Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Potential Dilly of a Pickle

It is no secret that I hate my job. It is also no secret that I hate Chicago. But which do I hate more? Let me explain....

I have lived in the Minneapolis area my whole life, and Tim has lived in the Twin Cities a big chunk of his. So when I graduated college and Tim was out of a job, we decided it was a good time to try something new. We had no jobs, attachments, and we’re young. If we were going to do it, this was the time. So we decided to move to Chicago.

After we found our new apartment and unloaded the 27 foot Penske truck, it was time to look for work. I found a job right away at a non-profit free clinic for the uninsured. It really is an amazing organization. I love what they/we do, my coworkers are great, and the patients are extremely grateful and generous. But my position sucks. I am the “Operations Associate” which is a more attractive way of saying Administrative Assistant. I do data entry, photocopying, and everything that no one else wants to do. I do give my supervisor some credit though. He tries to make my job better by throwing in research and evaluation, but mostly it’s all menial. Needless to say, I’m unhappy and surprised as all hell I’ve made it there this long.

So a few weeks ago Margaret mentioned this job opening at a domestic/sexual violence center (which is my field) as a Volunteer and Crisis Line Coordinator (which is the job I have been wanting since graduation). So I updated my résumé, wrote a kick butt cover letter, and mailed it in. Of course after perusing all that, they wanted to meet me right away! So I had a phone interview with the Executive Director on March 9th, and not 5 minutes after I hung up the phone with her the Program Supervisor called asking to see me the next day for a face-to-face interview! It went well, but I still haven’t heard back from them. And of course I want the job! It’s what I’ve been looking for!

But I really don’t want to live in Chicago. If any of you have moved from Minneapolis (not a suburb, but Minneapolis proper) to Chicago, you probably know what I mean. In the 7 months that I have lived here, I have not been impressed. I have tried to like it, I have tried to see what is so great about Chicago, but I still don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the city. The history, the diversity, the populations, are enchanting, but to me they do not compare to the clean streets, the less crowded roads, the nicely manicured lawns, and the smiles from strangers that are so prevalent in Minneapolis.

I want to move back. I want to ride my bike on the road without cars going out of their way to hit me. I want to take late night walks around Lake Harriet. I want to drink Grainbelt Premium at Dusty’s, I want to be a part of my friends’ inside jokes, I want to go roller skating without setting aside 2 hours for travel to and from the rink, and I want to not have to take off work and travel 500 miles to see my family and have to decide if I can afford to see them on holidays.

But if I do get this job, what do I do? Of course I’ll take it, I would be stupid not to. It would be the perfect career move. It’s what I want to do. But September rolls around, our lease is up, and Minneapolis is just a Penske truck and 500 miles away. What do I want more? To go home, or have the job I’ve been wanting? A job that’s not so easy to get in Chicago, much less Minneapolis where sexual violence centers, and thus jobs, are less abundant. I know I shouldn’t get worked up unless I get a phone call. After all, it has been two weeks since my interviews and I still haven't heard back from them. So we’ll see. I’ll let you know what happens.


uber wookie said...

This is funny. Because Sarah now has to 'blog' all the time and won't pay attention to me.

Me. me me me.

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Ignore Uber Wookie... think about you. Do what makes you happy and appeals to your passion and you'll be fine. Gilby is reaping the benefits of that now.

You can alsways go back to Minneapolis with a great job in your chosen career on your resume. Having the chance to put your education and training to use is a priceless gift.

If you ask me...

jojo said...

I lived in Minneapolis for two summers and loved it. Loved. It.

Chicago was harder to warm up to, but once I did -- it is amazing here. Summer in Chicago is phenomenal, not-to-be-missed.

Good luck with the job.

Margaret of MargaretAndJeff said...

You can't wrong either way, Sarah. If you stay and end up loving it, then great. If you go home and are excited by being around your family and the surroundings you love, great. And either way, you can always reverse your decision. There are very few choices that cannot be undone. It may seem crazy and hectic and all important now, but in the long wrong you are in an excellent position - its always better to have too many choices than too few. Relax, enjoy this time in your life.

Margaret of MargaretAndJeff said...

Uhh...long run, not long wrong.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...interesting as we recently did the same move. I have to 100% disagree with you though, I like Chicago way more than I liked Minneapolis. There is so much more to do in Chicago than in Minneapolis, and while I do miss NE from time to time...the neighborhoods of Chicago are so much more alive. It comes down to chosing between big city feel or small town feel. Neither one is right or wrong.

PS. Gopher hockey team lost tonight, not viewing tomorrow.

Gilby said...

If you get offered the job, TAKE IT! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. Even if you end up moving back to Minneapolis, there's no reason to miss out on the opportunity for now. I've found that being happy in my job makes it easier to be happy in other aspects of life. At the very least, you'd get working experience in your field, experience which would make you more marketable when looking for a similar position in Minneapolis. And finding that balance may help you to better appreciate more about Chicago, too.