If there is one thing I have learned this past week, it is how quickly things can change.
I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, this past August to take a teaching job with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools system. While I learned more in the past six months about classroom management than I probably would have learned in five years of teaching at my last school, I was pretty miserable. The environment at the school was very negative – I constantly felt like I had someone looking over my schoulder, waiting for me to slip up. I’ve had my share of not-so-great jobs — I’ve babysat, worked in daycare, worked in food service, etc. and I’ve been bored or busy or worked to the bone at these places… However, I’ve never felt as unhappy as I did teaching at that school and working with those administrators. I seriously had anxiety about coming to school each day. It was pretty awful.
That said, I would never have left that school without securing another job. While my plans changed frequently over the last few months — I thought about looking for a job at another school, waiting the year out and going back to school, even working at the mall (anything to get out of that school!) — I started looking for “real jobs” in other cities after Christmas. I interviewed for a few and was offered a position leading an SPCA shelter in western New York.
I was delighted. Being in charge of a shelter? That was something I had always wanted to do — it was even on the Lifetime-To-Do List (aka my Bucket List) I started in college! So I gave my 30 days notice (that was an amazing day!) and I started to get ready to leave. There were drawbacks — it was a cut in pay in a small town, I’d have to leave my friends and the lovely city of Charlotte, and there were lease fees and all that I had to worry about, on top of the cost of a moving truck. But I hated my job, I barely got to enjoy Charlotte because I was working all the time or too exhausted from all the stress to want to do anything at the end of the day, and I seriously had this constant anxious feeling that I had done something wrong… when I wasn’t even at school! Ugh, it was awful.
So anyway, I packed up all my stuff last Saturday and drove up north on Sunday, arriving at my home in Erie, PA that night. The next day we packed up the few remaining things I was taking from my parents house and headed to New York. It was about a two hour drive to where I was going, and I was still feeling good about everything. I was looking forward to getting everything unpacked, setting up a craft room, and chilling with my new DirectTV that night!
While I hadn’t had the opportunity to look at the place I was moving into, the woman who hired me recommended this house (though afterward I found out she hadn’t actually seen it herself), owned by an active volunteer, head of the adoption committee, and former board member for the organization. The house had been described as “beautiful,” and she had sent me some pictures that showed an older home with some quaint charming cupboards and a neat little loft. I knew it wasn’t brand-spanking-new, and I didn’t expect it to be. However, I was prepared to get all crafty and make it a wonderful little cottage for me and my two poms.
It was flat out awful. The place smelled moldy, there were cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and walls, and the floors were covered in dust, dirt, dead flies and mice droppings. The windows had no screens, they were caked in gunk, and there were important things like a bathroom floor missing, tiles peeling up in the kitchen, broken appliances, garbage, and big gaps between the walls and the ends of the floorboards in which yucky stuff had piled up over time. It was gross.
I honestly did not know what to do. I just started to unload the boxes and sweep the floor. When the rest of my family arrived to help move, we decided I could not stay here. After speaking with the woman who owned the place, we decided to finish unloading my furniture, as I needed to return the truck, and there was no way I could find an apartment in a day. However, as we were about to leave, the woman called back to say I needed to have my stuff out by the end of the week, because she had someone else who might want to rent it. And let’s just say she wasn’t exactly nice, either.
I told my parents to turn around, let’s pack back up and go back to Erie.
And here I am now, at my parents house with all my boxes and furniture stuffed in the bedrooms and basement and garage. I decided not to take the job. With everything that has happened, it doesn’t seem exactly “meant to be,” and I just can’t shake the uneasy feeling I get when I think about it. In addition to having to rent another truck to move AGAIN, I’d also have to work with the not-so-nice slumlord volunteer who owned the house. I still feel guilty – for leaving the dogs, for leaving Kris (the very nice woman from the Board of Directors who hired me), and for leaving the shelter in general. I truly hope they find someone great for that job…
So while I feel guilty that I am not able to help the dogs at the shelter like I had planned, I am not willing to risk committing myself to another negative working environment. Until I can find something I feel good about, I’ll be staying with my parents (yay…) and substitute teaching at my old school here in Erie. While on one hand the situation isn’t the greatest, I AM glad I got out of that school in Charlotte, and I feel like I am in a much better position to be searching for new jobs. I have the luxury of time now — I’m not in a rush to get out of a bad job — and my financial commitments at this point are minimal, so I can save up some money as well. It’s still unfortunate all this happened, but I can only move forward.
|Well, I definitely left the shore…|
On a more positive note, all this time off also gives me a chance to dedicate myself to my Etsy shop and this blog! I’ve been pretty active on Twitter this past month, but since preparations for the move began, I’ve been slacking on the blogging. So what’s ahead?
I have a lot of ideas for posts I want to share with you, including:
- Yummy: Peanut Brittle Tutorial
- More Yummy: The Best Way to Cook Bacon (Civil War Reenactor Style)
- Featured Shops
- Tutorial: Downton Abbey Inspired “Sybil Necklace”
- Tutorial: Pretty’d Up and Personalized Clipboard