I've been disappointed with the way my life has been going for a while now and I decided to write about it here because no one I know seems to want to hear it anymore. It's not the worst case scenario for sure so sometimes I feel like I don't even have the right to complain about it because I know that so many other people are in much more difficult situations than I am. I mean, I'm healthy and I make good money so what do I really have to complain about? The guilt of that makes me feel like such a whiney entitled person because I really don't have it all that bad.
I've been working in water/wastewater treatment for over a year now and it's something I got into because I thought it would be a stable career that I can eventually use my biology degree to advance in. I have done sales, retail and customer service and a bit of environmental consulting in the past and everything I was doing just seemed so meaningless to me. I had never grown up with an idea of what I would like for a career unlike my friends who had aspirations of being a doctor, teacher, etc. I just felt lost and like I couldn't commit myself to one thing like that. I went for a biology degree being a person who is interested in nature and environment and I guess I just never pictured how it could all come together in a career for me.
Today, I just feel so discouraged and hopeless. I know I'm not the only one who works here who feels like they're not able to make a difference or have a good feeling about coming to work or are able to advance in the company. This just isn't that much of a team atmosphere here and the bosses dont want anything changed at all. They've been doing it the same way for over 10 years and it seems like they don't want people learning more about their jobs than they need to because so many people have come and gone here that their attitude is "why would we put the effort into training you. You're just going to end up leaving soon anyway". It sort of makes it a self fulfilling prophecy I feel.
It doesn't help me that I'm a female in a predominantly male work force and that I'm the youngest person there by 20 years. I feel that I don't belong and this is alright because this place is really just a stepping stone for me anyway. I find it difficult though because my boss is very condescending towards me and will even make offhand comments that make me feel uncomfortable like talking about my body in an indirect way or talking to me about how all the young girls wear yoga pants these days while looking me up and down. He's very condescending towards me too and will refer to me as "her" right in my presence as if I don't warrant enough respect for him to speak directly to me. It's a small municipality too so I don't feel comfortable reporting this or even bringing it up to him because I don't even think he knows how to not be like that because he's so old that calling me "young lady" is just natural for him. I feel very disrespected and I don't enjoy his company at all. I cringe whenever we have to be in the room together. It's especially bad when he's in the company of other people and not so bad when we're alone together oddly enough.
The nature of this job makes me feel belittled and dirty and like I've failed in my life to end up doing this for a living. The job at this level is the most unglamorous thing I ever imagined myself doing. The other day for example, we had to transfer large chunks of frozen, dark brown sewage with bits of hair and garbage embedded in the ice up a hill from one tank to the next. That's just the way they wanted it done and actually the way they do things around here isn't right and is technically illegal due to contamination of the surrounding area when we were flipping the chunks of ice out of the clarifier. The reason we ever had to do that in the first place is because the process has been upset and this would have never happened if another piece of equipment wasn't down for the last 2 months. They don't even seem to care when there are vital pieces of equipment down or they don't seem too eager to fix things even when it makes our job that much harder.
Being new in the industry, I have little knowledge on what I can do to make things easier. I don't get the mentorship I expected from my superiors and they seem to not care if they develop other employees in order to have the place running more efficiently. The only person around here who allegedly knows how to do all the mechanical work necessary doesn't seem to want to get it done or teach anyone else how to do it so it's like a standstill. Day in day out we just do the same daily routine while the whole place is falling apart and nothing gets fixed. It isn't even always a case of not enough in the budget but usually it's the laziness and apathy of the people in charge.
I feel like I haven't even been given a fair chance to like this industry because of the place I started and their poor attitude towards teaching employees what they need to know to do their jobs. The people who care about me say that I should just go do something else but it isn't easy. I feel like I have no marketable skills and I've already put over $8000 into courses for this industry and I'm going to be doing exams in 6 months to get another level of certification so I feel like I need to see it through. It's just so hard to be in the present here and enjoy my life and feel like I'm making a positive contribution to society when I'm doing something as low down as cleaning used feminine products and rags our of a sewer by the stinking bucketful and that's all I get to do at work besides sit around waiting for the clock. Whenever there is anything technical to be done, I'm never the one who gets to have the experience, they always send me to do the horribly nasty jobs because I suppose I don't complain because at least it's something to do other than sit around and be bored.
My sister says I should go back to school for something but I don't even know what. I feel like if I just up and leave this without waiting to get the next level of certification it will just be another thing I've failed at. I know it doesn't help to make comparisons but my roommate is a teacher and just loves her job and what she's doing is something that actually matters and I can't help but to feel like where did I go so wrong??