Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All new, all over again

What Happened to the Professor Archivist?

It was six weeks ago that I posted about leaving academia to go on a trip to Disneyworld.

Let's catch up a bit. If you'll remember, I returned from maternity leave to a less than ideal work environment. In the process of trying to work things out, the job only became increasingly worse. Things were horrible; I almost decided to give up on libraries and archives all together, but realized I needed to stay after much love from friends and family. I did all the things you're supposed to do: I read management self help books, I went through Comfortable U.'s H.R. office, we did "facilitation" (don't call it mediation!).

In the end, I just left. Several people (including a relation who works in HR for a big corporation) have told me I had a straight-up nearly textbook lawsuit against Comfortable U. for a hostile work environment. Maybe I'll regret not suing them in the future, but right now I could care less. The conflict pushed me to look for a better job, and I landed a sweet position in a corporate archive almost right away. I make more money now and I can ride the train to work again. I have a hard time justifying a lawsuit to myself when the worst thing that was hurt was maybe my pride - and even then, that wasn't really damaged, because no one really believed the old boss. Not even her own HR department thought she was in the right. But I couldn't stay because she was still my boss, and when someone really wants to make things difficult for you, it's awfully easy to do that when they're your boss. If I sued, it would only mean more work for other people at Comfortable U. And the truth is, I liked, and got along with very well, almost everyone there. Quitting was the best thing I could do - it hurt the old boss' reputation in a big way.

Plus, I don't have to work a night shift once a week now.

So, really, I've been having a great time lately. It does make me sad that I've given up on academia - I thought I wanted to be an academic for a decade, but once I finally got into a full time faculty position I realized there are few things I could want less. I was the last of my friends to realize this. Amy, Devon, Steve, Cindy, and a few others...they've all left academia too, for reasons that only seem different until you realize they all boil down to bad management.

The big corporation where I work now makes their employees attend extensive management training as one is promoted. There's no management training in academia at all. And we all know that what floats on the top isn't always cream. There's even talk here about the "work-life balance", and men are active in the discussion. Although I have to wear a suit each day, I like the corporate culture here. The rules are clear and the expectations set out cleanly on paper. I may have finally found the workplace where I fit.

Big hugs, blogland. This blog has been about my search for success - romantic success, family success, and professional success. Now that I might have all of those things to my satisfaction, I'm not sure if I'll keep writing or not. I guess we'll just have to see.