Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 317 of 365


Merriam-Webster defines compartmentalize as to separate into isolated compartments or categories. Example: He compartmentalizes his life by keeping his job and his personal life separate.

Yeah, sure.

When I took this job, I thought I could compartmentalize things. When I was at work I'd think about work. When I was home I'd think about home. It hasn't happened yet.

When I'm at work, I think about work. But when I'm at home, I think about work. It's not like I'm not trying to keep my mind off of work - it's that it just isn't happening. A work-issued Blackberry doesn't help things, either. Seeing that phone with unread e-mails - e-mails addressed to me, e-mails that expect answers - makes me want to read them so I can get caught up. If I don't spend my days off reading and responding (and taking the time to find the information requested in the e-mails), when I get back to work I do nothing but catch up on e-mails. And I don't have that time in my work days for that - I have work to do.

Here's the lesson I'm learning about working part-time. ( I suspect part-time hourly wage folks don't have this issue, but I don't know for sure.) Here's what I do know - when someone is a salaried, yet part-time employee, it becomes difficult to determine what kinds of extras that salaried person is required to do on their days off. As a full-time salaried employee, it's a given that after-work hours can/should be spent on work-related activities. As a part-time salaried employee, it's also a given that after-work hours can/should be spent on work-related activities. But how many hours are enough? And how many are too much?

How many hours are too much? It's too much when I'm spending 2-3 hours on every single day I have off working on "work" things. I went into today thinking I wouldn't again get bogged down in work on a day off, but for the umpteenth time it did. Work came first, home came last. The time I had planned to work on the Disaster Auction quilt didn't happen. Sewing a grocery sack holder for my daughter didn't happen. Making a new coupon envelope for myself didn't happen. Work happened. And I've had enough.

I did squeeze out a few minutes to plant my amaryllis from yesterday's Target trip. Looks like it had been doing some growing while on the store's shelf.