You ever have that feeling when you’re sitting on an airplane and you just know that your bag won’t be at baggage claim?
We were taxiing down the runway this afternoon, and I had this sick feeling in my chest. It was halfway between anxiety and panic. I imagined stepping off the plane in Phoenix and going down to baggage claim and watching suitcase after suitcase fall out with no one picking them up. I imagined someone finally grabbing a bag and swearing, “These were for the Miami flight!”
I have a very active imagination.
Back to taxiing down the runway:
The captain came on the speaker and announced we had to return to the gate. There was an issue with the bags. I laughed, far louder than I should have. Anxiety, you know? I felt a little clairvoyant as we headed back to the gate from whence we came.
Rampers pull up to the side of the plane with a belt loader. One goes in to investigate the bag situation. Another drives a bin over. Suddenly, bag after bag is being loaded. They missed an entire bin of bags. As I watched, I saw my bag tossed out of the errant bin and onto the belt loader.
10 points for psychic powers.
To be fair, the original ramper was working alone, the flight was already delayed due to issue on a previous route, and that tends to put a lot of pressure on people. I’m honestly just giddy that I knew my bag wasn’t on . . . and then it really wasn’t on.
But now I’m home. I didn’t want to leave Charlotte. I really didn’t. I met several people I really want to work with, one of whom gave me her business card, one of whom let me step in and assist with our technical difficulties, and one of whom taught me a few things I didn’t know about the files that enable our internal software. Oh. And one of whom was really cute. Like, I’m not the kind to give out my number and this one was tempting.
My sorely-sought “epiphany” (that happiness I was looking for) hit me slowly over the course of two days. Every day, I asked the trainers to tell me if I ever did anything out of line or spoke out of line, etc. I’ve been reported before in training for being disruptive and disrespectful of the learning environment, plus myriad other personality conflicts. The trainers told me to stop worrying, because my input was helping them understand the material and the software better.
When I worked in the airport, one coworker told me over and over, “You need to get out of here. You belong somewhere that your brain and your intellect is appreciated, and you’re not going to find that here.” I switched departments and excelled almost immediately, but now I’m hitting a roof because there is a vast difference between old-school work politics and millennial work politics.
The trainers both took me aside, separately, and told me the exact same thing as my coworker in the airport: Get somewhere where you’re appreciated. Finish your degree. Excel. Push harder. Do whatever it’s going to take to get where you want to go. Don’t settle. Don’t stay where you’re at if it means being stagnant.
I might be revising my goals again soon. We’ll see after Tuesday. Tuesday is going to be my second favorite day of the year so far. I get to work with four of the people I met in Charlotte this week as we bounce ideas and issues back and forth. We’ll see. It’s all very confusing, but to hear those words again–words I’ve heard from coworkers in every job I’ve ever held–applied to a job I truly love, is unsettling. I think it may have been exactly what I needed to hear.
The next step might be Charlotte. I just feel drawn there, but I can’t think of a single job that I would want there. Who knows? Maybe the surprises will just keep rolling in.