31 July 2010

Work Ethic

[Before I begin, I feel obliged to note that I've just published a few posts that were sitting, unpublished but 99% finished, in my Blogspot queue. These are all post-dated, so I'm going to link them here in case anyone feels the need to have read each and every one of my beautiful pieces of prose:

- On Bullying
And now, back to our regularly scheduled post.]

Work has been insanely busy as of late. I'm currently working as an office manager in an apartment complex near NC State, which means that the summer is on the whole the busiest time of year: students move out, students look for new housing, students move in. Unfortunately for us, each week has been busier than the one proceeding it, and will continue to do so until school starts on 18 August. That disclaimer being noted, things definitely hit a new high yesterday. Over 60 apartments were scheduled to be moved into either the 30th (Friday), the 31st (Saturday), or the 1st of August (Sunday); as the office is not open on weekends, I and my two fellows had to get leases signed, keys cut and allotted, and parking passes assigned to all of those people. Though we did manage to survive, we're not out of the clear yet: an insane number of people will be moving out over the weekend, as it is the 31st, so we can count on having a lot of paperwork to process on Monday as well.

All of this stress and hard work has been altering my personal life, as my post-work life seems to have been taken over by the strains. A lot of this is because I am, on the whole, of worrying stock - it's hard for me to let go of the things I have to do just because the office door is locked behind me. Another aspect of it is that I fall on the introverted side of the personality scale: I need time alone to recharge and, with a strong and consistent strain, the time necessary to reset my personality grows exponentially. Add to that a heavy dose of personal pride in the work I produce, and thereby a need for it to be right, and you have a pretty strong concoction of Leslie-Going-Crazy.

That being said, Stephen pointed out something that I find intriguing, even though I don't necessarily agree with it. An employer, he said, would naturally value any employee who put a lot of personal pride and effort in to their work, as it would ensure not only quality work but an employee who would diligently work long hours providing it was for the good of the work produced. However, when it comes to the employee, it is not necessarily a good trait: for me, someone who does not plan to make a career of this job/in this field, it seems that I'm putting myself through an unhealthy amount of strain and punishment for the same rewards I would receive were I not so stressed and caught up in my work.

While I understand the point he makes, it still seems to me that I am reaping benefits above and beyond what I would were I not so concerned. Practice makes perfect: will I be able to put in effort when it was important if I did not practice such behavior now? There's also the matter of references: what if a glowing recommendation from my current employer gets me that career-worthy job? Nevertheless, I don't like that I have been for several weeks now too stressed to socialize well. The past three or four days were particularly bad; I created a deeply rutted path from work to my apartment because I declined invitations to deviate from that route - I went to work, came home, spent a few hours gathering myself before passing out at 10:30, and then went to work again the next day and repeated the cycle once more. Though I can tell myself that this is just a bad stretch, that after school starts it won't be like this in the office again until next summer, I cannot fully disregard the point that Stephen makes.

So, dear readers, what are your thoughts? Where should one's priorities lie?

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