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Thursday, February 28, 2008


I quit my job! Well, kinda...

A little background, I had a dream job - I was a National Park Ranger in charge of running the park Junior Ranger Program. I could hardly make-up a better job theoretically. The job duties were awesome: I got paid to hang out with kids, paddle my canoe up and down the river, and explore rock outcrops looking for fossils and caves. But unfortunately the psychosis of federal employment got to me after three and a half years.

In federal-land all paths lead to "NO," it takes tremendous effort to overcome the objections and apathetic reactions to even the most obviously beneficial programs or changes. And the aftermath of success is a reputation as someone who makes everyone else looks bad, or someone who doesn't believe the rules apply to them, or someone who is insubordinate, or someone who is a loose cannon. If you ever here someone described in these terms from a federal reference hire them immediately!! They will be someone who gets things done!

My mantra through the years was to "find the healthy." I had to work to keep grasp of my "normal" perspective to identify and accomplish common sense goals. But during the past few months I haven't been able to find any "healthy" and that was my signal that I needed to get out. So I wrote up and signed a resignation letter and just before I turned it in the superintendent of the park offered me a completely different opportunity.

He offered me a position he was sure I would want based on previous discussions: a part-time position working directly for him on a once-in-a-lifetime special project opportunity. At my request, I'll be working only Mondays and Tuesdays for 10 hours each day. That frees-up the rest of the week to research creating and opening an art gallery in Minneapolis - something my husband and I haven wanted to do for a long time. More about that in future posts!

Morale of the story: You are in charge of your happiness and hard work will be rewarded. I decided I couldn't stay in my current position and I had impressed the superintendent with my ability to get things done and he didn't want to lose me. So we created a position that would make me happy again and benefit the park.