Monday, March 18, 2013

A Royal Introduction: Ascension


Rebellion is a natural part of growing up and becoming an adult, but I dare say few children do so by becoming civil servants. And that is precisely what I did. I couldn't have made a more radical departure from self-employment than I did when I became an employee of the US Federal Government.

For close to five years I kept as far away from the family business as possible. Sure I would get the weekly call for some sort of tech support or I would occasionally stand in as a cashier when someone was sick; but mostly, I stayed away. Then, about a year ago, the business began to change; it began to grow and shift into other markets. The store began shipping larger volumes of product across the country.

About the same time as the business began to expand, my feet started getting itchy. I, too, was ready for a change. I was getting claustrophobic in my little cube. The weekends flew by and the weekdays dragged on. I felt like I was wishing my life away and for what? A paycheck?  A career? Thirty years doing the same thing, working with same people, and watching the world go by? Don't get me wrong, I like my job and I like the people with whom I work, but it scares me.

So, I sat on the sidelines and watched quietly as the family business expanded. I weighed my options and considered many very different opportunities ranging from becoming a sail bum living on my boat to taking a transfer to Singapore. For months I piled up the possibilities and played with the pros and cons, but then a few weeks ago it all came rushing up when a perfect storm of events forced me into making a decision.

1. I am facing furlough. In all likelihood, come the end of April, I will be losing one day of pay a week. Politicians are saying that the Sequester isn't really all that bad. If you believe that, go find a civil servant and ask them. I will be losing 25% of my paycheck, don't tell me that doesn't hurt. And that is just the impact on me personally, how it's going to impact my ability to do my job is still unknown.

2. All hiring has been frozen, so that transfer I mentioned was put on hold.

3. My husband decided he wanted to stay here and take over my dad's mooring business.

4. My mother was going to hire someone to help grow and build the already expanding lobster shipping business.

Over the course of three days I made the decision to quit my job and join Team Gurnet Trading once again. Why would I want to pour my heart, soul and the best years of my life into an organization that can arbitrarily slash my pay? It's not my fault that Congress can't play nice. It's not my fault that America think's I'm lazy and not worth my paycheck. For the last 4.5 years I have done my job and done it well, and what thanks do I get? Significant lost wages? Called bloated and wasteful? If the Government took that much money away from any other group of people, there would be an uproar, a rebellion. Instead the politicians in Congress were cheering when Sequestration was allowed to proceed.

I think not! I have done nothing wrong, yet I am the one being punished. If I lose pay it had damn well be because I have done a shitty job. And that, my friends, is why I am joining Team Gurnet. There my success or failure will be determined by my own strengths or inadequacies, not by the whims of some Talking Head.

This is the decision that brought me back to the sea, pushed me to answer her call and take my place as the rightful heir as the Fish Princess. So welcome aboard! We shall see where the wind takes us!