The anticipation is now over. My boss finally told me.
I’m going to support a task force that will study and recommend a statewide home energy conservation plan.
It’s not a new job, and there’s no pay raise involved. So I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. It’s my own fault for getting my hopes up so high. (That’s my “Runawayimagination” at work - lol) However, on the other hand, and most importantly, I will have a chance to do something that could actually benefit the people of my state.
I spent an afternoon researching on the Web and discovered that there are many government and private resources devoted to helping people weatherize their homes and pay for heating bills. I’m not sure exactly what more this task force can do, except perhaps to ramp up some of these programs a bit more. Maybe I’ll devise some innovative approaches.
Time will tell.
Earlier in my career such an opportunity might have meant a chance to position myself for a promotion. Maybe I would receive a bonus or merit raise if I did especially well at such an assignment. But now I work for the state, and state employees (at least the ones in my agency) never receive a bonus, and the only raise I’ll ever get will be the same annual “cost-of-living” raise that every state employee gets. And with only six years left to work, I doubt that any prospect for a promotion is realistic.
Does this sound like sour grapes? Maybe it is, but maybe it’s also just realism setting in.
I have found that true satisfaction in life cannot be obtained from material success. Every raise I’ve ever received has been spent on the necessities of life. I’m justifiably proud of what I have accomplished during my working life, but I’m much more proud of having raised a son and a daughter to adulthood. The pay I’ve earned has served as a means to that end.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I am justifiably proud of my professional accomplishments. In 1980 I wrote the first-ever book explaining how to forecast demand for local telephone service, and in 1991 I edited Bell Atlantic’s first Strategic Technology Plan. And there are many more. At the same time, I have maintained a parallel career in the arts, playing keyboards professionally, which I do to this day.
Life just looks different from the perspective of 60 years.