Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Take This Job ... and Love It?

     Back in January I offered to help out with our local library book sale, which is to take place in early April. So now, in March, I'm involved in my volunteer activity, which consists of writing up flyers, sending out notices to local organizations, printing up posters and signs, and planning out how we're going to set up tables and handle the money. In the meantime, we're advised to collect all the boxes we can, because after the sale is over we're going to have a lot of leftover books and we'll have to box them up and either give them away or throw them away.

     So I've been prowling the liquor stores, asking for their empty boxes, and if you looked in my basement right now, and saw all those empty wine boxes and vodka boxes, you'd think I was a serious alcoholic.

     Then when I got back from vacation, I received an email from an old colleague of mine, offering me a paying job to help out on a project. Deadline: April 1st. Most of my work is being done from home on my computer. But I did go into the office to consult for one morning, the first time I'd been in any kind of office in about two years.

     It seemed very strange. I'd spent over 30 years in an office; the territory is very familiar; yet I've set foot in an office only about a dozen times in the last ten years. Even though I'd never been in this particular office before (but they all look the same, don't they?) it felt like it does when you go back to visit your old hometown and walk around the neighborhood and see your old house and check out your old haunts.

     But actually, it was kind of fun to be in a real office -- you know the kind, private offices with glass walls around the perimeter of a big room with a bullpen of desks jammed up one against another. Kind of like the TV show "The Office."

     It's also nice to have a paying job for a change. First of all, I could use a few thousand dollars, especially since the credit card bills will soon be coming in for my vacation out west. But then at one point I wondered: Am I trading a month of my life, just for a few thousand dollars? What kind of deal is that? But when I really considered it, I found it's a good feeling to be engaged in a specific assignment, working on a project that someone is actually willing to pay for -- you know, compared to volunteering at the library, or blogging.

     So I'm pretty busy this month for a change -- after having done nothing but hang around since before Christmas, then go on vacation. The benefit to you:  I have to keep my posts short.

     It's a delicate balance, trying to work in retirement. You want some jobs, but then when you get them, you're not quite sure you're ready. Do you know what I mean?

     By the way, remember the band Men at Work? I dunno what this song is about (maybe it's about drugs; wasn't everything, back in the '80s?), but I prefer to think what's knocking at my door is opportunity.

7 comments:

Olga said...

I do know exactly what you mean. When I retired from teaching, I did substitute teaching and one time had a sweet job of doing educational testing. For the past two years, though, I have been quite content with my volunteer library work. But I will warn you--you will dream about boxes of books.

Stephen Hayes said...

I've always been self employed and have never worked in an office. My plan is this: If nobody can figure out what you do for a living you can't get fired!

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

I wouldn't go back to work for anything but love. Charity work is where its at. You are correct, work for pay is selling yourself and a piece of your life. The library project sounds more interesting, and will be more rewarding I suspect. Dianne

Retired Syd said...

Boy do I ever know what you mean! You are smart to pick something with a specific end date. That's the trick.

rosaria said...

I tried to teach a college course now and then because I missed working. Preparing for those classes and correcting papers were so much more demanding than I remember.

Now, I will not even sub. I'm spoiled rotten with all my free time. Just getting to and from a doctor's appointment is enough bother.

Arkansas Patti said...

If you hated the work then it would be a bad trade off-time for pay. However since you don't mind and it is temporary, go for it.

June said...

I am dying to retire!
People tell me that there's more good that comes from a job than just the pay, but I don't believe it.
I want that free time that rosaria talks about!