Very close to one year ago, I wrote about how near I had come to getting a promotion at work. In the time since that post, I’ve completed three additional videos, off the clock and on my own time. I’ve waited patiently for a year, and for a year I’ve been given only the vaguest of answers. I held on, though. After the past year of producing videos that are published to my company’s website and receiving thousands of hits, I felt like I had a pretty decent shot at receiving what my company calls “The Pinnacle Award”.
The award is kind of a big deal in that our parent company covers an all expenses paid trip to various exotic locales. This year, they were paying for the recipients (About 20-30 from our branch) to stay in a hotel in Disney World. In order to be considered for the award, you have to be nominated for it by others in your company. I figured after the video work I had done for some of the people at work, I could probably exchange a bit of their goodwill into a nomination. I contacted a few people and asked if they were happy with my work, would they please consider nominating me for the award?
My requests were all received positively, so while I knew better than to get my hopes up or really expect to receive the award, I felt I had a decent shot at it. Monday morning rolls around, I sit down at my desk, and this is what I see:
Not only did I not receive the award, I have to stare at those rodents all damn day. And listen, it’s not about Disney World; I’m a grown-ass man. It was about feeling appreciated. It was about feeling like maybe the hours I’ve spent not getting paid so I could contribute to my company might have meant something. I wasn’t disappointed that I wasn’t going. I was disappointed that I wasn’t recognized. It was a bitter pill to swallow, and it left an equally bitter taste in my mouth.
Prior to all of this happening, I agreed to do another video, but declared to myself that this would be the last video I did for them for free. Part of the reason I chose to do it, was that the woman that was heading up the video is a shaker-and-mover amongst our company. I thought if I could get close enough to her, perhaps I could finally get an answer to the question I’ve been asking over the past year: “Will I be able to do video full-time?”
Wednesday afternoon, I had my opportunity to ask. And the answer was as non-committal and evasive as it has ever been. In fact, it actually seemed to slant a little further toward the negative than most. So… I think… That’s it.
I’m finished. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. I feel like both of these events give voice to the fear that I’ve not wanted to say out loud: If I stay, I will be forever stuck in Customer Service. While this job has been steady and I have no complaints for having been there as long as I have… I just can’t see any reason to stay much longer.
The quest for alternatives, however, is a tricky one. Despite my efforts at work, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for other opportunities… And the results have been underwhelming to say the least. I’ve applied for several other jobs across Knoxville, and have been turned down by each of them. At this point, the only sane thing to do is begin wondering why.
Clearly, something isn’t right. I’m missing something, I lack something that employers are looking for. If I’m honest with myself, I think it might boil down to I’m just not good enough. Yet.
Lately I’ve been feeling the disparity between my vision, and my results. I can feel the presence of a prolific storyteller deep inside of me. He’s a mad genius; he knows exactly what to do at any given moment. Left to his own devices, he could weave a tale that would open hearts, eyes, and minds. But right now, he’s a prisoner in a cage made from my lack of knowledge and experience. He wants to be free. He wants to exist out here with the rest of you, but he can’t. No matter how good my ideas are, no matter how badly I want it to be perfect, I can’t force it. Not yet.
Leah and I have been talking about what’s in store for our future a lot this week. In 2011, when she wanted to quit her office job to follow her dreams and open a bakery, I had the easy task of maintaining the status-quo and be the pillar she needed me to be. Now that she’s found a steady job she really enjoys, it feels like change is in the wind. It seems it may soon be my turn to step out and change things.
We’re not sure exactly what that means yet. It might mean I go back to school. It might mean I try finding a group of people to make movies with. It might mean I desperately hunt for an internship somewhere. Whatever it means, it seems our adventure is just beginning.