Playing the career wild card

“He is a person. He gets to make his own damned choices. I am going through the worst caffeine withdrawal of my life because somebody thinks that being pregnant means I’m no longer of sound freakin’ mind!” – Callie Torres, Grey’s Anatomy

With more than a week past since I quit my job, I’ve had people emailing me or stopping by my desk when they’re in my office to ask if it was true that I quit my job (I finally figured out the way to stave off this inane question and subtly admonish them for butting into business that isn’t theirs is to sneer back: “If you have to ask, you already know.”). After a moment of abashed silence this response generates, they ask which company I’m moving to, another indication that they’re still determined to keep their derrieres in business that isn’t theirs. And I say, “Not a bank,” which is completely vague, yet totally accurate.

However, when I did tell one person whom I thought would take the revelation in stride, or at least with a smile and encouraging word to help reduce my perpetual worry that I’m doing the wrong thing, the response was “Are you sure you want to do that? You don’t have the social skills for it,” and a raised eyebrow (or two).

As offended as I was by that statement, which was said in the matter-of-fact way that indicates the person knows it’s true, I realized it wasn’t the first time I had heard it. For as long as I’ve been on this job, people — both old friends and new acquaintances — have told me that I’m in the wrong profession, because I lack, in no particular order:

  1. the patience for office politics;
  2. the ability to put on a poker face or a genuine-looking smile;
  3. the ability (or willingness) to filter my words, instead of letting everything in my head come out of my mouth without thinking of the consequences
  4. the desire for any human interaction when I’m at work;
  5. the sympathy for anything but furry animals and infants; and
  6. the gene that all girls but me have that makes them fawn over occasions like weddings, which I think are stupid, unnecessary and a waste of money, and keep swearing never to attend again for as long as I still draw breath. *

In other words, I have appalling to zero social skills. **

So when I tell people I’m going to another company to do almost the same thing that I’m doing now, I imagine they’re trying really hard not to say aloud that essentially, I’m just going somewhere else to torture other people.

The truth is, I don’t know what I really want to do. A month ago, I had plans for something that was going to remove me completely from this world I’ve been in for nearly three years (by ‘world’, I mean ‘environment’, and not, unfortunately, ‘this country’). But, due to my utter conviction that it will fail, I’ve been making excuses to put off getting started on it.

So am I sure I want to do this? I think so. Do I have the social skills for it? Most likely not. I really don’t know what I want to do. I just know that I really don’t want what I have right now. So maybe when people ask me what I’ll be doing once I leave this place, I should just say, “I’m going somewhere else to torture other people.”

* Excluding Afham’s sister’s mosque wedding, only because I was asked to be a dulang girl and I will admit I actually do want to experience it

** Here I have to restrain myself from adding that I fear I have Asperger Syndrome, because I’m still afraid of getting myself diagnosed, even though it’s something that has been suggested to me by more than one person

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