Greetings, O readers. We had our usual Why Do I Work Here Wednesday post yesterday, but today's post will be somewhat different. Today, my friends, is Why I Won't Be Working Here Anymore Thursday. Or rather, Why I May Not Be Able To Work Here Anymore After Another Year Thursday, but that's kind of long for everyday use.
Now nobody panic, please. (Including me.) This isn't going to happen immediately, if it happens at all, but it has put me on a bit of a deadline in terms of writing. This may or may not be good for you, O readers -- I sometimes do really good work under pressure, while at other times I freak out and freeze, verbally speaking -- but we'll see what we shall see.
Here's what's happening: sometime early next year, my department at Glass Bathroom Bank is being moved. Now, this shouldn't surprise anyone who works in the modern business world, even if you don't work for GBB. Modern companies love shuffling their employees around, trying out new configurations here, new floorplans there. And it so happens that I have seen the "New Plan" floors like the ones we'll be moving to.
The "New Plan" at Glass Bathroom Bank is to make everything very open, very spacious. They want to maximize natural light (to cut down on energy consumption, we're a green company, you know) and minimize wasted space (ditto the above), along with encouraging companionship and collaboration. So what they came up with is a design that emphasizes glass (how appropriate) and low dividers between cubicles and glossy white walls and lots of bright company colors everywhere.
Right off the bat, I can see one big issue with this. I used to work in a building that tried to utilize natural light. We were blinded half the day by the angle the sun came in the windows, and the other half we could barely see our computer screens, because the sunlight was too strong and washed them out. But they say they've fixed that problem in the new buildings, and I hope they're right.
The real problem I'm going to have with this new workspace is more personal. As many of you know, O readers, I inherited from my father both a horrible sense of humor and a predisposition to migraine headaches. My migraines tend to manifest less as pain and more as visual distortions, balance problems, and fatigue, but they're still very debilitating. And my triggers? Bright lights and colors, loud or ongoing noise, lack of privacy, and stress.
I'm already on track to use up my sick days for 2015 by the end of April with the migraines I get from my current workspace and work situation. After that, it's either go to work sick or take unpaid days off. In addition, I've spent some time on "New Plan" floors, visiting with other AA's or checking out conference rooms. Ten minutes there and I start to see auras around lights and afterimages every time I blink (two of my biggest warning signs). The thought of spending nine hours a day, five days a week, in that kind of environment is genuinely frightening to me.
Could there be ways to deal with the sensory overload? Certainly there could. At the moment, if a migraine comes on during the workday and I can't go home early, I often pull out my sunglasses or a baseball cap, or both, to cut down on the amount of light hitting my eyes. I've also got a screen protector on my monitor to minimize glare, and I might even be able to get my new desk set up in an area where I wouldn't have too much noise or light. So this isn't necessarily a death knell for my work with GBB.
However, my past experience has not been encouraging with getting administrative types to understand why I might need special accommodations for "just headaches", especially since I've never been officially diagnosed with migraines and I don't take any prescription medication for them. This is because, up to this point, I've been able to manage my life in such a way that the migraines don't interfere too badly. That, sadly, may not last much longer.
Thus, the title of this post. From today, which happens to be my two-thirds birthday (because if you can have a half-birthday, why can't you have other fractions?), I'm giving myself exactly one year to find some way that my writing can support me monetarily. That might mean marketing my existing novels better (somehow), writing the sequels to my series starters and getting them out there through self-publishing, finding magazines that want short stories and drawing attention to my work that way, or even writing a new novel and trying to get it published traditionally.
The point is, I need to figure out what I'm going to do, because clearly I can't keep doing what I am doing. But some of this, O readers, relies on you. Please, remind any friends and family who may have borrowed your copies of my work and enjoyed it that I put an awful lot of time and effort into those words, and that every sale equals a huge boost of encouragement for me. Keep reading and reviewing the fan fiction, if you're so inclined, since reviews are greatly encouraging as well. You could even, if you're able and willing, purchase an original of mine just to thank me for writing in general. But that is entirely up to you.
Thanks, as always, for reading, and I'll be continuing my take on "The Most Incredible Thing" for Fiction Friday tomorrow. A reminder that comments are moderated, so your suggestions, whether witty, sarcastic, practical, or all three, will only show up after I've had a chance to approve them. Until tomorrow, TTFN, ta-ta for now!