The interview I referenced on 5/15 went well. The interview went so well I was offered the position a few days later. I was told I was their first choice and that HR would be in touch very soon. It went so well that I was invited to the “other district’s” end-of-year culminating activity and was introduced to some of the teachers. I felt I had slipped into a place where I was wanted and appreciated and despite some major obstacles I knew I would be able to make a difference where so much assistance is needed.

My references expressed excitement for me and questioned when I would resign so we could search for a replacement. I considered the same questions because my first obstacle seemed to be getting a contract. I set a late deadline and the person who offered the job said, “No problem! This is just a hiccup, everything takes a while. It can easily be taken care of before then.” I continued end-of-year preparations for my classes. I met with a few friends and family. I turned up the volume on my cellphone and noticed that we had a new mail carrier delivering the mail each day for a week. One weekend I ate lunch at a small restaurant and found a mass-produced, could-apply-to-anyone, yet important, reminder as I opened a fortune cookie:

Your principles mean more to you than any money or success.

I waited. Days passed slowly with no contract or new information. On the day of my previously set deadline, I declined the job offer. I was told, “But we need you! What are we going to do without you?” which was nice to hear but bizarre as the only welcoming gesture after a job offer. I was disappointed (aka, opportunities were lost & an ego was bruised) but I immediately saw some major benefits of my current work that I had overlooked because it had become mundane and repetitive.

  • The same day I declined the job offer I had to go to our HR offices to deliver some art work and everyone I passed greeted me and asked if I needed help. By the time we found the correct drop-off location I had a group of people following me from floor to floor to make sure the person they passed me on to was able to help. I finally made it to the 5th floor with four strangers in tow.
  • The very next day I was surprised by breakfast and a note from a co-worker stating he was glad that I have decided to stay.
  • A student called me “Mom” and instead of getting embarrassed or denying it the 14-year old student shrugged his shoulders and said, “It’s OK, It’s sort of like my home here.
  • That afternoon I attended a retirement party for a colleague where almost everyone in the large, packed room spoke of “our family” at work and how we gather together to share the good and bad times.

My goal for the immediate future is to be more efficient and create a more balanced life.
I hope to spend less time focused on my job and make time for more meaningful ‘work’ outside of work.