked at red lights for three minutes while nobody moves. Hello! Pressure pads?

This is now my home. These are now my neighbors. I live here. This is a permanent job. I have moved my family here. We have spent our savings on a house we could not sell in the current housing market. There is no turning back.

I ended the day feeling depressed. But things will be fine. It still is a good job. While the university has its... peculiarities... I do intend to be happy here. I just don't know sometimes how to ignore the fact that I live in P-o-o.


Veiltender said...

I always liked living in P-o-o, but I was a young undergraduate sojourning there and not making a permanent residence.

Besides, as you know I have tendency to being sanctimonious, so maybe I fit right in.

Letterpress said...

One bad day, when I had been demoted at my menial clerk job, rear-ended another car, lost my favorite scarf, got mud on my dress and other sundry traumas, I made a list. (You can tell the bad day was early in my career as it didn't involve children.) I like that you blogged about your bad day, because as the stakes get higher, you can look back and compare the current bad day to this one--then decide.

By the way our University has faculty childcare that has a 4 year waiting list. The newest hire in a neighboring dept made that a condition for her hire. Most of the faculty (who haven't put their children on the list early) don't get to avail themselves of this. You'd think with the excellent children/home/family attitude over there in Happy Valley, they'd be willing to have institutional childcare so their students can work there, do research there, etc.

All I can say is the usual: hang in there.

Soul-Fusion said...

HA! Was skimming your blog trying to figure out if I knew you from Neuchatel and this post cracked me up! I hated living in P-o-o too and from now on that is what I will call it. Thanks for de-lurking today. I didn't much like the majority of people on that trip either - most were a bit too goody-goody for me or party-crazed. I tended to hang with the party-goers or solo for the most part.