[six months]

Topic: The Mission

Today marks my six-month anniversary at the Korean Mission. This is primarily relevant because it means I’m now eligible for vacation days, but it’s also an exciting milestone in itself. I’ve been here for half a year, and all is well. It’s still the best job I’ve ever had.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a job before where I wasn’t basically hating it by the six-month mark. Even at DoubleClick, which I came to enjoy considerably by the end of my three years there, the six-month mark was not auspicious. I was dreadfully arrogant about my own brilliance, while at the same time hopelessly undercommitted to performing any actual work, and this had understandably irked my boss, who probably would have fired me had she not been busy doubling the size of the department every six months, and had my attitude not been relatively common among the rapidly expanding staff of stock-optioned twentysomethings (it was a dot-com). So at six months, I was already fuming and plotting my escape, at least from the department.

And as for STV, my only other corporate job to last that long, let’s just say that I’ll probably never be truly happy at a company whose name is an acronym that doesn’t stand for anything.

The one other job at which I lasted more than six months was teaching English in Korea, and here’s what I had to say as the six-month anniversary approached:

It’s a poetic accident that the midpoint of our stay in Korea falls pretty much on April Fool’s Day. We have been here six months now, and we will be here for another six months, and so we have reached what people call “the Hump.”

It’s a curious metaphor when you stop to think about it. Is it supposed to imply that it’s all downhill from here? And if so, does that mean it gets easier or that it gets worse? I do feel sort of like those climbers who summit Everest — not triumphant, just dazed, oxygen-starved and worried that the descent is the most difficult part of the journey. Jenny’s been sick for the last week with what was finally diagnosed as severe bronchitis, and I’ve been working too many hours while trying to take care of everything around the house. So when I walked into my classroom at the kindergarten on Friday to discover that all my students’ artwork had been removed, the side table had been moved across the room, a long coat rack had been placed in the only free space in the room, the toys were spread all over the place, and there were someone else’s students sitting around the table, I just lost it.

So I suppose this really is the first time I’ve hit six months and felt, if anything, more positive about the job than I did at the beginning. I think I may stick with this for a while.

Bonus: While I was digging through old emails to see how I felt about Korea at the six-month mark, I ran across this video of Jenny and me at our professional best.