2.07.2006

Recycling

Last week I stayed late at my office one evening, I was cleaning it out, preparing to move to a new building to start my new job. I’m excited about my new job and initiated the job change myself. It’s just that I love my old job too.

I’ve been working in that building for years, and in the same general job for years. It’s a demanding and exciting job. I was responsible for several critical business systems that run the supply chain (shipping orders and getting them to the customers) for a large company. My job distilled to four words was “keep the systems up.” I’ve worked on just about every single project involving the systems I was responsible for. I had a great team of people working for me, a dynamic job with a lot of responsibility. There was a down side though, I wasn’t learning anymore and I was there too long. The time was right to move on.

So I began cleaning out my office. I started at 2:00 PM and didn’t finish until 8:30 PM. Since I rarely throw things out, I had hundreds of folders containing the details of various projects. Then I started unceremoniously dumping them into a recycle bin. Years of work and accomplishments passed through my hands as I carefully separated the transparencies, white paper and colored paper into different piles. I started asking myself questions.

What did all my accomplishments and completed projects amount to? What testament is there to them? So many of my former colleagues no longer work there, victims of outsourcing, so they won’t remember. My internal customers, whom I referred to as my users (they use the systems I supported), have all cycled through their jobs. I’ve had a few different bosses too. So really, no one but me understands the contributions I’ve made.

So I sorted and disposed of the evidence of years of accomplishments. I filled several recycle bins till they were overflowing. It seems that my accomplishments were now getting recycled. I cried on my way home from work.

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19 Comments:

Blogger kdubs said...

Hugs to you! :)

Moving forward and into something new is always exciting but it's hard when it's not a bitter or fed up move. I've been there.

As far as outsourcing...this is why hubby is getting laid off and job searching :(.... so sad.

2/7/06, 10:16 PM  
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Blogger Carol said...

What you accomplished can not be put in a recycling bin.

2/8/06, 12:15 AM  
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Blogger Lazy Daisy said...

Change is always hard. You my friend are way too hard on yourself. By just keeping the system up, consumers got products that may have been life saving or had impact that you will never know about.

Excellence is it's own reward and yor are absolutely brilliant at that!

2/8/06, 1:03 AM  
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Blogger Raehan said...

I know that feeling very well, Barbara. After I had Hannah, I decided not to go back to the part-time job that I had put my sweat and tears into. I knew, as much as everyone liked me, no one really understood the work and sacrifices I had put into the job.

In the end, it really does have to be about what WE get out of it. I get a lot out of knowing what my contribution was.

2/8/06, 1:59 AM  
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Blogger chichimama said...

Hugs. Change is hard. Just think of all the appreciation you'll get at your new job though!

2/8/06, 6:19 AM  
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Blogger Uisce said...

Accomplishments are always kept in here ::pointing:: and while there are things that we throw away, there are some things that last forever.

2/8/06, 9:48 AM  
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Blogger Killired said...

good luck in your new job! don't feel bad and dwell on your recycled accomplishments... think of it as a stepping stone to something bigger and better!!!! when do you start the new job?

2/8/06, 10:26 AM  
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Blogger Mama B said...

Change is hard especially since you've been there for so long, but you're moving on to bigger and better things!!!

2/8/06, 10:57 AM  
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Blogger David said...

hi barbara,
that is sad, and yet the change sounds good. Our focus always needs to be forward with only ocassional glances behind to see where we have been.
I wish you all the best.
That is the reason I build, you get to see progress each day , and it stands testament for decades that "david was here"

2/8/06, 11:37 AM  
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Blogger Suldog said...

Hang in, kid. Life's real accomplishments live in the hearts and minds of your friends and loved ones. You can't always see them, but they're there.

2/8/06, 1:14 PM  
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Blogger J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I never like changes --

2/8/06, 2:31 PM  
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Blogger Marie said...

I've been there...

You take all that knowledge with you in your brain... no one can take that away from you!

Good luck with your new job!!

2/8/06, 2:50 PM  
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Blogger Trinity13 said...

I agree, change is hard, but it's for the better! You'll see!

2/8/06, 4:09 PM  
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Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

Change is good. Change is different than the normal rut you are used to running in... This rut will become familiar and comfortable after a time, too. Enjoy the change - embrace the challenge. We are all here rooting for you!
LadyBug

2/8/06, 4:56 PM  
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Blogger ann said...

Sadly most things in life are disposable, but you can't take away the memories.

Loadsa luck in your new job

lotsa luv ann xxxxxx

2/8/06, 5:39 PM  
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Blogger Barbara said...

Kdubs - I think there should be some limits on outsourcing.

2/8/06, 8:14 PM  
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Blogger Barbara said...

Carol - You're right, but it seems to be the only concrete evidence I had.

Lazy Daisy - Thanks, I hope I helped the company.

Raehan - Yes, I will try to think of it in this way. I think the company got more than I did however.

Chichimama - Thanks, I think they already appreciate me.

Uisce - Thanks, I have the knowledge that I did a good job.

Killired - Yes, this job has more visibility. I started last week.

Mama B. - Yes, I'll be happy in my new job too.

David - I like concrete things too. My last job was a thankless one. When you work in support you get the most notice when things go wrong. when things go right people think it must be easy. That's not a complaint, just a condition of the job.

Suldog - You're right. I don't want "Good corporate worker" on my tombstone, I want "Loving wife and mother".

Marie - Thanks. I think you work in the same type of environment.

Trinity13 - Yes, I'm convinced I made the right move.

Ladybug - It's so nice to know that people care.

Ann - Yes, I do have some great memories, the teamwork needed to support complex systems builds great relationships.

2/8/06, 8:31 PM  
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Blogger DwayneinBonanza said...

Good luck on your new job and God bless.

2/8/06, 10:13 PM  
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Blogger Barbara said...

Dwayne - Thanks, I appreciate your good wishes!

2/8/06, 10:31 PM  
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