if you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go

Yesterday was my first day in the new position at work. It had seemed like a very long two weeks to wait to change jobs, but then the weekend went by abnormally quickly and it was Monday all too soon. I didn't feel ready. In fact, I felt a little hazy and slightly shaky on my feet. As the day went on, there was an increasing sense that I wasn't quite myself. In the few moments that I had to myself, I realized that I'd felt that way for a couple of days, really--since Saturday morning, when I'd awoken feeling throat-scratchy and eye-itchy and maybe more tired than when I went to bed. Sunday was even worse, in that I went to bed earlier and got up later and took a nap during the day but still felt weary and odd. I should have realized it before the truth became clear, around 3:30 Monday afternoon: I was under the weather. I told my new boss about it, and explained that if I didn't feel significantly better today, that I would not be in. She looked at me closely and agreed.

I guess I don't hide it well. And so, a sick day, on what should have been my second day. Ah, well.

The first day of training was a blur, and not only because of the incipient illness. The job is made up of three basic parts: reports, document review, and legals. The reports are confined mostly to the first week of the month, though there are some that are done weekly and some that are done daily. The basic job with reports is to take data from a source (sometimes just listed in an email message, sometimes an attachment, sometimes other Excel files, and sometimes separate software) and compile and manipulate it in Excel for other use. There are varying degrees of complexity involved with the various types of reports that are created and maintained. They are used by others within the organization, including top management and the board.

Document review is where the three staff members at my level provide the final means of verification for accuracy and legal correctness for various types of documents created and maintained within the organization, many of which are regulated by the state and federal governments through certain regulatory agencies. It is simultaneously brainlessly dull and incredibly important, as the documents themselves are vital to those involved and audited for accuracy (yes, well past our level) perhaps 25-50% of the time. It is hard to maintain focus but absolutely necessary not to miss anything--and, at the same time, very difficult to train someone else to easily identify the little points of fact or law that must be identified, hour after hour, day after day.

Legals are complex, right off the bat, and daunting. And expensive. And hard to explain, even in brief. It may not be so intimidating later, but for now it has me quite terrified.

There are other aspects to the job that are fit in and around these big three. The three of us at my level are assigned tasks in a weekly, rotating basis, though it's not quite as simple as "reports, then doc review, then legals," particularly while I'm training. There's a lot to learn.

My boss will also be leaving, as she's put in her notice (an extraordinarily long notice, really), so there will be some change connected to that transition, too. Her successor has been chosen. Actually, our group will be folded alongside another existing group in the same area, so it's really just that our future supervisor will be taking on three other people and a vast amount of responsibility when my current boss leaves.

I obviously don't have a handle yet on what the job will be like, day to day. I can tell that it's not my ideal position (way, way too much math, and just a Hell of a lot of pressure, and honestly just too much client contact for me to feel like I'm in my element) but it'll work for now. It may turn out to be great for the time being. I'm not actively searching for something else. That being said...I'm not going to turn away the right thing, if it shows up before my eyes.

That's either cowardly, practical, or wishful.

[the title quotation is from Lao Tzu, from Tao Te Ching]

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