There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
— Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
14,143 notes | Reblogged: (via
Client: You’re not married?
Client: Why not?
Me: I’m separated, actually.
Client: Oh, I’m sorry.
Me: Thank you. It’s okay.
Client: I want to learn to be like you. To not let things get to me.
Another client, later on, apropos of nothing: How’s married life treating you?
Today my life feels like a bleak hopeless mess whose pieces are never going to fit back together again in any way that makes any sense.
Oh my god, my social life.
It has died. If you would like a visual depiction of my social life it would be this:
This is pretty much entirely my own fault. I stopped making plans with people months ago because I have been so behind on work stuff. This plan has backfired, though, because I’ve spent a lot of time sitting around feeling resentful about having work while not at the office, which has led to a cycle of avoidance/procrastination, which has led to my being further behind and continuing not to make plans to do anything fun with anyone.
I have hung out with chorus people the past two weekends, which has been fun, but I haven’t seen anyone else in months. I miss having a life. I really need to get my shit together.
(Also? Honestly? It kind of bothers me that no one’s really been trying to get in touch with me, either. The fact that I’ve essentially dropped off the face of the Earth and no one has noticed? That’s kind of depressing. But I’m going to skip dwelling on that and just start reaching out to people.)
Further Thoughts on Work Stuff
I have two people at work whom I consider to be both mentors and dear friends. Both have been in the field, and at this particular agency, for a long time. One’s a woman and one’s a man.
Female Mentor is the one who convinced me that I should use this other job offer to advocate for more money from my current employer. She’s the one who suggested my “thrilled with” number, even though I thought there was no way they’d even consider it. She also hinted to me that she knew some of my other coworkers who had roughly the same amount experience but were hired after I was make more than I do. She suggested that I ask one coworker about this directly, and since I have a good relationship with that coworker, I did. She had no problem telling me her annual salary and yes, it was more than I was making. That helped me to feel better about requesting more money.
I also talked to Male Mentor about all of this stuff. “I can’t believe you talked to other people about how much you make!” he said. He thought it was completely bizarre that I would ask someone this information and that they would tell me. When I told him how much of an increase I was going to ask for and asked if he thought it was appropriate — he would know, as he’s been in management for a long time — he was non-committal but said I probably wouldn’t get more than a 5% increase.
Well GUESS WHAT. My “very happy with” number, which I’m definitely getting, is a 12.5% increase. My “thrilled with” number, which I may be getting if it’s approved by the top management, is a 18.75% increase.
This may simply be a personality difference between my two mentors, but I can’t help thinking that it’s a gender thing. Female Mentor knows what it’s like to fight tooth and nail for money, promotions, and benefits. She has been very candid with me about all the details of her career, including her current salary. I never would have had the guts to ask for what I did yesterday without her encouragement. When I shared my good news with Male Mentor yesterday he said, “You have always been worth every penny,” but at no point in this process did he really encourage me to advocate for myself, not the way Female Mentor did.
It just goes to show the importance of professional women mentoring and supporting one another. I am overwhelmed with gratitude toward Female Mentor, not just for helping me with this, but for being incredibly supportive of me through numerous professional (and personal) struggles. It’s a powerful thing to have someone like that in your life. I look forward to one day being that person for an up-and-coming social worker.
As you may have picked up on if you’ve been reading me for a while, I’ve been having a pretty shitty six months or so, between my impending divorce and a variety of issues at work. So I am pleased to announce that I finally have some really seriously good news!
I applied for another job. I got an offer. I told my supervisor today and she lost her shit. I told her that if I was going to stay I wanted a promotion and a ridiculous increase in pay that even I thought was completely unrealistic. I told her I had two numbers in mind, one that I would be thrilled with and one that I’d be very happy with. Within an hour the VP of our division had told me I’d get the promotion, definitely the “very happy with” number, and, hopefully, pending approval from whomever, the “thrilled with” number.
This feels good for so many reasons! My finances have been a constant stressor since IO and I split, so obviously it’s a big relief to have a little more breathing room as far as that’s concerned. It also feels wonderful to know that my employer is finally recognizing how hard I work and how invested I am in the work I do. And I’ll finally be making enough to start to justify my master’s degrees; I can say pretty confidently now that I would not be making this much if I hadn’t gone to grad school.
Even though my job is often super stressful and I often feel overworked, my biggest issue with it was feeling underpaid. I am now feeling pretty fabulous about my career. I truly love being a therapist. Even after almost two years in this high-stress job I still find myself walking down the hall at work thinking “I am so goddamned lucky. I can’t believe I actually get to do this.” For the first time in my life I’m doing work I really love, and soon I’ll be making a decent living with it, too. Lucky me.