Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I’m Thankful for my Job
Or…The Dragon gives you a writing assignment

What do you do for a living? I have the good fortune to be a magazine editor. I love it. It’s “in my field” so to speak. I have a degree in English with all those communications and journalism credits that I’ve put to use for just about 17 years now. I feel blessed.

I feel especially blessed due to our current economic climate. The reason I’m writing about this today is because someone recently reminded me of what it looks like to be ungrateful for what you have. So I’d like to share the bizarre story and ask you all to write in and tell a good story.

Here’s the bizarre story. A knock sounded at the front door a little past 6 the other evening. I answered because it was the UPS man with an overnight letter. While I signed for the letter, I said, “They sure have you workin’ late this evening.” His response surprised me. He grimaced and said, “They don’t want us seein’ our families anymore.” It sounded rehearsed. And a little angry. In a psychotic sort of way.

Now, a friend of mine had, a few months back, applied for a job with UPS. He learned that there is a waiting list for fulltime jobs with UPS here in the town where we live—and that’s just to move boxes around in the warehouse area for $10 or $11 an hour. To become a driver and make the big bucks, like this fellow at my door, you have to put in your time in the warehouse for a certain number of months, waiting for a driver position to open up. That means this fellow at my door has people lined up waiting for his job.

The same is true for meter-readers for the local electric company. A pool of potential workers who have already been tested, interviewed, and screened exists so when a meter-reader retires, quits, or is fired, a new person can be called in at a moment’s notice.

Right now, employers have the upper hand when it comes to hiring employees and keeping qualified talent. If I were that UPS man at my door, I don’t think I’d complain about getting extra hours of pay. I think I’d smile and nod like a good team-player to protect the job I’d be thankful for.

And that brings us back to my situation. I’m truly grateful for my job not just because it’s a job, but because it’s in my area of expertise. I’m very fortunate to get to do something that I enjoy, and I know it. Having my books published doesn’t pay any bills yet—in fact, I still lose money on that venture due to marketing expenses—so keeping a day job is necessary. But I know how fortunate I am to have been published, too. Choices Meant for Kings is due out any day now, and I’m really looking forward to pushing it. Again, it’s a job I’m thankful to have!

Now let’s hear what you’ve got to share. Tell us what you do for a living and what about it you’re most thankful for. This is good, positive energy here!

“Some days, I just want the dragon to win.”
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree and disagree with you on 'being grateful for a job'.

Not to be bitchy, but you have stated that you are in a job that you love, and perhaps the demands on you are reasonable, you may be surrounded by great coworkers and a good boss, and you may be well compensated.

Others aren't so lucky--they may be working double-shifts for minimum wage doing backbreaking labor. Yes, it's a job, but that job may be so physically demanding that they're in pain, or they may be having people screaming at them all day to the point of depression, or they never get to see their spouses and/or children--and they HAVE to put up with it, because in this economy, there's nowhere else to go. And sadly, there are bosses out there who know it, and abuse it.

I've had the good jobs, and I've had the crappy jobs, and I've had no jobs--stretching out for six months one time, seven months another. I had one job that I considered myself lucky to get after a long bout of unemployment--and by the end of my first shift, I was ready to quit because we had a thief and a drug user on the premises, and the owners of the business made it obvious they didn't believe this person capable of doing any wrong. (If it was obvious to me in four hours, how could they not see it?) I didn't want to leave my possessions unattended, nor did I want to work the night shift alone with this person. I did end up quitting in three days (for a better job), and was so relieved to not have to see those people again that I didn't even bother picking up my paycheck. *THAT'S* how bad it was.

I have seen (and sadly personally know) people on the flip side who walk out of any job, for any pissy little reason. I've outright told one of these people to never use me as a reference again, because their M.O. is to scream at their boss du jour that they're "f'ing stupid" and walk out.

Be grateful for a good job if you have one, but don't judge the people who, even knowing how bad the times are, hate theirs. You never know what they're putting up with.


5:22 PM  
Blogger Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I'm grateful my husband and I were able to retire. However, if the market keeps tanking we may be forced to retire from retirement! Looking forward to the release of Choices Meant for Kings.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there a fellow stargate, startrek and firefly fan. I must say last night our dvd/vcr crashed and there we sat my hubby and myself. Shattered. so not to be outdone I dug around in the bowels of the tv closet and lo an ancient startrek movie. So I am pleased to be able to share one more thing. My first childrens fanstasy book. Now the real work begins. Illustrator, editor hee hee publisher. Life is good and loving your job means you arent afraid to live in joy. I salute you.
Plight of the Moss Fae coming soon and a sneak peek photobook on Blurb.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Laura M. Crawford said...

I have worked at the "evil plastics factory" for total of about 17 years. Yes, THAT LONG!! And while my other job (working at the "evil law firm"), was even WORSE, I am sincerely grateful to have a J-O-B right now because I am a spoiled, high maintenance Bitch who likes things like shelter, food, clothing, heat, gas in my car, etc.

I have found that if I zone out and find a way to do my job without "thinking" about it, the time goes by much faster, and then I can get back to my favorite kind of working: WRITING!!

And since I haven't hit the Powerball or the Bestseller List yet, I guess I still have to keep working at the factory until I can quit for good.

I am truly grateful for what I do have, and I try not to dwell on what I don't have because only LACK and emptiness follow. I remember that when I moved to this little polebarn in the woods, I had pretty much the clothes on our backs, some beds and some hand-me-down dishes. When I look at all I have and realize I don't have enough SPACE, well, I realize that I've come a long way from when my son and I first moved in.

My great-grandmother, Lara Ellen Roof, used to say, "You can get happy in the same shoes you get mad in."

In other words, your attitude is totally under your control.

Keep positive!

Laura :)

1:24 AM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Sorry to hear that the movie player was not so cooperative, but, man, those are the moments that spur creativity, aren't they? I look forward to the Moss Fae story...
Sandy L.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

5:03 PM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

I know how you've struggled with the politics at that factory, and I know how thankful you are to have the job anyway. It's a strange climate we're in. One of these days it'll improve...the whole "cyclical" thing, I'm sure.

Did I know you when I worked at the university? Holy cow, that was a horrible horrible job. I would wake up thanking God that I had a job, but it still demoralized me to work with those horrible people. I managed to get home each day and get into the shower before the 20-minute sob-fest when the snot ran down the drain...but I knew I'd lose the house without the income. And guess what!? I lost the house when I lost the job! Being an adult sucks so much sometimes. :)

Sandy L.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

5:09 PM  

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