Monday, October 19, 2015

To work or not to work

When I started my job, I was given the the following list of job requirements:

1.) File resources and references.
2.) Search relevant databases and journals and save required information.
3.) Summarize relevant information.
4.) Learn how to use Endnote software.
5.) Edit papers for grammer and spelling.
6.) Courdinate and document meetings.
7.) Courdinate team information between team members.
8.) Conduct administrative follow-up with team members.
9.) Assist with interviews (i.e, recording, preparing materials)
10.) Assist with presentations (i.e. preparing materials)
11.) Anything else as required by {my boss}

Pretty simple work for the salary I was to get actually. I considered it, like secretarial work. Not something I'd ever done before, really, but I was sure I could manage all that.

What I actually do:

1.) File resources and references (I am convinced anyone who can read can do this)
2.) Search relevant databases and journals and save required information (I think I do ALL the reading until critics actually rip apart my usually weak methodologies---reading of searches, reading of references, reading of my own writing...reading of critics comments, reading of my own revisions...)
3.) Summarize relevant information (again, anyone can be taught to do this if they can read and think thoughts)
4.) Write academic papers and books (it means I design the methodology, do the analysis, all----which I am vastly underqualified to do by the way. I have to learn everything as I go and re-do, re-do, constantly)---this is the biggie for me I guess. No one else it seems in my line of work and pay-grade does ALL the writing. Unless they are literally transcribing some PHD's thoughts... which I don't do often unfortunately.
5.) Edit papers for grammer and spelling (usually nothing to do with our job actually, favours to other people we work with)
6.) Courdinate and document projects (not just meetings)
7.) In charge of all training of writing and referencing (and how to communicate with our boss) for new staff, all administrative stuff like getting people paid when stuff screws up and going to the ROP station with them when the PRO can't manage to get a visa and residency card issued in a day), plus keeping up with other people who are supposed to, like, edit my methodology when I say I don't know what I am doing, but like, instead give me a book to read on qualitative analysis. I am known as the girl who gets things done.
8.) Do most interviews (recording, questioning, transcribing, getting translations)
9.) Doing presentations myself and making presentations for others who haven't read the work I have done yet that their name will be published on.
10.) Data collection and data analyis design with no guidance from anyone. My boss tries and his initial training was great, but what I am doing is beyond my education. I need a master degree for this and I don't have a spare set of years to learn what I have to learn in a month or two. Giving someone a hundred books on something, isn't the same as someone working and trained in their feild of interest. Really.
11.) Making stuff up as I go along and guessing what people will need from me next but only ask at the last minute.
Compared to other people's work, I guess, I get a pretty flexible shift. I mean, I can work from home when I don't do data collection or need decent internet on my writing. I can take sick days, kid days... but I don't, like, get maternity leave apparently, or vacations, at all. Sometimes my boss is nice and says I can take a vacation. Other times, he's like there's a lot of work, and I am like, I am going to have a baby in two weeks I can't walk that much to do interviews and data collection for 9 hour days.

I can probably train someone to replace me, but I don't think, for example, my boss could, because a lot of what I learned, I learned on my own.

And I know Omanis who could do my job, only no one ever hires Omanis, because apparently they make a lot of requests for time off, and require flexibility, and can't just be fired if they don't work out, but since my job has that, for a hard worker lacking the right education but smart and willing to learn? It'd be fine for a girl or lad like that, especially Omanis. But I guess, like myself, Omanis can probably get some easier work or a better salary, with the same qualities and abilities.

Which I suppose, is why my boss recently told a better paying job that I am a "home person" that can't handle a 9-5 work shift... and yet apparently recommended the new girl from my work that he doesn't seem pleased with for the job... I dunno. Compliment? Probably. But it made me really, really mad.

I can be a 9-5 person if they pay me well enough that I can drive to work by myself (now I have a driver or go with friends or my husband ect whenever he can take me) and hire someone to watch my children that I can rely on. When you pay as little as I do for childcare... well what you get is what you get. And if I am paid well enough, get vacations for real not just when there is no work or I am dying of an illness, well, then, I will make sure I show up for work or else work the whole weekend. I used to do that... but I am thinking, why am I doing more work than any other boss of the same job would ask me to do? I am not, like, the typical Omani girl, whose family or husband provide her income for kids, food, housing, clothes, ect... all that is on my shoulders. Transportation costs and quality childcare, I simply can't afford to fit in on the current salary equation I've got going on.

My husband wants me to open my own business or ask my boss to open a business and let me be the consultant on it for a lot more salary.

I just think I want to work for someone else, same salary, less work, on something I like, or get paid more salary and work more on time (I already work hard) on work that is always to the level of my stated education, not the level of my capabilities (I already know I could, like, be a PHD, if I had that kind of work ethic and ambition and time and money---and I don't, and I don't have to prove that to anyone else).

My boss is asking me my future plans. My husband is asking me my future plans. My Islamic loan mortgage is telling me I have to keep certain plans, like a job with a definate income... Other people's bosses are asking my boss if I have other plans... what to do?

I don't know if the new law about expats two-year-ban on moving affects me. I assume it doesn't. I've never found laws in Oman to be definate when I go to do anything to do with my visa or residency card or employment. But I shall see I guess.

I am soooo sick, took like a week off work while facing down a dreaded deadline, and if I am fine enough to be blogging this, I should be fine enough to work I guess, so unto coffee, anti-biotics, and then that.
This is exactly how I feel at my work when I finally finish something or get past a deadline...I don't know if it is me... If I don't work unless under pressure or what it is... but it is always disaster surviving to get the job done it seems.
BTW, example of a typical odd day at work for me. Witness three deaths and a bit of blood and bone and not faint (good for me!). Be exposed to a anti-biotic resistant infection. Get blood work back. Totally fine, allowed to go home, but super late. See kids, clean house. Spend time with husband. Do dishes and cook dinner and do dishes again. Do laundry, make coffee. Type up the days findings. Do data analysis. Try to make a method for something no one had made a method for before. Succeed. Try to write down how it was done. Sleep three hours. Have breakfast at work. Explain what was done the day before to a collegue and try to repeat success. Write down if success was repeatable. Explain to boss why I really didn't want to do another day of data collection after the last horrible day. Yeah....

I do feel my work's topic is super useful for Oman (otherwise I'd die of boredom because it isn't what I ever wanted to study) so like, when I am confronted with the possibility of doing another long project on like, transportation, or something less interesting, economics, of the same that I did for [insert subject]... I am like, ugh.... I am sure it useful too, but I don't know if I could swallow it...

Time to end this post. Raheel probably knows what I am going on about;). Coffee time. Medicine time. Choices time, comes after this last deadline. Until then...

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